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Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Toning Down red on new cherry cabinets


Hi Stephen, we're in the process of having some new cabinets built. I love the grain of cherry & the coloring before it starts to become fairly red & dark.  Wondering if there are any stains or finishes you can recommend that will minimize the reddening which occurs over time.

Thank you, De


I admit, the color of new cherry is pretty nice, and it is tough to see it darken.  The only way I am aware of to slow the darkening is to use a wood finish that blocks ultraviolet (UV) light.  A common product is spar varnish or spa urethane, which is made specifically for marine/outdoor use.  This is available in water-based formulation, which will cause less initial darkening than an oil-based finish.  

Also, having low-E glass in your windows will block some UV as well.

But in the long run, the cherry will inevitably darken.

Steve Major  

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Stephen Major (Owner--Major Design Group)


I can answer questions regarding woodworking, cabinetmaking, architectural woodwork (interior and exterior), and the design of same. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


I have 25 years experience as a professional woodworker and cabinetmaker. I have a lot of experience in the design and fabrication of casework (built-ins, bookcases, entertainment centers) as well as free-standing furnishings including beds, tables, etc.

Author: "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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