5 Best Finish for Cherry Wood [Reddit Choices]

Everyone wants picture perfect furniture, one without blemishes of any kind or even scratches. Using this finish polishes various types of wood, giving you a flawless final look. This also helps protect your wood and preserve it for years to come. In addition, it makes your furniture durable and improves its appearance. 

In addition to that, it gives it a glossy and attractive look. Finishing your woodwork also makes it easy to clean. Furthermore, if you do not finish wood, chances of the wood swelling hence cracking, are high. Thus, finishing wood is just one of the many ways you can preserve the quality of your wood for long. 

Apart from all the mentioned reasons why finishing wood is important, it protects it against stains. It also reduces rotting in the wood and for decorative purposes. A bonus of wood finishing is that, at times, it might change the initial color of the wood. 

Top 5 Best Finish for Cherry Wood


Howard Products RF9008 Restor-A-Finish for Cherry

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The biggest advantage of having this finish as your to-go finish is that it is available in about nine colors to match the various types of wood tones you plan on working with. This is one of its many unique features. From its name, the purpose of this finish is to restore the look of the wood. 

It also merges the abrasions, small scratches, and rids any blemishes from the surface of your wood. It is easy to use, and you will only need a microfibre cloth to wipe it clean after you are done. It does not remove any of the existing finish from the wood while trying to restore it. This finish will be the best investment you will make this year. 


  • Has different colors to suit the wood you have chosen. 
  • Makes surfaces easy to wipe. 
  • It makes it easy to restore your wood and salvage it instead of stripping the whole thing. 
  • It brings back the original color and glossiness of the wood. 
  • It gets rid of white heat rings and smoke damage. 


  • It might make some surfaces oily. 
  • It might not be idle and work for very old woodworks. 
  • The scent might not be appealing to everyone. 


General Finishes Oil Base Gel Stain for Georgian Cherry

According to most people, this stain has the best feel compared to other finishing products. It gives your furniture that appealing shiny look. This makes it ideal for a woodworker or customer who loves that glossy look and smooth finish. It works wonders on almost all types of woods. Even the ones that seem coarse and difficult to work on. 

Another added advantage is applying is made easy as it only requires a foam brush. The good thing about this is that you can either use a cloth or a foam brush. Work comfortably with whatever suits you best. The stain allows you to do as many coats as you want. If you want a darker surface, you will apply several coats until you achieve your desired look. 


  • Less effort is needed.
  • It is oil based hence, allowing the product to flow out evenly without drips.
  • Application is made easy with the brush or a lint free cloth. 
  • It saves you a lot of time and money. 
  • It does not scratch off the paint and works well enough with just one coat. 


  • It takes longer to dry. 
  • The color might not be appealing to some users. 
  • It does not penetrate deeply into the wood like other oil-base stains. 
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Minwax 61490444 polyurethane for Natural Cherry

We tend to mess up once in a while is completely normal as we are humans, and mistakes are common. Unfortunately, there are also mistakes in woodworking. For example, you might have used the paint, or a client might change their order, and you would need to switch things up. This finish allows you to change the color of your finished wood without interfering with the existing finish. 

It comes with a guide making it easy to use as it shows you how to use PolyShades while changing the color of your finished wood. Cleaning is also easy since you will only need mineral spirits. It can be used to work on your interior woodworks and has a wide variety to choose from. 

In addition to that, according to statistics, Minwax is among one of the leading selling brands in its industry in the United States of America.


  • It is available in both satin and gloss finish. 
  • It can be used on overly stained wood. 
  • It is advisable to use the stain for interior purposes. 
  • It does not require several coats to get the job done. 
  • It is oil based. 


  • It is not recommended for use on floors. 
  • It barely comes in pint sizes.
  • It does not come in a water base. 


Water-Based Wood & Grain Filler for Cherry

If you are a woodworker who loves playing with colors, this might just be the perfect item for you. It comes in various colors that will not only make your final attractive but vibrant too. The good thing about this is you only need one coat application to get your desired look. 

It can work on any stain or surface and fulfill its purpose effortlessly. You can use paints or dyes to change the filler to the color of your choice. Apart from that, it also adapts well with oil-based products. It is all-purpose, providing you with a grain filler and primer all in one. 

