Ed Zachary! I just don't understand all this yap about forcing Cherry to
darken using noxious chemicals, and it goes right back to what I said about us
living in a world of instant gratification. I don't know that I've ever seen
"forcibly" darkened Cherry, but I'd be damned surprised if it looked anywhere
near as good as Cherry that's been left alone to do its own thing.
"Our beer goes through thousands of quality Czechs every day."
(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
I like instant gratification. Especially if I can get it a few times
in a row.
To be honest, the first time I darkened Cherry using my chemical soup
I almost gratified in my pants I loved the look so much.
There is a long and proud tradition of using the chemicals nature gave
us in my area of furniture design, namely Craftsman, Stickly
influenced, etc. They used amonia fuming for 100 years. Other than
shellac every film finish is a chemical mix.
As far as how good it looks? I have a 100+ year old rustic Cherry side
table and the chemical treatment is the only thing that every got
close to the lovely deep color of that piece. 100 years of oxidizing
in an instant. Trust me, a little sunshine ain't gona do anything like
this in 10 years.
I have never understood this religious adherance to the natural color
of Cherry. I stain it, piss on it, use minwax ploy shades, aniline
dyes, water based pigment stains, toned lacquer and all sorts of
abominations and every piece more lovely than the last.
It may be that your garden cherry is not the same cherry that is normally
felled for timber. I am no expert on cherry species but istr in europe at
least that the timber from a fruit bearing orchard tree was indeed pale in
For cherry wood that I buy from local hardwood vendors I use boiled
linseed oil, next day a coat of shellac(sanding sealer style, no wax)
and then poly or lacquer or whatever. The BLO instantly gives the hi
pro glow. In a couple of years the color is absolutely stunning.
I often find it difficult to distinguish cherry from maple in a lumber yard
especially of the some of the maple has dark spots. Chery tends to be a tad
more tan than maple when new and darkens greatly with exposure to sunlight.
Just put the Cherry wood in sunlight for a day or so , it darkens up nicely
or finished project in sunny room. Most cherry furniture you find in stores
is stained or coloured maple ect. to look cherry. The Chatoyancy of oiled
cherry is it's own thing, nothing quit like it
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