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ideas for finishing cherry?

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Anonymous

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Anyone recommend a good finish for the top of a cherry bedside table? Something that can stand up to water glasses and drips without preventing the wood darkening over time....I've always been recommended to leave cherry unfinished which is OK for the sides and the rest of the furniture but I really want to do something on the tops that doesn't look too unnatural
 

Chris Knight

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Cherry is particularly noted for its propensity to darken with time (it does not take long either). It will do this whatever finish you use.

For the finish you have a number of choices. A waterborne poly or acrylic will do fine, so too will a good old fashioned varnish. If you want a high gloss, any of these finishes can be rubbed out - the varnish more easliy than the waterborne. Liberon make an "antique" varnish that imparts quite a nice golden colour to new cherry
 
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