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Aged Cherry Finish

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Aged Cherry Finish

Wipe on years of age in a few easy steps.

By Tim Johnson

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If you want to make a woodworker gnash his teeth, ask him to make new cherry look like cherry that has aged naturally to a rich, brownish hue.

Why is this challenge so agonizing? Because staining cherry, even with stain that's the perfect color, doesn't do the trick.

Here's why: Cherry’s surface is covered with legions of tiny pores that are almost impossible to see—until you apply stain. Stain turns these pores dark, so they stand out. Naturally aged cherry doesn't show dark pores; so it's impossible to create an authentic look with stain alone.

Production shops solve the problem by spraying on toned lacquer finishes; old masters pad on shellac and handmixed glaze. Here's a no-fuss method that uses off-the-shelf products and produces great results.

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Blend Color Mismatches




This story originally appeared in American Woodworker February/March 2009, issue #140.

February/March 2009, issue #140

Purchase this back issue.

Purchase the complete version of this woodworking technique story from AWBookstore.com.