Probably a stupid finishing question but I need advice.

Hello,
I am in the process of refinishing an old dresser SWMBO really likes for the kitchen. We stuck it in there to temporarily hold the microwave when we first bought the house... and it has temporarily been there for 14 years now.
In any event, she really likes the thing and all the drawers. (I think it's a little funky but I ain't got no vote on the matter.)
Well, time has come to refinish the darn thing. It is over 40 years old and was stained a maple hue.
I have always thought the thing to be pine or something like that. But when I stripped the shellac and did a little sanding, I find...cherry!
Well, the cabinets are oak and the kitchen table is oak-stained pine. So SWMBO figures we need to stain the dresser oak.
Now, I am still sort of new to this hobby but it seems to me that it would be sacrilegious to stain something made out of cherry anything but, well, cherry. Or just a natural stain. I have a bunch of Minwax Antique Oil that I think would look good but she doesn't like it. She says it makes the piece look too light and doesn't go with the rest of the kitchen.
She kinda drives me nuts with this matching wood junk but then again, if she had her way, every piece of wood in the house would be painted if she were to totally have it her way.
So I am stepping gingerly here...I want it to look like wood but not oak-stained cherry! I think that would look terrible. If I used cherry Watco, would that darken it enough but not make it too, well, red?
Am I asking stupid questions?
Any advice is welcome!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
#1 "is oak-stained pine" WTF is Oak-Stained Like Pine? #2 "need to stain the dresser oak" What is Stained Oak? #3 Stain it whatever color makes both of you happy! Cherry is very dense and will not take most stains without allowing it to almost dry before wiping.
-- Stephen
Remove not from the address
The Woodshop
http//thewoodshop.srfiii.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
quit worrying about the religious aspects and stain it a color you both agree on.
Ray Kinzler wrote:

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

Stain everything else cherry.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William Prisavabe responds:

He needs to get her to wait. Cherry darkens with age, and looks a LOT better than stained oak.
Of course, if she's impatient, a dupe made of oak is the solution.
Charlie Self
"I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family." George W. Bush, Greater Nashua,N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You did say that you are new to this hobby, so here are some generalities.
No two pieces of wood will take the same color when stained, even of the same species. The color names on the can are just that - color names. No stain will look similar on different species of wood. End grain will look different than face grain. Rift sawn will look quite different than quarter sawn. Each stain color will look different again when covered with sealer - varnish, poly, oil
Try to find an inconspicuous place on the dresser on which to experiment. Cabinet back, drawer side, end panel. Be aware that many of the non showing parts will be made from a different wood specie(s)?
Lacquer based stains can be "painted" onto the wood to hide sap lines, etc. Most commercial stuff is done this way so the chairs or whatever all match. You can still see the grain through the stain. It ranks closer to art than to traditional woodwork
Try several different stains on your piece. You can wet the stained wood with mineral spirits to get a good impression of what it will look like with finish over it. Let SWMBO choose what she likes or keep experimenting till she does. Make her sign a contract in triplicate that she won't change her mind or complain after you finish the project <ya, right>
--


Keep the whole world singing. . .
Dan G

(remove the 7)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan, thanks. Your answers were what I was really asking for. Charlie and Tchswoods were helpful as well.
As you say, I am new to this. I was looking for some advice, I guess, as to whether you guys who know your stuff would stain cherry or if you would simply put something on it that was neutural.
Charlie and Tchswoods both indicated that cherry changes color when it ages and as it is exposed to sunlight. What they say makes a lot of sense because I looked at the grandfather clock in my mother's house the other day. It is made of cherry and I don't remember it looking that way as I was growing up--it seemed, well, darker. Doh!
I want to thenk you mostly, Dan, because you saw where I was coming from: well-intentioned but inexperienced.
You are right that the non-showing parts are not made of cherry. They may be birch but, again, I am new to this. The showing parts are cherry and its color is unmistakable (I think!).
I guess I can just oil it like the other two guys said and let it be exposed to sunlight and age so it can and will darken on its own.
Thanks a lot.

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

Others have given a lot of advice though I believe that the best advice is to test the finish on inconspicuous spots. Unfortunately there may not be any inconspicuous spots of cherry. Your next best solution might be to set up a cherry test piece (a "scrap" piece of cherry) and apply various finishes to the test piece to find the right color. Realize that it may be hard to find a piece of cherry that exactly matches the existing piece. This is largely because cherry is so reactive to light: I always expose cherry to direct sunlight preferably for a couple of days before finishing. To see what I mean take a piece of freshly planed cherry, cover half of it with something opaque (another board) and leave it in the sun for a couple of hours. The exposed half will already be darker. Your piece of furniture has had years to acquire this "patina". BTW IMHO you will most likely not be able to match the existing cabinets and you should instead aim for complementing them (as opposed to clashing with them)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

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.