It not only dries had but is sandable too. So say goodbye to those rough surfaces and scratched furniture. Instead, get this wood & grain filler and be assured of good quality results. 


  • It is perfect for DIY activities. 
  • It has an unlimited shelf-life and will serve you for a long period. 
  • It dries quickly hence saving you a lot of time.
  • It is easy to clean after using it. 
  • It is water-based, enabling it to be also used as a primer. 


  • Some people find its smell peculiar. 
  • It might crack some woods. 
  • It is relatively expensive. 


General Finishes Water Based Dye for Vintage Cherry

The dye is water based on giving you a good finish in all your woodworks. In most cases, they are always ready to use. You can always use them straight from the can and mix them with water or other water-based stains to achieve your desired look. It dries quickly in about 5 to 10 minutes, making your work fun and enjoyable. 

It is a good quality wood staining product definitely worth investing in. The product is highly recommendable for upcoming artists as it will motivate them and nurture their young talents. This is because it is stress free and completely easy to use. So do yourself a favor and get this dye; you will not regret it. 


  • The stains are transparent, enabling you to add coats up to the shade of your liking. 
  • It does not raise the wood grain. 
  • When mixed with water or a neutral base can create different colors and tones.
  • Thinning the color is easy as you can just experiment beforehand. 
  • It gets rid of all your dark edges giving you a polished look. 


  • It is not advisable to mix with epoxy. 
  • It is relatively time consuming. 
  • The scent of the dye lasts for a while. 

How To Finish Cherry Wood 

Cherry wood is one of the best hardwoods with a fine, straight grain, making the cherry wood look attractive once it is finished. To finish cherry wood, you can either glaze, oil, or shellac the wood before applying the finished sand to the cherry wood first. Then, apply your finish of choice and give it time to soak in or form a film. 

Allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then wipe off the excess finish with a clean towel or sand the surface. Give each coat approximately 24 hours to dry out, then recoat. Recoat your wood to the thickness you desire, which I would advise you to use five coats at a maximum for best results. You can spray it or brush it lightly for the final coat, then leave it to dry.

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Color Variation

Cherry wood is commonly known to have a reddish or light pink tone. However, the grains found on the cherry tree have a reddish-brown style or a blonde tone that contributes to giving your furniture or woodwork a golden or red-brown aesthetic. 

Most people do not know that cherry wood has quite a vast color variance, with the two main varieties being sweet cherry and black cherry. For each variance, the cherry wood comes in different beautiful colors that range from lighter shades to darker shades depending on its tree of origin. As a result, the color can sometimes be significantly different, even for cherry wood furniture made from the same tree. 

The Darkening Factor

This wood has an impressive ability to change its original color and grow darker and richer over time, making it one of the most in-demand hardwoods. This color change is caused by exposure to UV light and an oxidation effect where your wood changes color depending on the amount of light it is exposed to. 

Cherry wood initially has a light color shade and often darkens to give a rich red-brown tone. If you want your wood to darken a lot faster, expose it to a lot of natural light, which will fasten the darkening process. The wood’s darkening degree depends on the type of tree used to make the wood. It is always different for different kinds of trees. 

Blotches And Mottling

 Blotching and mottling often occur on the cherry wood because of the wood’s fine texture and closed grain. Both are considered one of the few minor risks that come with deciding to stain or finish your cherry wood. The known solution to blotches and mottles is the use of a washcoat, but in the case of cherry wood, not even a washcoat will stop blotching. 

If you want to avoid blotching and mottling, I would recommend the use of non-blotchy wood. You can also use glazes or toners in stains as a disguise by sealing the wood and applying the colored glaze. With time as your wood darkens, most of the blotches and mottles will gradually be hidden.

Choose Your Finish Wisely.

Finishes with UV blockers go a long way in slowing down the wood’s rate to change color. However, before choosing a finish, you should know there are two finish types; the ones that dry to give a hard coat and the ones that get soaked into the wood, therefore not forming a film. 

If you want to avoid the possibility of mottling, you should consider using finishes that create a film on the wood. Oils that penetrate the wood tend to give a mottled look. This is because drying oils contain no added solvents, unlike the film-forming finishes combined with varnish and oil.

