Best Stain for Cherry Wood

Best Stain for Cherry Wood – Grain and Color Enhancing Wood Finishes

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You have certainly gazed at cherry wood at some time in your life, whether it is glancing at your grandmother’s antique cabinet or merely scoping out some vintage furniture. Apart from Redwood, this timber is pretty much as American as it gets, but have you ever wondered exactly what cherry wood is? Let us have a closer inspection of this beautiful wood, what you can do to cure it, where it originates from, and what you must search for when purchasing a treatment for finishing your cherry wood.



What Exactly Is Cherry Wood?

Cherry wood is basically the top of the pack in the American Midwest when it relates to wood. This species thrives almost entirely in this part of the United States and has been used to make everything from furniture to whole homes. But why is it so prevalent? Cherry wood is one of the nicest woods to work with, and it is also quite attractive to look at, making it a highly sought-after product not just in the United States, but also across the globe. If you’re curious as to what makes cherry wood so beautiful, it is the mixture of its vibrant hues and the feature that its grain is exceptionally fine and mostly consistent.

Grain Quality of Cherry Wood

Cherry wood comes in a variety of colors and textures, much like other woods, and may be utilized for a variety of purposes, whether useful or aesthetic. The heartwood of cherry trees has a rich reddish-brown hue that tends to deepen with age or may alter owing to access to sunshine. Although both are naturally pretty lovely and may be utilized to make absolute marvels in the hands of the appropriate artisan, the sapwood of the Cherry tree is substantially lighter in color and is thus employed for purposes favorable to this quality. Okay, we realize this wood is attractive, but appearances can be tweaked and enhanced relatively simply these days; the real question is how easy it is to work with cherry wood.

Cherry Sap Wood Color

Cherry wood is easy to use and work with. It can be fastened or glued with little warpage or manual energy, and can be polished and colored to produce attractive pieces in a fraction of the time and exertion required for other woods in its category. When dried or pressure-treated, cherry wood is one of the more stable hardwoods available, preserving its form and placement. It should come as no shock, therefore, that this particular wood is one of the most preferred choices for creating complex furniture for houses or high-end establishments due to its accessibility and ability to blend in with practically any surroundings without the need for special treatment.

Working with Cherry Wood

If all of that was too much for you, here are some of the main qualities of cherry wood:

  • Simple to cut and machine
  • It holds its form effectively
  • When kiln-dried, there is very little shrinkage
  • Glues react favorably with it
  • Genuine aesthetic appeal
  • Simple to sand
  • It is simple to stain
  • A favorable rigidity-to-flexibility ratio



Which Stains Are Suitable for Finishing Cherry Wood?

We previously noted that cherry wood is one of the simplest hardwoods to stain. However, just because it is simpler to stain than some other woods in its category doesn’t imply that any stain you purchase at your neighborhood hardware store will give you the same (or even a reasonably nice) finish. We’ve whittled down a few kinds of stains that have been proved to work incredibly well on natural cherry wood in order to save you some time and possibly some money. Note that these are the wood solutions that have the best cherry wood stain; this isn’t to say that the other stain kinds don’t function; they just aren’t as powerful as the ones listed below.

Equipment for Staining Cherry Wood


Tung Oil

Tung oil is a favorite feature of many artisans all over the planet. Why? It gives a long-lasting polish that pulls out the original color of the wood while accentuating the grain in ways that other wood processes just do not. The difficulty with tung oil is to locate one that does not include any additives, since these might have undesirable effects on the timber or cause the product’s impact to be brief. This oil is generated from the seed of the Tung tree, which is indigenous to China, and it may be used to form a protective covering on furniture while emphasizing their inherent beauty. This oil is popular because of its flexibility, affordability, and lack of environmental impact.

Tung Oil for Cherry Wood



Experienced craftsmen and DIY hobbyists have moved away from using varnish in current history, not only for its environmental impact but also because more affordable and more efficient substitutes have been identified. Is this to say that varnish is the source of all evil?

