I recently completed work on two cherry side tables. The tables came to me with no finish on them. At first glance I thought they were maple or beech due to their light color. The tables had sustained a little light water damage and needed to be sanded to remove rings , etc. Also the legs were a little loose so I glued any loose joinery. When I applied alcohol to the wood to clean the tables I quickly realized by the red color of the wood that this was cherry I was dealing with. Not wanting to loose the nice blonde color of the tables, the customer and I decided to go with a paste wax finish. On a closed pore wood like cherry, a wax finish can be quite nice. The only downside is that while the wax protects the wood from water damage initially, it offers virtually no protection against scratches and more severe damages they way shellac or a varnish wood. But in this case, the paste wax finish really did the trick giving the tables a nice soft luster and cherry is a strong wood not easily damaged. Below are a few photos of the repairs to the tables and the application of the wax finish.
This photo shows one of the tables as it came to me.
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