How to Finish Cherry Wood

We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

There are several ways to finish cherry wood, and this article will cover three common techniques. Tung oil, boiled linseed oil, and oil-based polyurethane can be used as finishing products. Garnet shellac is also an option. The first two treatments slow down the drying process of the wood, while tung oil also serves as a waterproof finish. This method is the most popular and is also known for its durability and water resistance.

Applying tung oil

You can apply tung oil to cherry wood by rubbing it onto the surface with a cloth or paintbrush. Make sure to work the oil in the grain of the wood, as this helps it absorb the oil. The wood should be allowed to dry for three to seven days before applying a second coat of the finish. Before you start applying the finish, make sure that the wood is clean and dry, and that there are no cuts, slivers, or hanging threads.

After applying tung oil to the wood, you need to wait 24 hours for the finish to cure. To speed up the drying process, you can use a thinner such as turpentine or naptha. This will ensure that the finish will penetrate the wood surface more easily. It’s important to apply three coats of tung oil, as otherwise it may not cure properly, and it might even end up making the wood less food safe.

When applying tung oil to the wood, it’s important to remember that cherry sapwood is different from the heartwood. While the latter darkens with age, cherry sapwood does not. Hence, the finish you apply must account for this difference. Cherry sapwood may contain pockets of curly figure, making it thirsty. You should also use mineral spirits, if you plan to apply tung oil to the cherry wood.

Before applying the tung oil to the wood, you need to sand it lightly. You can use 320-600 grit sandpaper or even 0000 grade steel wool for scuffing. The scuffing will prepare the surface for the subsequent coats of oil. The resulting surface will be coated with a glossy finish. You should also avoid the application of tung oil to wood that has been adorned with hardware or accessories.

Applying boiled linseed oil

When it comes to finishing the wood, boiled linseed oil is a fantastic option. Applying this oil to your wood furniture will create a glossy finish and protect it from fading and scratching. It is important to apply the oil in two to three coats, each one drying between them. During the first coat, the oil should be applied as deeply as possible. Be sure to apply a generous amount of the oil to the wood, and work in circular motions across the grain. To avoid puddles, use a rag to wipe it off and then apply another.

Once the boiled linseed oil is applied to the wood, it will soak into the fibers and strengthen the wood throughout. This method is the fastest and easiest way to apply the oil, but it is important to note that it won’t be effective for outdoor wood projects. Moreover, boiled linseed oil is not a substitute for wood preservatives. To ensure the wood piece is insect-proof, you should apply wood preservatives.

Read More:   The Milwaukee 3/8 Cordless Ratchet

The golden brown color of boiled linseed oil makes it an ideal choice for the outdoor and interior use of your furniture. It has a natural shine, which attracts consumers and adds to its appeal. In addition to its durability, linseed oil is also a good binding agent for oil paintings. This oil is cheap and environmental-friendly, and it can last for decades.

As boiled linseed oil penetrates the wood deeply, it enhances the natural patina. It also imparts a satin-like finish that replicates the look of “natural” wood. While linseed oil is not the best protection and moisture-resistance solution for your furniture, it can be reapplied to keep it looking great for years.

Applying oil-based polyurethane

If you are planning on using cherry wood in your project, then the best way to protect it is to apply a coat of lacquer or shellac. However, if you want to protect the wood from scratches and other damage, then you should opt for oil-based polyurethane. It dries slowly and has the best protective properties. You can apply this finish after you have already applied a sealcoat of shellac. Waterborne polyurethane will make the cherry look parched and pale after a while, but the best way to preserve it is to apply it in two stages. In this way, you can temper the color differences by applying a golden-brown dye or oil.

Once you have finished applying the finish, you can decide whether to apply a new stain or a second coat. Cherry wood responds well to oils at the beginning, but this won’t affect the darkening process. Cherry will darken under any finish, but it does so a little slower than other woods. Once the finish has aged a year, you will notice that the stain has turned a more uniform shade of red.

The oil-based finish is the most popular choice among woodworkers, as it requires a minimum of two coats and a shorter drying time. Unlike water-based polyurethane, oil-based finish requires two or three coats. It will take at least a full day to dry. For the best results, you should allow the wood to air dry for a day before placing furniture on it.

Using garnet shellac

Applying garnet shellac is a fast way to add a high-gloss finish to cherry wood. It also dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long for it to dry. If you’re impatient, you can always dilute the shellac with a little alcohol to apply it on the spot where it’s missed. Once the first coat is dry, apply another layer of shellac.

The color of shellac varies from one tree to another, but natural varieties are dark garnet, red, yellow, and orange. These hues give dark cherry a rich, warm appearance, and can also blend well with plywood and other materials. When used on cherry wood, this finish can also make new or imperfect wood look older by camouflaging its sapwood or curly figure. It also makes new cherry look older as each layer of glaze deepens the color.

Using garnet shellac to finish a cherry tabletop is an effective way to add a beautiful, rich tone to the wood. While oil-based finishes are the most durable, they can also look dull and lifeless. For those who prefer a smooth finish, you can apply oil-based polyurethane after applying the sealcoat of garnet shellac. However, you should be careful when applying this finish as the oil-based product may leave the wood looking dull and patchy.

Read More:   Buying a Miter Table Saw Combo

While it might seem like a lot of work, garnet shellac is a fantastic choice for finishing wood. This type of varnish is suitable for most interior surfaces and is preferred by restoration specialists and high-end custom furniture makers. It’s even compatible with other types of finishes. Just remember to mix the two different types of shellac before applying it to the wood. It’s important to weigh the dry flakes before applying shellac to prevent the finish from becoming too dark.

Using oil-based varnish

If you want to make the cherry wood look rich and natural, you can choose to use an oil-based varnish. The only problem with this method is that it can produce unpredictable results, because cherry absorbs the oil unevenly, resulting in blotches and uneven color. While many people may find this appealing, others may see it as an unattractive flaw. Oil-based varnish is best applied after carefully warm water has been poured over it. Never heat it on a stove!

The first consideration is the type of cherry wood you are using. Cherry heartwood is more durable than the sapwood, which will darken and become less beautiful over time. As a result, the finishing process for cherry wood must take into account the sapwood, which may contain pockets of curly figure and thirsty spots. To prevent this, you can use mineral spirits. While these methods are not recommended for cherry wood, they can produce a beautiful finish and are much cheaper than traditional varnishes.

The second consideration is the type of finish. Oil-based varnishes can dry into a hard film. These are applied with a brush, wiping, or spray, and soak into the wood pores, highlighting its absorbing spots and curly figure. These types of finishes can make the wood look more uniform, but they can be messy. If you choose to apply a film-forming finish, you’ll have to dispose of the oil-soaked rags carefully.

Another important consideration is the type of oil-based varnish. Oil-based varnishes are thick and can be difficult to apply. For this, you should heat the finish a bit before applying it. After applying the first coat, you can use steel wool or fine sandpaper to smooth it out. The final coat is not required, but should be applied after the first coat for evenness. Most wipe-on finishes are mixtures of oil and varnish and contain solvents and driers that make them easy to apply and dry quickly.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.