Finishing Cherry Cabinets

Cherry has been one of the most popular furniture woods for the past two hundred years. They provide a much paler ground and do not tend to enhance grain the way some other stains do. Additional coats of gel stain do not have any appreciable darkening effect. The more experience I got with finishing over the years, the less I sanded the raw wood, and the better the stain and finish coating came out. Recently I’ve done some cherry that have been finished with BLO and the change with Lacquer is a big difference in color.

If you need to tweak the color tone of the ply cherry to the hard wood which many time you do, you can put a bit of Cherry stand which might need to tad of green to darken it a bit in last coat of sealer and the 1st coat of clear. If you’ve selected your cherry boards for matching color, you’ve won half the battle. A light coat of BLO wiped dry after 15 minutes and allowed to fully dry for 48 followed by a coat of amber shellac will bring out the figure or both cherry and walnut. The countertop in this article is Cherry and is approximately 60 in. wide and 24 ft. long.

Finish selections should always be made after viewing several door samples and displays to become familiar with the characteristics of the particular wood and finish you select. Unless I’m expecting the piece to take a beating, I usually just put shellac on cherry followed by a nice wax. Dark splotches show up when stain pigments become lodged in areas of grain that are more open.

But, you wind up with a deep, rich, glowing stain that can be coated with water clear finishes without tinting, toning or anything added to impede the light’s penetration through the coating to the wood’s beauty beneath. The color of wood, like most other things in nature, is made up of a collection of colors, tones, and shades blending seamlessly from light to dark to produce the identifying characteristics of the species.

If the stain appears uneven or has unsightly dark areas, run the additional tests we show here to determine the best staining process. If you mix in a glass container, the color you see in the container is pretty close to what a top coated color will be. Slow drying oil stains sit on the wood wet for a long period of time so they absorb at different rates. And here’s my response: There are a number of things you can do with the finish. I built a dining table out of cherry and used boiled linseed oil, like Thos Moser uses, then finished with butchers wax.

The other problem with cherry is that it is usually expected to be at least medium-dark, which means the wood has to be darkened up somehow. The solution may be as simple as spraying a coat of toner over the existing finish or you may have to strip the finish and start with a dye or a tinted washcoat to even out the color or get the proper background color prior to staining. Treat the wood as if you were using a water-based stain, by raising the grain before applying the lye.

Sometimes the cherry has so much red in it that you need a bit of raw umber and its greenish undertones to cool it. The sapwood may need some red or orange added to the burnt umber. We offer wood countertop templating and installation services for our products in PA, CT, MA, RI, DC, MD, VA, NJ, NY with our own in-house professionals. Make sure you see samples of his finishes before letting him do it. You can end up with a spray-on color and polyurethane. Build your colors on the light areas in multiple layers, allowing the glow from the light colored wood surface to mimic the depth of the naturally dark areas.

However, the boxes are pretty much hidden whereas the doors will be the main attraction and I worry the finish may not come out as well using the sprayer. It takes more time and changes the color a little bit (most wouldn’t be noticed). Please note that the accuracy of color shown on your computer screen will vary based on your monitor and screen resolution, and will not match actual finished product. The EZ-DO finish is a Varnique semi-gloss, which is an excellent protection option for aesthetics but also allows you to roll dough and have direct food contact.

Because varnish dries relatively slow, it can be hard to get a glassy finish unless you have experience applying varnish. Also, I do use a bail made of t-shirt material for padding and I do get a nicer finish. I know some don’t like to stain cherry, but this stain gives a near instant aged look and is it easy to control the color. You can continue this sanding or wear soft slippers and socks and buff the finish smoother every year. Both maple and cherry exhibit blotching when hit with oil-based stains and finishes. I have been having a great time building my kitchen cabinets and have learned a great deal in the process.

