Sapwood

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DILUTED, GOLDEN-BROWN. WATER-BASED DYE (see Sources, page 108) makes dark-colored heartwood and light-colored sapwood appear more uniform. It also helps to blend unmatched boards.

STEP I COLOR SAPWOOD WITH OIL PAINT. First, seal the surface of the board with shellac. You may have to mix colors, to get a good match with the heartwood.Thinning isn't necessary. Brush the paint only on the sapwood.

STEP 2 WIPETHE PAINT CAREFULLY, so you tone the sapwood without adding color to the heartwood. If you mess up, remove the paint with mineral spirits and try again.

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STEP I DILUTE THE ACTIVATOR SOLUTION with four parts distilled water, and brush it on the cherry. When the activator is used full strength, the catalyst solution turns cherry a very dark color.

STEP 2 BRUSH ON THE CATALYST SOLUTION, full strength, after the activator solution has dried.The cherry changes color immediately.

AGE CHERRY INSTANTLY by chemical reaction. It takes decades for cherry to reach the deep red-brown color prized by antique lovers. But by treating new cherry with Old Growth's aging solutions today, you could fool most experts tomorrow.The process is simple and the results are eye-popping.

STEP I DILUTE THE ACTIVATOR SOLUTION with four parts distilled water, and brush it on the cherry. When the activator is used full strength, the catalyst solution turns cherry a very dark color.

STEP 2 BRUSH ON THE CATALYST SOLUTION, full strength, after the activator solution has dried.The cherry changes color immediately.

If you're familiar with antique furniture, you know that aged cherry looks completely different from new cherry. It's very dark.

Finishers have been using chemicals to deepen cherry's color for eons, but the chemicals are dangerous to use and the results are unpredictable. Old Growth's aging solutions make the process safe (see Sources, page 108).

Their two-step application process is designed to produce consistent results. The first solution leaves the surface of the wood evenly covered with a special mix of ionized minerals. When the second solution is applied, a chemical reaction occurs that turns the cherry, including its light-colored sapwood, a much darker color.

As with any finishing technique, however, it's best to test this process on scraps before using it on your expensive cherry. The results are permanent!

You can decrease the intensity of the color change by diluting the activator solution with distilled water (Step 1). Don't dilute the catalyst solution—it has to go on full-strength (Step 2).

The surface doesn't need to be rinsed and the process doesn't raise the grain significantly. After die wood is dry, sand it lightly and apply clear topcoats. The color goes pretty deep, so stick with a film-forming finish that doesn't soak in

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