Definitely not, and in certain circumstances, varnish creates a unique finish that cannot be duplicated. Although it can be difficult to deal with, most specialists advocate using a satin toned varnish when dealing with cherry wood, and they almost always advise putting varnish to cherry wood using a towel to prevent botches or brush marks.

Varnishing Cherry Wood



If you’ve ever handled a piece of wood and your hand effortlessly slid over the top, lacquer may be the cause. This is one of the best finishes on the marketplace for the cherry wood desk, particularly. The main advantage of using lacquer for staining cherry wood is that, unlike varnish, it can be spread with brushes, a paint gun, or a cloth, independent of your level of ability. This element, along with the pure beauty of the visual impression that this procedure has on cherry wood, makes it one of the greatest options for staining cherry wood.

Staining Cherry Wood with Lacquer


Linseed Oil Stain

This oil treatment has grown in favor in recent years because of its ease of availability, food safety, and low environmental impact. Linseed oil is extracted from the flax plant and is a perfect substitute to artificial wood solutions, enabling you to lighten up the tone of your workmanship with next to no exertion; merely add it to your cherry wood furniture using a rag or brushes. Leave the oil to soak in for the period advised by the maker, and you’re done! However, feel free to reapply as many layers as you need until you’re happy with the hue you’ve chosen. Most hardwoods will benefit from a shine and vivid finish with this oil.

Linseed Oil for Finishing Cherry Wood

Stain TypeHow Effective is it on Cherry Wood?
Linseed Oil
Tung Oil



Types of Natural Cherry Wood

There are many different varieties of cherry wood that are produced and treated for diverse uses, but just a handful of them are commonly utilized for furniture. Let us have a look at some of the various forms of furniture manufactured from the most prevalent natural cherry wood species.

Cherry Tree Lumber


Black Cherry Wood

  • Moderately tough
  • Straight grain
  • Narrow sapwood
  • Dark red appearance
  • Dark wood in various colors

Dark Cherry Kitchen Cabinetry


Sweet Cherry Wood

  • Heartwood is light pink
  • Exposure to sunshine intensifies color
  • Grain is medium close
  • Growth rings are pronounced
  • Furnishings may command a high price

Medium and Dark Cherry Woodwork


Brazilian Cherry Wood

  • Referred to as Jatoba
  • No resemblance to American hardwoods
  • Looks like black cherry wood
  • High tensile strength
  • Not especially aesthetic
  • Darkens with Sunlight exposure
  • Dark gray and brown streaks are possible

Stain Colors for Cherry Wood


Patagonian Cherry Wood

  • Similar to cherry wood
  • Only found in South America
  • Extreme tensile strength
  • Pale orange hue
  • Used for floors or railings

Cherry Wood for Table Top


Caribbean Cherry Wood

  • Exported from Mexico
  • Thick Cherry wood
  • Hard to work with
  • Similar to Patagonia cherry wood
  • Used for flooring
  • Color varies, red, yellow or tan
  • Not common

Cherry Wood for Flooring



Which Is the Best Finishing Stain for Cherry Wood?

Selecting the best cherry wood stain might be difficult. There are several items on the markets that sound fantastic but may not be what they promise to be. To make things a little simpler for everyone, we’ve picked three of the top cherry wood stain solutions on the marketplace right now.

Stain for Exterior Cherry Wood


Favorite All-Round: HOWARD PRODUCTS Restor-A-Finish

Timber isn’t really a new substance; it was utilized to construct some of the 20th century’s greatest wonders before humans found how to produce metal in big numbers. It should unsurprising, therefore, that since its founding in 1969, firms like Howard Products have made great strides in terms of the excellence and variety of their wood treatments.

Their cherry wood stain, in specific, is one of the best in the industry, providing a top-quality surface for any timber you may require, but this one is made specifically to maximize and improve the beauty of your cherry wood specimen while safeguarding it from external forces such as UV exposure, dividing, high humidity, and even scuffs and scratches.

However, the Howard Products wood treatments line is not restricted to cherry finishing; they also provide wood treatment for boards such as maple, walnut, oak, mahogany, and many more wood kinds. These treatments may also be applied to other types of wood to offer the finish and grain of your preferred wood to a board you already have. This product may be used to either repair an established finish or to apply to bare wood and is our choice for the best stain for Cherry wood.

