Walnut Veneer? Plain or quarter sawn? Need serious help please

thedorkJune 19, 2013

I am going to die... I need to make a decision soon and I can't.

I have a sample cabinet door and one side is quarter-sawn walnut but looks very light, the other side is plain-sawn walnut looking darker. I like the darker better but I worry how busy the grain will be. I am going to pick my veneers from the lumberyard with the cabinet maker.

The quarter-sawn walnut grain is more subtle but very light compare to the plain sawn one. The color on the plain sawn one is richer and has a lot of depth.

Please share your thoughts - how did you make a decision when you picked your veneer?

The grain will go vertically on my cabinets. Would it be easier to match the grain with the quarter-sawn one? I guess yes.

Or should I try some custom stain ( very light ) that will keep the natural color of the quarter-sawn walnut to make it a little bit darker.

I guess my only concern is how wild dramatic the grain on the plain-sawn one can be. I don't need something super big and crazy as a grain but would love the darkness of the plain one.

My space is small 10x13 which I need to consider when I'll make my final decision.

Thank you!

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My walnut chairs were pretty light in color (and had a pinkish green cast)--but they darken rather quickly.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Hmmm, I think the walnut goes lighter with time not darker - thanks Palimpsest!

This is my dilemma - if I go with the lighter quarter sawn - am I risking more fading than the darker plain sawn?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Most wood mellows or darkens over time. I can't think of a time I have seen walnut get lighter.

I enjoy your questions. I'm considering walnut cabinets, and think about the look of the grain quite a bit too.

Isn't quarter sawn by default a tighter grain? So I would think it would have less of that wild look.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:45PM
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We had a built in china cabinet in our dining room, which we removed when we remodeled (the wall housing it was removed). It had lightened a fair amount in the 30 years it was there, something I never noticed until we took it apart when we moved it. In addition, we have a walnut wall, mantle and hearth in the living room and that has also lightened.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 11:24PM
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Thank you all for taking the time to share your experience!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Holly- Kay

I love walnut. If I live long enough to do another kitchen (not likely I will be 60 in Sept), it will be walnut. I just love the richness of it. My staircase is done in oak and walnut and I haven't noticed any lightening of the wood. It may be the sealant that is on it.

I really think that your heart is telling you to go with the plain sawn so go with what you love. Whatever you decide you will love it!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 4:20PM
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