Posts: 21
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Cherry Sap Wood

What is a good method to blend-in a few sap wood streaks in cherry that will be finished with just varnish after being aged a bit in the sun?

Honored Advisor
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009

You can “tone” or “glaze” the sapwood…



…using water-soluble dye or even stain.  Buy, the problem remains the different oxidation of the heartwood and the sapwood.  Even if you sun-shade the cherry before finishing the heartwood will continue to darken over time while the sapwood will not.  Therefore, even if you get a perfect match today, in a few months (and certainly in a few years) the color difference will return.  In my view you will be better served by simply ignoring the color difference.  The only truly effective way to eliminate the difference would have been with your table saw.


Permit one other observation, if I may.  I realize that the idea of “sun aging” cherry has become very popular.  However, the color change achieved, when compared to the amount of oxidation that will occur over time, is fairly insignificant.  But more to the point, it is not without potential problems, especially if the cherry is exposed to the direct (warm) rays of the sun.  Heating one face only reduces the moisture content on the sun-tanned side.  This, in turn, can lead to wood movement that will cause the cherry to cup.  Cupping can be more of a problem if the cherry is plain sawn and the side of the board exposed to the heat of the sun is the side that faced the center of the tree.  The wider the boards (or glued up panels), the longer the exposure and the greater the temperature difference between sides the more potential for problems.  Given that the color change will take place even without the sun tan this seem to me to be a somewhat pointless step…



Finishing & Refinishing Forum Host