does all wood darken?

Page 1 of 3  
Hello all,
Question:
Does all wood darken with age? Cherry, of course, is an example of such a species. Do other woods behave in the same way? One would think that most color would fade with exposure to light, and that cherry is an anomaly.
Curt Blood Hartford, CT
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dustyone wrote:

All wood eventually oxidizes to one degree or another - and the woods I'm familiar with will oxidize until they eventually turn black.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What time frame are you talking about? I suppose if you wait long enough the wood would turn into oil, so yes, it would turn black. But there's plenty of wood lying around this place that isn't continuing to darken. I have some unfinished pine window trim that has been sitting in the sun for years and it isn't getting noticeably darker. If anything it's lightening up some after the initial darkening.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

Well, I have unfinished softwood that has browned significantly over the last ten years or so.
I've paid attention to the effect of time on softwood and hardwood furniture built in North America in the 1600's - 1800's shown on "Antiques Roadshow".
And I've seen first hand how wood from 1000 years ago has turned black as charcoal (without an intermediate oil stage, AFAIK).
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well that clears that up. When you said eventually you were talking about a time frame measured in the hundreds of years. I'm not sure that's what the OP was asking about.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

And a lot of that over that time period is accumulated grime and dirt not simply the result of surface oxidation...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Morris Dovey wrote:

That's called "charcoal", Morris... :)
I don't see that at all, though, at least w/o moisture. Cedar, most pines, cypress, etc., will eventually get a gray outer layer and from then on are essentially stable as long as don't stay wet.
I'm not thinking on same lines as you; obviously you're not thinking along same lines as I...
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dustyone wrote:

My experience is that light woods darken and dark woods (walnut, mahogany, etc.) lighten. Teak too lightens. I used to have a sailboat with an African mahogany trunk cabin and a teak transom. Both became noticeably lighter within a few months after sanding and varnishing.
Much also depends on what finish if any. I made my wife's desk of heartwood hickory with sapwood hickory trim. The heartwood was medium, sapwood quite light. The desk was finished with linseed oil, all parts became a medium brown within a few months due to the oxidation of the oil.
Also, freshly cut wood color is different from that exposed to air for a while; e.g, freshly cut walnut generally has a purplish cast, teak a greenish one.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Padauk, Cocobolo, and Cherry darken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Every species has it's own characteristics. Pine will yellow and brown if it is indoors and covered with a varnish of some sort but will Grey and black if outdorrs and exposed to mositiure. Red oak will usually lighten, agin unless moisture is present than it will black, etc. etc.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thank you all for your responses. The wood in question is curly maple finished with rock hard table top varnish. Sounds like the answer is "it depends".
CB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dustyone wrote:

It will darken.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dadiOH wrote:

And the varnish will yellow...
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 21 Jun 2009 17:04:36 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Most of the reference books I've read agree. The only question is the time frame.
I particularly remember a book on turning that emphasized form because no matter how pretty the wood, it'll all be black eventually. And yes, eventually was in the 100s of years.
Of course, one could always use paint and bury the stuff in a desert pyramid :-).
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nah. The "Law of perverse statistics" applies. Whichever way you _don't_ want it to go is what it will actually do. <grin>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you all for your responses. The wood in question is curly maple finished with rock hard table top varnish. Sounds like the answer is "it depends".
We have a Maple wood floor in our master bathroom . A mat sets on top of it in one spot near a window. The wood has darkened from direct sunlight. Under the mat it is a lighter shade.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

NO! some get lighter but most get darker. IIRC Walnut will lighten with exposure to light as opposet to Maple, Cherry, Padauh, Cocobolo which get darker.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I turned a bird house out of an oily wood - name escapes me now - and my beloved put it on a shelf (not for birds) that caught an hour or so a day. It bleached and dried out and needed oiling to help it.
Might have been Cocobolo - but I can't recall - been 10-12 years ago. [ wood used for bearings ? ] Hum
Martin
Leon wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Martin H. Eastburn" wrote:

The standard for wooden journal bearings in marine applications has been Lignum Vitae.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote:

Walnut will lighten? Does that work the same way as cherry darkens? Make sure it gets sun exposure and leave it there to lighten up.
I have a walnut bowl that seems a bit dark and if all I have to do is put it by a southern exposed window, I'd like to see how light it gets.
Tanus
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.