matching natural cherry cabinets

I'm in the middle of a bathroom remodel and SWMBO decided that it would be nice for the walls of the tub deck (whirlpool tub) to be done in raised panels. We want to try to match it to the existing natural cherry cabinets. I didn't build the cabinets, but they essentially look like they have a coat of varnich, polyurethane, or lacquer (meaning they are really natural cherry and not stained). I have a nice stash of rough cut cherry that is a perfect match until, obviously, I start to machine it.
My question, is there any good method to helping this cherry catch up to the existing cabinets?
I've just started doing some testing and only applied some wipe on poly to my first test piece. Its closer but still not there. Does anyone know if a certain poly or varnish my tint it a little more?
I also thought about leaving some test pieces out in the sun, which I could do for a few weeks, but I don't have months to play with.
Has anyone been stuck in a similar spot?
Thanks,
WoodChuck
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On Thu, 17 Apr 2008 05:36:13 -0700, Woodchuck34 wrote:

Lay it out in the sun. Alternate sides frequently so it doesn't warp. Check the results frequently as it may only take a few hours. Of course, that depends on how dark the existing stuff has gotten. Good luck.
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Thanks for the tip Larry. I already have a test piece in the sun. I'll keep checking.
Chuck
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[..snip...]

[...snip...]
It's very hard to know what tint you need from this distance. "Real" cherry, like any wood, will vary quite a bit.
On the other hand you can tint your finish, for example you can use something like these: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID 05
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Another poster lately mentioned using a dilute mixture of Lye to "age" Cherry. I think it really darkens it quick. I haven't tried that yet but will soon.
1. I would not suggest tinting anything. If you do tint it now to match, it won't match later. 2. Yes, the sun will darken it in a matter of hours depending on lattitude and time of year, ie intensity. 3. The darkening process is most dramatic in the first few months of exposure on interior applications. Then the darkeing is continuous but slow over time.
If your currently installed items only have a year or so head start, I would just use the identical finishing technique and wait it. They will match up in no time. You could also do some "lay it in the sun treatment but I think to get a perfect match it would be better if the finish was on first.
Also try testing a piece with poly just sitting in the bathroom next to the cabs and see how it looks in a week. If you have decent natural light in that room, you will be amazed how fast they match up.

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