For a project like this that doesn't get much abuse (if any), cherry begs
for oil followed by shellac. Wipe it down with oil first. Tung oil is
nice because it pops the grain without the yellowing effect that boiled
linseed oil can have. Tried & True polymerized linseed oil is a good
second choice. That said, boiled linseed oil works well, but again, can
have a slight yellowing effect over time.
Follow the oil with shellac. If you like the look that amber gives, that's
fine. I use blonde. As you know, the sun will provide the natural
Nothing pops and highlights the grain of cherry like oil and shellac. I
like products like Watco and Waterlox (for different purposes), but they
don't bring out the same look in cherry.
Try it out on some of your scraps.