Use the oil finish of your choice, or shellac, or even poly varnish. But don't
stain it. Just leave the color alone, and in a few years it will age naturally
to a beautiful shade.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
if you are truly serious about maintaining the integrity of your
cherry, make sure to first stain it with a minwax oil based stain. use
chains and drag it behind your truck to open the pours and let the
stain penetrate. it also give the piece a nice antique distressed look
and then seal it with about 10 coats of polyurathane. after the poly
has cured fully, apply 2 heavy coats of white oil based paint. this
should REALLY keep the beauty locked in the wood
That is an awful lot of work to get those results... Maybe he can put the
piece in the back of a truck, drive down the freeway at about 100mph and
just hum it off the back then spray it flat black...
Everyone seems to like the aged look of cherry, but perhaps you don't -- or
perhaps you haven't seen it. I have been thinking about building a cherry
piece, and have had the following thoughts (none of which are necessarily
true -- any knowlegable comments appreciated).
One thing is that staining cherry should bring out the grain pattern more
than not staining. Also, if you like the aged cherry look, but not the
fresh, you might "accelerate" the aging. I've read that someone has had
success using a lye wash. Lastly, perhaps you want a subtle change of the
final color of cherry -- e.g., perhaps more or less red, or perhaps just
darker overall. A light stain could be used to alter it, though it might be
tough to do it so it turns out the way you want after it has aged unless you
previously accelerated the aging.
My sister's cherry cabinets (which receive no direct sunlight) are brown
with not much red now after about 5 years. If that was typical, I would
stain my cherry project with a some red.
I'm working for only the second time with some KD cherry. In this case,
some my kid brought from Missouri, and it has neither the color nor the
clarity of the air-dried local stuff. It looks like what happened the first
few times I microwaved cherry turnings - everything is muddy and subdued.
Now I remember why I could barely recognize cherry when I saw people using
it in college a number of years back - kiln-drying makes it look bad.
Oil stains make things worse. Go with the "real" look or dyes only.
I read a few years ago about a product which would age cherry
instantly. The reviewers at the time liked it; don't know how it
holds up after many years.
Also don't know if you can still get it anywhere - the company that
made it was called "Old Growth Solutions" and oldgrowthsolutions.com
isn't registered, anymore. A little Google-work seems to say they
changed their name to EcoStain, but www.ecostain.com, while
registered, isn't serving anything useful at the moment (although a
quick rec.woodworking search shows it wasn't working more than a year
ago, either). A "whois" comes up with the number 505-438-4222, while
an old list of suppliers gives 888-301-Wood.
So, anyway, if you want to start a long odyssey to find these folks,
they might have a solution. Let us know if they're still in business
if you do.
Be careful here...it may bring out a grain pattern that you don't want!
Cherry is notorious for distinct variations in the grain and pores that
is somewhat visible when finished, but REALLY visible when stained. The
areas in question takes stain heavier than the surrounding areas.
Most people call it "blotchy". I experimented a LOT prior to finishing
a cherry chest (http://christophermerrill.net/ww/projects/cherryChest.html ).
In general, the "blotchy" areas were difficult to predict and none of the
steps I took to prevent it worked. In the end, I opted to not stain.
UV works very well for this - just leave it out in the sun for a few
days. Works on many kinds of wood, not just cherry
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