Blotching is uneven coloring caused especially by stain penetrating deeper in some areas and leaving more color when the excess stain is wiped off the surface. Black is useful in small amounts (it knocks the reds back toward the deep burgundy that cherry is famous for). This approach will bring out the natural beauty of the wood and offer the best protection available short of professional finishes. Once you have allowed the washcoat to dry thoroughly (especially critical when using a slow-drying varnish washcoat commonly sold as wood conditioner”), a stain penetrates very little so blotching is reduced.

Minwax® preparation products are the first step to ensure your wood surfaces show their most beautiful colors and smoothest finishes. Generally speaking if the cabinets are from a box store they more than likely used a toner and a stain to even out the color and if you try to just use a stain you will not get the same look no matter how much time you spend. Colors range from silver gray to dark black-brown, depending on the concentration of the tannins. If you are planning to finish this yourself, I would take Jim’s suggestion and make up some sample boards.

Use an oscillating tool with a sanding accessory to remove the old finish from the tabletop. This allows you greater flexibility in color control, in case you need to match an existing color. I would watch out with a wipe on poly over a gel stain unless you do a Sealcoat first. I am building kitchen cabinets and have made the faceless boxes from birch with a clear polyurethane finish. It is a flooring industry standard for evaluating how well various wood species can tolerate denting and normal wear. As far as the finish I would skip the linseed oil and just use the polyurethane. So you have to figure out for yourself how the cherry you are using will finish.

As a side note, if you are matching existing cabinets and you can find the manufacturer, we have ordered the stain and toner directly from them in the past to match our work to the existing pieces and that works very well. You should be able to see darker color on the right, along with the popping of the grain on the right side compared to the unfinished left side.

The easiest way to age” it and get the darker reds and browns is just to leave it out in the good old sunshile until it gets to the color you want. On one end of the sample board I would stain without pre-flooding with thinner or applying a wash coat of 1# cut shellac so that it would look atrocious – then finish coat. Cherry is perfectly good looking au naturale, and will get better looking over time. You have to wait for each layer of stain to completely dry before adding the next.

For end grain, sand through 220 grit to burnish the wood if it’s going to be stained or finish-coated. The sun will, in fact, do the job better than any stain can, because the grain and any flaming looks much deeper. When deciding how to refinish a wood countertop you need to determine if your wood counter is going to be mainly aesthetic or for general food preparation, including cutting. You can spray or wet the surface with the alcohol, which will reveal any flaws in the wood.

Every aspect of producing this unmatched finish is covered; from sanding, surface preparation, application of the finish, and scratching or etching between multiple coats. I’ve had two kitchens now with wood counters, all were oak and for all I’ve used a mix of mineral oil and beeswax. As you can see, this is an easy way to apply a beautiful finish to your project.

So to trap the most brilliant color of the wood I would recommend having all your finishing items ready, do a light sanding with 220 Sandblaster, then 320 clean and vac and then seal that piece off from the atmosphere and you will have the most brilliant wood tone possible. A century or more prior to Shaker craftsmen’s use of cherry for their beautifully simple chairs, chests, cabinets, tables, and accessories, the wood had been substituted for Cuban mahogany by Colonial furniture makers. NOTE: It’s important to note, that while Waterlox Original Finish is tung oil based it is NOT pure tung oil.

I like to apply an oil finish before the topcoats to make the surface shimmer and really show off the magic of the lye. This is because the grain is able to soak up coloring much too fast compared with the rest of the wood surface. After you arrive at the desired degree of sealing and number of stain coats, apply the final clear finish to see how it looks. Once you’ve done this, you can wad up your rag, dip it into the shellac and wipe on the finish. I always sand finish cherry on site with 3-4 coats of oil-modified polyurethane.

Smooth: Smooth finish is available in many gloss levels and has a traditional appearance that is cleaner in look and style. And if you use an orange or garnet shellac, you could add a good bit of color that will have the effect of a very light stain. Test different sheens and types of finish on your test piece to see what your project will actually look like finished. Cherry machines very nicely and has an especially pleasant aroma, but it blotches.