Cherry Danish Oil on Cherry?

Cubist Woodworker

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I just finished a dinning table centerpiece prototype using cheap pine board finished with Watco Natural Danish oil. I'm now about to start another copy using cherry. I really liked the simplicity of the Watco finish so I thought of trying the Cherry version of their Danish oil. Does anyone have experience with Watco Cherry Danish Oil on cherry wood?


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I gets pretty red. Try it on a scrap first. Natural will let the real cherry color come out. Cherry is photo sensitive , it will darken with age . 

Sometimes I will put a sanded cherry piece out in the bright mid-day sun for a few hours to get some color started before oiling or finishing.. Try it with a scrap and cover part with some blue tape. That will show you how much it really darkened. I have heard of people using tanning beds too.

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Wdwerker, I didn't know that about cherry, I'll give it a try, good advice!

Shaneymack, thats a beautiful bench, that much color with natural finish, wow. Makes me want to build a version of my centerpiece using several types of wood to see how it would look.

Estesbubba, I really like natural too but it would be worth getting cans of maple and cherry finish too. As wdwerker suggested, putting it on several scrapes and also finishing some that have been out in the sun. This would be an interesting experiment.

Thanks guys!

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If I want to add a little color to cherry I use some garnet shellac.  It adds just a little red tones so the fresh cherry doesn't look too pale, and then after a bit the cherry's natural darkening overtakes it and you're left with just some natural looking aged cherry.

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Wow, I've got a lot to learn about wood finishes. I appreciate all the good advise guys. I'll let you see how it turns out.

There is no substitute to practicing finish on scraps. If you can't get it right on a small board then it surely isn't going to work on a more complicated project.  Want to have some beers and play in your shop on a Friday then grab some test boards and experiment with finishes. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I did a test with the cherry wood I bought. I took a seven inch piece and using a sheet of paper I covered a 3.5 inch area in the center to block sunlight.


Here what it looked like after five hours of sun exposure.


I cut this piece in half and finished one half with Watco Danish Oil Natural Finish and the other with Watco Danish Oil Cherry Finish.

I sanded with 80, 100, 120, 150, 180, 220, 320. I then applied 3 coats of each finish according to Watco's directions.

Here is what that looked like:


At first they did not look that different other than the sun exposure but then I zoomed in. Here is a closeup of the Watco Danish Oil in Natural finish:


And here is the Cherry finish.


The cherry finish really brought out the finer grain and gave the wood a redder tint. I also really like how the sun exposure gave the wood a brown tone. I think I would be happy with any of these choices but I may try to expose the entire piece to the sun and use the Cherry finish to bring out those fine bits of wood grain. Now I need to build myself a rotisserie to make sure the finished piece is fully exposed to the sun :)

Edited by Cubist Woodworker
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@wtnhighlanderI had not heard of using iron acetate on cherry before. I Googled it and saw this article

Looks interesting but I like the simplicity of a oil finish. I'll file that away to try another time, Thanks!

@C Shaffer I'm not sure where the blotching is, but then I don't notice when my wife gets her hair done either and I get into trouble. I'll have to develop an eye for that.

@treeslayer Good point, I did the same thing (Use natural to help prevent blotching) on the pine prototype versions I built. Seemed to work well but I'm not sure I have an eye for seeing it as well as others.

@Indy Cindy Beautiful table! Very noticeable how it has darkened, well done.

Thank you for all the great feedback, I just finished my second prototype this weekend (upper left in photo) in pine (Watco Natural Danish Oil). This time I cut the pieces so the grain would flow from piece to piece.


I also like the way the end grain ran along the edge (front) compared to the first prototype (back).


I'll post my final result once I'm finished.


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  • 1 month later...

I wanted to follow up with the final results. I ended up using Watco Danish Oil in natural on the final build using Cherry wood. After sanding I put the piece out in the sun for about 15 hours, turning it every few hours to even out the exposure. I really like the final results and more importantly my wife likes it ;)










Edited by Cubist Woodworker
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  • 4 years later...

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