We tried every known approach and emerged with the surefire winners
Synopsis: Everybody loves cherry, and what’s not to love: It’s hard but not heavy, it cuts easily, it has interesting but workable grain, and it ages beautifully. But if cherry seems too good to be true, sometimes it is: Sometimes you apply an oil-based clear finish and the wood breaks out in random, ugly blotches. Sometimes you apply a dye or pigment stain and the results are even worse. There are tricks to finishing cherry, as Mark Schofield has learned. Here, he shares the knowledge you’ll need to spot problems before you begin, and he’ll show you how to pretreat the wood before applying stain or clear coat. Follow his advice, and your love affair with cherry will have a happy ending.
From Fine Woodworking #200
Cherry’s popularity for fine furniture is no surprise: It is hard but not heavy; it cuts easily with power tools or by hand; the grain is restrained but interesting; and over time it takes on a beautiful, deep, red-brown color.
However, like a scorpion, there is a sting in the tail for the unwary. Many woodworkers apply an oil-based clear finish only to see the wood break out in random, dark, ugly blotches. Those who stain the wood, intending to instantly turn pallid, freshly cut cherry into the rich look of a 200-year-old antique, can see even worse results.
Not all cherry behaves like this. I’ll show you how to spot the problem areas in advance. I’ll also give you tips on how to pretreat your project before you apply a stain or a clear coat. When you start with a wood as nice as cherry, it’s worth learning how to finish it.
Everyone agrees blotching is caused by uneven absorption of a liquid, whether it is…