Newbie Question - Staining woods species in certain "standard" ways


I'm confused as to why certain woods are stained in certain traditional ways. For example, I have some raw cherry that is very light. I feel pretty confident that if varnished or oiled it would look completely unlike the two "Cherry" finishes I commonly see -- a very dark brown or a much lighter brown with red in it. Why would these be called "cherry finish" when they look nothing like what cherry looks like when not stained and just finished.
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Because cherry has many different colors, ranging from light brown to darker shades, reds, etc.. Tom
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Thanks. So, if you were specing out something in cherry -- just asking for "cherry" would be insufficient for you to know what color wood (unstained and unfinished) you would wind up with?
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Yes. Select your own wood, if possible. You'll be able to more closely match the colors. Tom
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It's also due to the fact that most woods, like cherry and mahogany, darken with age.
Some of the darkest versions of these named finishes are meant to simulate old woods, or woods finished with aged varnishes and/or different kinds of old shellac, or chemically fumed.
Then again, some people just like certain looks, so stains are used to duplicate them.
Barry
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See, that was my theory -- that somebody was trying to match the color of a 100 or 150 year old piece of furniture that had darkened. That would explain why the pieces of furniture that are "traditional styled" have the dark, dark, type cherry-finish.
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I love and hate cherry. If you've ever tried to put a dark stain on cherry you know what I mean. It doesn't receive stain evenly. After trying to get that aged dark look via lye, I gave up and went "natural" with the kitchen cabinets. A few years later, I made a fireplace mantel and went for that stained rich cherry finish using a gel-based stain. I was aiming for perfection and the result was okay, but this had to be one of the most aggravating finishing experiences I've ever had.
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MrAnderson wrote:

Any blotch prone wood is amenable to spraying your dye with an HVLP. No blotching. Any depth of color you want.
Dave
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wrote:

This is easily controlled by either using a shellac or lacquer sealer under the stain, or by tinting the clear finish.
Pigment stain over Seal Coat or lacquer sanding sealer won't work with home center, hardware store and most paint store brands of stain. Typical consumer products never dry when applied over a sealed surface.
You'll need a fast evaporating "pro" stain like H. Behlen or Mohawk. The application process is much different, as well. Instead of apply, wait, & wipe off, you'd wipe the stain on, and then "dry brush" to evenly distribute the pigment. These stains also spray really well, but you'll still need the dry brush to even things out.
Tinted clear finishes are best sprayed for an even color.
Either method can provide a beautiful look with absolutely ZERO blotches and figure obscuration when correctly applied. I took some hands-on courses from pro finishers to learn these methods. Like most everyone else, my previous training was applying Minwax in Industrial Arts class. <G> When done right, it's not uncommon to spend as much or more time finishing a piece as it did to build it.
The same stain over sealer methods work great on birch, maple, pine, and any other blotch-prone wood.
Barry
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Google for discussions on cherry and how it changes color as it ages. Wonderful wood to works with but don't expect sapwood to change like heartwood, DAMHIKT. Cherry is NOT to be stained according to many posters!
On 1 Dec 2005 07:54:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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