Does cherry wood darken over time? The simple answer is yes.
Natural cherry wood oxidizes when given exposure to UV lights, causing it to gradually darken over time. In most cases, 80% of the oxidization happens in the first year. If the wood is in a particularly sunny spot, most of this oxidation will likely occur in the first three months. Natural cherry wood will appear as a light, pink-toned wood at the beginning of the oxidation process and an aged cherry wood’s color naturally darkens to a medium red tone when exposed to sunlight.
If your cherry wood is stained or has a heavy finish, this may minimize or completely conceal the oxidization process. A stain will blur some of the natural properties of the wood and will provide mild UV light protection, causing the wood to oxidize at a slower rate. Furthermore, the darker the stain, the less you may notice any oxidization to the wood at all.
When purchasing cherry wood, whether natural or stained, you should expect your furniture to appear lighter in color when you first receive it and expect darker cherry wood furniture over time. Although we generally do not see large variances, there is no way to guarantee the exact color your cherry wood will darken to or the time frame it will take for it to completely oxidize. As a result, this adds a special one-of-a-kind character to every cherry wood piece of furniture and is a part of the reason it is so popular among high-end furniture manufacturers.
Tips for Cherry Wood Furniture
- If you want to know exactly the cherry wood furniture color and grain pattern you will be receiving from a cherry wood piece, I recommend trying to pick up a floor model that has already gone through most of the oxidation process.
- Want your cherry wood to oxidize faster? Expose it to as much sunlight and harsh lighting as possible. With a large amount of exposure, your cherry wood can almost fully oxidize within 3 months.
- If you purchase a dining table with extension leaves, keep your table fully extended with all available leaves attached for the first year. This will allow for both the table and the leaves to darken at the same rate. Keeping your leaves stowed away during the first year, will cause the table to darken more quickly than the leaves.
- Didn’t take my advice above and now your dining leaves are lighter than your dining table? Detach your leaves and expose them to as much sunlight as possible. With harsh lighting, you can even out the color between the leaves and your table within 1-3 months.
- Need to add some extra moisture and shine? Use a wood care oil, such as Scand-Oil, to clean, polish, and protect, your cherry wood furniture.
Check out this video by CabinetJoint to learn more about how Cherry wood ages over time.