Natural Cherry Cabinets

CEFreemanSeptember 8, 2013

Hi all!
I'm busy stripping the 1950s finish off the beaded inset (YEAH!) cherry cabinets I got at H4H. I absolutely love love love the wood.

Every stain I experiment with, though, turns the cherry a bit reddish. I'm considering just sealing the wood as is. I realize cherry will darken, but as much as I die for red, I don't want it in my cabinets.

I remember someone having gorgeous natural cherry, but can't remember who. If you do, would you link me or repost a picture?

Thanks all!
(When I get the two 30" cabs out on the porch, I'll show you a before and after. I really promise.)

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CEFreeman, I am one of several GWers who has natural cherry cabinets. My cabinets were about a year old when the pictures were taken. They are now almost 2 years old and look the same color as in the pictures.
Overall view of kitchen:

Built in china cabinet:

This picture shows a bit of the wood that has not been exposed to light. To me it shows that the cabinets did not get that much darker but did get to be a richer, warmer color.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Yours is the kitchen I remembered.
It is still absolutely lovey and warm.
This is encouraging, because I think I've decided just to clear coat it and leave the wood it's beautiful self.

Thanks so much for posting -- plus the "to date" pics!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:35PM
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Hi CE,
Our natural cherry cabinets were installed in May so they haven't darkened yet. I will say we absolutely love them and do not regret the choice. I will post 4 photos for you, unfortunately it will be 4 separate posts as I haven't devoted the time to figure out how to post multiple photos in one post. Which is also why I haven't yet posted a "reveal post". We are still waiting for the backsplash.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Photo 2

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Photo 3

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Photo 4. Best of luck I'll look forward to learning your decision.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Lighting is a big factor in how natural cherry cabinets look, but they always look reddish to me if only lighter red. You may be happier with your cabinets if you use a light to medium brown stain to try to tame the reddish orange natural color.

Laundry room, installed for about 1 year, natural lighting:

In incandescent lighting:

Laundry room in background, installed for 1 year, kitchen in foreground in for 4 years. When the laundry cabinets were first installed they looked blonder to me than what I had remembered the kitchen cabinets starting as, but I think that they will end up the same color:

Strong natural light:

Same cabinets from a different angle, both natural daylight and incandescent lighting on. The depth of color and darkness of the natural cherry cabinets do vary this much irl depending on lighting, time of day, etc. Our stained cabinets do not.:

Medium brown stained cherry, kids bathroom, installed about 3 years:

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:30PM
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Here's a photo of our natural cherry cabinets, probably about a year after we remodeled. I agree light makes a big difference; in reality, the color of the cabs is more in line with the color of the table in the foreground:

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:17PM
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All these cabinets are lovely!

AthomeinVA (where in VA?), given the fact the primary colors to make brown are red and green, it seems every time I try a brown stain, the red dominates and it makes it more. Tried a gray, but ended up stripping it right off.

Today I paste waxed the cabinets that won't be near heat and polyacryliced the cabinets that will be near the stove. I absolutely love the color by itslef. Granted, some are more naturally red than other pieces, but I can work with it. I'm having such a mish-mash of wood tones in my kitchen, I'll not worry about it. Or... it'll drive me nuts.

Here are a couple of the drawers. Obviously the darkest is the existing finish, the left drawer is just stripped and sanded, then the smaller drawer is waxed. I am loving it.

Oh - before someone gets all wigged about waxing, remember 1) I live alone, 2) I barely cook, and 3) many of these cabs will continue along the dining area wall, where there isn't much happening at all. Not even dining.

And they weren't built in 1955. That's the job number. I took off a countertop and there, Raul had signed the cabinet with the date of 1990. Cool. but oh, the grease...

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:08PM
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It's so wonderful to reveal that beautiful wood from under the stain!

I'm another with natural cherry cabinets. These were taken at about 4 months. 4 years later, they are a bit darker, but still gorgeous.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:36PM
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CE, look your doors over to see if any of them have a prominent "flame". My cabinet maker installed the doors with all the flames pointing up and it's kind of a neat effect.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:03PM
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I like the flame pattern! I'll look.

I have no idea how I'm going to do this. I stripped 4 base cabinets (2 uppers to go) that are oak, which I grey-washed w/ a brown stain over them. They're a soft distressed, antique-y look. Nothing like my new cherry! Arrrrghhh! Love them both.

Thank you all for posting your gorgeous kitchens. The variety in the coloring tells me I'm on the right track. I sure love the natural look vs. the red stained one.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:03PM
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