  • Preserves original wood finish, retaining look and value of antiques
  • Range of 9 finish colors can match nearly all existing wood tones
  • For scratches, oxidation, heat rings, watermarks, smoke, and sun fade
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  • Simple to use
  • Apply with a damp cloth (no brush needed)
  • It can be used to repair
  • It has the ability to stain
  • It is very Versatile
  • reputable manufacturer
  • Very potent formula

  • Pricey
  • Additives are present (not all natural)
  • Only available in 8oz increments
  • Color selection is limited
  • It is not food-safe


Greatest Finish: HOPE’S 100% Pure Tung Oil Wood Finish

As previously stated, certain cherry finishes are organic and do not require any additions. Tung oil is one of these wood solutions, although it may be difficult to get in its most natural form, which is what provides cherry wood its greatest finish. Fortunately, the group at Hopes Wood Treatments has arisen to our unified aid by supplying widely accessible 100 percent natural tung oil that can be supplied to your porch, eliminating the need for you to venture out and peruse your neighborhood hardware shop in pursuit of it. Tung oil requires no preface in the woodwork business; even the most inexperienced DIY hobbyist understands how powerful and simple this material is to use, irrespective of the nature of wood being treated.

What are your plans for it? So, you put some on your wood surface or a soft cloth and press or rub it into the wood’s face. Tung oil is excellent because it is a genuine wood solution, permeating deeply into the fibers and becoming a component of the timber, preserving it against bugs, moisture, and cracking caused by extreme heat stress. What’s the greatest feature? Tung oil is not toxic, does not produce any permanent residue on the surface of the wood, and is almost odorless when relative to other wood processes, so you won’t have to shun particular areas of your house while it settles and dries. Tung oil is completely safe for food and incredibly versatile, having been used for centuries on masonry, metals, timber, and other surfaces.

HOPE'S 100% Pure Tung Oil Wood Finish
  • Penetrates deep into wood fibers, becomes part of wood on curing
  • Low gloss, hand rubbed, moisture and alcohol resistant finish
  • Suitable for new and worn wood, concrete, brick, stone, and cast iron
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  • Simple to use
  • Intensive treatment
  • Food safe
  • Easily accessible
  • 100% pure and natural
  • Extremely adaptable
  • Craftsmanship with a proven track record

  • Pricey
  • It must be reapplied once a year
  • Not easily found in local hardware stores
  • Limited quantity available


Best Value For Money: LINSHEEN Boiled Linseed Oil

In line with our all-natural approach, the Linsheen team has provided us with boiling linseed oil. We previously said that some of the finest treatments for cherry wood are those that do not include any harmful compounds, since the wood is fairly delicate and prone to blotch up when solutions with too many chemicals are applied to it. Not only is it fantastic if you don’t want to entirely change the appearance of the wood, but linseed oil is also great since it dries quickly, which is ideal if your work is time-sensitive, but you still want a distinctive finish.

What is rarely stated when addressing the impacts of linseed oil is that linseed will have various effects on the visual impact of the wood based on where the wood was cultivated, how old it is, and the intensity of sunlight it has been subjected to while still established.

This is part of the attraction because having a product that is totally unique in look is not only fulfilling in and of itself, but it can also sell for a fair buck in the woodwork marketplace. Linseed oil also covers the wood from within, protecting it from humidity, bugs, cracking, and scratches, so your work is safe whether it is indoors or outside.

LINSHEEN Boiled Linseed Oil
  • Fast-drying oil to condition, restore, and increase durability of wood
  • For interior and exterior wood, furniture, and sporting equipment
  • Easily absorbed to enhance the natural color and texture of wood
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  • Simple to use
  • Simple to locate
  • Quick-drying
  • Protects wood from moisture, bugs, and heat
  • Priced reasonably

  • It contains a drying agent
  • Toxic until fully cured
  • Annual reapplication is required



Guide to Staining Cherry Wood

While most woods can absorb a wide range of dyes, this is not the case with most varieties of cherry wood. Cherry wood is very susceptible to sunlight as well as the impacts of wood treatment treatments such as stain or gloss. Let’s take a look at the finest technique for stained cherry wood, so you can have the perfect finish for your next project. Linseed oil, contrary to popular belief, does not really stain the wood; instead, it conducts a distinct chemical interaction with the wood fibers that simply accentuates the wood’s inherent color and accentuates the complexities of its grain.