Tung Oil for Finishing Cherry Wood

Tung oil is one of the finishes that do not dry to form a hard film. But instead, the oil penetrates the wood giving it a protective film. That is why it gives your cherry a rich deep look faster compared to other finishes. Over roughly one year, it will look almost the same as the wood finished with film-forming finishes. 

If some wood areas absorb more oil than others, they will have a darker look than others, giving them a mottled look. This outlook might be great for someone going for that rich dark mottled, or blotchy appearance. The use of Tung oil relieves you from the irritating oil sags, brush marks, and dripping. Before using, heat the oil by placing it in a bowl of hot water to melt it, making it easy to apply. 

Pour the oil onto the wood and let it soak, then wipe off the excess. After it dries, you sand the surface to smoothen it then recoat. Ensure you dispose of the rags used to wipe off the excess oil. Tung oil finish can slow drying, but it is a great and safe choice since it contains no solvents and is waterproof.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you finish cherry wood?
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Finishing cherry wood depends on the method you decide to settle with or the finish used. For example, you can use the wipe-on soaking oil finish, the spray-on film-forming finish, or the shellac and glaze process. The wipe-on soaking oil allows the oil to be absorbed by the wood without forming a hard coat and then wiping off the excess oil finish. 
The spray-on film foaming finish is sprayed onto the surface of the wood to form a protective layer, and it leaves no brush stroke marks. You can use aerosol cans as spray cans to reach all corners of the wood. The shellac and glaze processes are unique, diverse way to finish cherry wood. 
You get to add color to the entire piece or a specific area on your piece of wood if you would like to blend the colors or hide spots you dislike. First, coat the wood surface using shellac, then cover the coated surface with your own made glaze. Next, wipe the surface with a rag covered in a glaze to even out the spots you missed, and then lastly, wipe off with a clean rag.

How do you make cherry wood shine?

A shiny surface brings out the beauty of the wood a lot better and brings attention to the particular piece of furniture. Regular cleaning and maintenance by polishing the wood will give it a shiny look. First, clean the wood by wiping off the dust with a clean cloth, then wipe over it once again with a moist cloth to clear any grime. 
Clean it for the last time with a dry cloth to avoid leaving the wood moisturized, as this will cause damage. To attain that shiny surface look, you use aerosol polish for the furniture, spray it onto the wood, and then wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth.

How do you finish a cherry tabletop?

Before choosing how to apply finish to the cherry tables, top consider the table’s environment, whether outdoors or indoors. For outdoor tables, use the film-forming oils by applying approximately 4 to 5 coats. 
For tables that are found indoors, the best choice of finish is the use of oils that soak into the tabletop by applying the layers from the grainiest to the smoother layers. In addition, the use of rottenstone on the tabletop smoothens the finish to a silky feel.

What does cherry wood look like?

Cherry wood colors exist in a state of fluidity depending on how fresh or how aged it is. Newly cut cherry wood has a pale new planed tone that ages over time naturally and gives a dark red-brown color tone. The colors range from pale fresh pink-toned wood, light golden tones, and red-brown tone for the nicely aged wood, which gives a golden hue aesthetic. 
Cherry wood grain has a smooth closed grain that is used to identify the genuine cherry wood. With the application of various types of finish, the wood acquires a different color. 

What colors go with cherry wood?

The color you get to choose to match your cherry wood furniture depends on whether you want colors that vastly contrast the cherry wood or colors that match. To give your cherry wood furniture that unique pop out, I would prefer cool contrasting colors, for example, shades of blue or purple. On the other hand, to give the surrounding a warm, inviting outlook, you should go with warm colors, for example, red or orange.


Not only do carpenters need these items at their workplaces, but you can also purchase them and fulfill and of your dreams, passion, or talent. A huge advantage about them is that they are very easy to use. Fix your own home to your desired preference. This will save you a lot of money and disappointment due to unsatisfactory work. 

Do yourself a favor today and get any of these items, if possible, all for a legit lifetime experience. There is nothing more satisfying than admiring the work of your own hands. Be it staining or finishing, these products guarantee healthy looking woodwork and preserves them for years. So be among the many people who are satisfied with their work. 

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