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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
On 1 Dec 2005 07:54:25 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
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.