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Thread: staining Cherry

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Rockford, IL
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    staining Cherry

    I just finished a cherry blanket chest and it looks great. I have read some about stainning and finishing cherry and sure got confused. It gets blotchy? Need tips on best way to finish it, any ideas?
    Terry Brown

  2. #2
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    ozarks
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    terry, welcome to family woodworking!
    most folks have had very good luck using dyes instead of stain on cherry.
    if you go this route the waterbased are more color fast ......tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    I agree with Tod on the water based dye. Easy to use and very easy to control the shade, either dilute it with water if it's to dark or add more crystals if its to light. Even color and the newer oones don't raise the grain very much at all.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    another choice is to use garnet shellac then top coat with a quality finish
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    I'm with Larry. I wouldn't color it with pigment or dye. Shellac and top coat and let the color come naturally. I have stained cherry in the past to get that real dark color. I used Minwax wood conditioner before using the Minwax red mahogany stain, and then after it dries, you need to seal it with something like shellac and then top coat with poly, varnish, etc.

    I doubt I will ever do it again though. To me, cherry is too pretty to darken like that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    terry, welcome to family woodworking!
    most folks have had very good luck using dyes instead of stain on cherry.
    if you go this route the waterbased are more color fast ......tod
    why is the water based dyes more colorfast? i thought it was the other way around. but i stand corrected.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    I, too, recommend not using any dye or pigment on cherry... just a clear finish and a suntan become a beautiful brown
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Rockford, IL
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    Staning Cherry

    Wow, I did not expect all the help! I have been on other websites and never got resposes like this. I thank you for the welcomes I got. About finishing cherry - garnet shellac - I need lesson about what brand, any tips on how to use and what it does. I have done alot of staining with Minwax, wood conditioner, mixing stains ( I understand the color wheel) and water base and poly finishes. I have not used shellac but it sounds like I need to learn. I do know cherry darkens quite quickly and would like to go that route. ( I don't want to make it too dark to start) What about adding a small amount of stain? Dye? to the shellac. If I just use schellac what kind of finish do you guys recommend?
    and again thanks for the kind words.
    Nothing smells better than a little sawdust!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Austin, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Brown View Post
    ... About finishing cherry - garnet shellac - I need lesson about what brand, any tips on how to use and what it does. I have done alot of staining with Minwax, wood conditioner, mixing stains ( I understand the color wheel) and water base and poly finishes. I have not used shellac but it sounds like I need to learn. I do know cherry darkens quite quickly and would like to go that route. ( I don't want to make it too dark to start) What about adding a small amount of stain? Dye? to the shellac. If I just use schellac what kind of finish do you guys recommend?
    and again thanks for the kind words.
    Nothing smells better than a little sawdust!!!!!
    In reference to coloring cherry, I suggest you check out the page on my web site, www.plesums.com/wood/cherry.html - I finally took pictures to show some of the differences to my customers.

    MinWax is a mixture of stain and dye. I like using it, since it has the advantages of both, but it also has the limitations of both. Remember dye changes the color of the wood fibers, while stain is a pigment that stays in the wood pores (and thus will be darker if the final sanding was coarser, leaving more places to catch the pigment.

    Shellac is a "generic" finish that has been used for centuries ... the type and color are more important than the brand. The ideal is to by granules and dissolve it in denatured alcohol for use. Garnet shellac is a fairly dark finish, on the opposite end of the scale from "white" shellac, which is almost colorless. My personal preference is to only use shellac as the universal primer - it sticks to anything, and anything sticks to it, so it can be used "between" incompatible finishes. But there are a lot of people who use shellac as a final finish, especially in antiques and reproductions, even though it is vulnerable to water and alcohol damage.

    My current favorite finish for indoor furniture is Target USL, water base, and easy to use, but it does require spraying
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
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    292
    I agree with Charlie on all counts. Just make sure the shellac is dewaxed.

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