Stain Enhances cherry Wood Color


Preparing Your Work Area

It is usually a good idea to double-check that your workstation has been sufficiently prepared before getting your hands dirty. Note that wood stain may be difficult to erase from any surface, so if you get it on your clothing, floors, or other valuables in the regions, buy a tarp and some painter’s adhesive to patch things up. Given that it would be difficult to work while wearing a tarp, consider investing in a pair of dungarees or just some clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Finally, when dealing with cherry wood stains, use a decent pair of carpentry gloves and a face shield.

Use Tarp for Staining Cherry Wood


Sanding Your Piece

The most critical step in processing or finishing any wooden object is to appropriately sand the workpiece.  Sanding the product exposes the raw wood grain, allowing the wood treatments to penetrate. This is especially critical if the wood is being treated for the first time, as any existing surface material that has been prepared to endure the board’s surrounding environment must be removed. Based on the scale of the board, you might either sand it by hand using sandpaper or with a powered sander. Check that the board has been sanded appropriately and uniformly, and once happy, give it a once-through with a towel to remove any pieces of wood leftover from the sanding step.

Sanding Cherry Wood for Staining


Staining Your Wood

Now comes the moment you’ve been anticipating. The staining method differs from one wood to wood; dark cherry wood, for example, necessitates a different sort of stain and additional preparation due to its density and extremely dark heartwood. Sweet cherry wood, unlike dark cherry wood, requires little pretreatment and may be dyed well by simply adding linseed oil stain to the panel’s surfaces. When staining cherry wood using wood treatments such as linseed oil stain, it is preferable to transfer the splatter to a towel first, then use the towel to transfer it to the wood’s surface.

Wipe Down Cherry Wood

When too much of the stain is put to cherry wood, it tends to splotch; this way, you can control not only how the amount of stain is added to the wood, but also how much stain the wood absorbs in any particular moment. Once the stain has been spread to the cherry wood, press it in softly but completely with the cloth, providing that you cover the full board and that the stain is distributed uniformly over the entire area. Working from one end of the panel to the other is an option, as is just working from the middle of the line outward toward the borders.

Applying Stain to Cherry Wood

Once you are pleased with the stain treatment, wait a little while before wiping off any dark areas with a cloth and then let the stain set and dry for the product’s stated time frame.



Now that you understand what cherry wood is, what varieties of cherry wood are available, the best stain for cherry wood, what impact wood stain has on cherry wood, the numerous varieties of cherry wood stain on the marketplace, and the best approach to go about staining natural cherry wood, it is time to start putting your acquired wisdom to the tests. Always examine the sort of stain you’re putting on your wood before administering it, and always operate in a well-ventilated environment, whether or not the stain includes harmful ingredients.


View our Cherry Wood Stain web story here.



Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Natural Cherry Wood?

Natural cherry wood is one of North America’s most sought-after hardwoods for furniture. This wood has excellent aesthetics and is simple to work with. With proper care, it will create furniture that will last a generation.


What Does Stained Cherry Wood Look Like?

Sapwood is the most frequent kind of cherry used in furniture. This softer exterior wood of the tree is most often utilized in furniture manufacturing. While sapwoods tend to be lighter in tone, stained cherry has a darker look that will intensify over time, depending on how much sunshine it receives.


Is Cherry Wood a Good Wood to Stain?

Although staining wood can be difficult for those who are new to the art, cherry wood stains really easily, and compared to other hardwoods, retains its color rather well during its lifetime. Organic treatments such as linseed oil or tung oil are among the best wood solutions for staining cherry. Staining tends to enhance the color of cherry, instead of changing it completely.


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