Is Cherry Furniture Stained?

Is Cherry Furniture Stained

Cherry wood furniture is more popular than perhaps ever before. It’s overtaken darker woods, such as mahogany, as a premium choice. Maybe you’ve heard how it tends to have blotchiness, and you’re worried your cherry wood is stained. 

No, cherry furniture is often not stained. Furniture makers will generally choose toners and clear glazes. Glazes can include stain color, but they’re thicker and stay on the surface of the wood. The toner is the final finish, and it is sprayed on. Cherry wood is not difficult to stain and finish; however, you might get some blotchiness. 

Keep reading to learn more about cherry wood, how it can be stained, and more. 

Are There Exceptions to the Rule? 

Yes, there are. Some furniture makers decide to add a darker stain to their cherry wood pieces. This is risky, though, because of the potential for blotching. 

Why do they do this? Because their customers think that cherry should be dark. In most cases, however, cherry wood furniture makers will decide not to stain the furniture and let their customers enjoy the natural color of cherry and how it darkens as it gets older.

Cherry Wood Has a Gorgeous Natural Color

It blotches, and one of the reasons we don’t stain cherry wood is its beautiful natural color. As cherry wood ages, it darkens and becomes richer in tone.

We don’t want to cover that with a stain, as it would cover all the features of cherry wood that we most prize. 

Can You Stain Over Cherry Wood?

Most people never want to put a stain over cherry wood. After all, the natural wood color is so beautiful. However, if you wanted to do this, apply a Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to the cherry woods before staining, this will help it prevent blotchiness.

Related: How To Stain Cherry Wood

Should You Worry About Blotching? 

To a certain extent, whether you’ll worry about blotching will be a matter of taste. As long as it’s not unsightly, you may even think it enhances the look of your furniture. 

Natural cherry wood tends to blotch due to how it absorbs liquid unevenly. This varies from board to board, though. There isn/’t a consensus yet on why this wood is so prone to blotching. 

As long as you buy your cherry wood furniture from a professional furniture-making company, you shouldn’t end up with noticeably blotchy furniture. Professionals know all the methods and tricks for avoiding unsightly results. 

A tiny bit of blotching may be considered acceptable, but most furniture connoisseurs find it enhances the beauty of the pieces. 

What Color is Cherry Wood Stain? 

We shouldn’t use a traditional full stain on cherry wood because of how it tends to blotch. If you buy furniture made of cherry wood, you will get the true cherry wood color. 

However, you can find other types of wood (such as oak) finished with a cherry wood color stain. This makes it look like cherry wood, and it’s less expensive than the real thing. 

With a cherry wood stain, you get a darker color with a reddish or pink tint. The look is decidedly upscale, which is why so many homeowners enjoy the appearance of cherry wood.   

Should You Get Cherry Wood Furniture? 

Should You Get Cherry Wood Furniture

High-quality cherry wood furniture tends to use boards that don’t have blotching, so you probably won’t have to worry about that. Even if there is a little blotching, they tend to mellow down over time as the wood darkens. 

If you want cherry wood furniture, buy it already made and finished by the producer. Unless you’re an expert, you probably shouldn’t try to make cherry wood furniture and stain it yourself. That is because of how prone it is to blotching during that process. 

One way to find out whether a cherry wood board will blotch is by putting water on it. If you notice blotching when you wet it, blotching will be an issue. However, this may lead to problems if you want to finish it and your finish has a water-based formula. 

Cherry Stains on Other Woods

As cherry wood is extremely expensive, many consumers choose to buy other woods that have been finished with a cherry stain. A cherry stain helps make other types of wood look like cherry wood. 

In other words, furniture makers can apply a stain with a cherry wood color to lighter-colored woods, such as oak. There is a bit of range in what cherry wood stain looks like, and it can create a light pinkish tint or a richer shade of red-brown. 

Get Real Cherry Wood

If you’re looking for genuine cherry wood, make sure you verify what you’re getting from the manufacturer. As we’ve already learned, many pieces of furniture are made of other kinds of wood but are stained to look like cherry. 

Features of Cherry Wood

Let’s take a look at some of the features of real cherry wood: 

Unique Color

Natural cherry wood has such a beautiful natural color that staining is unnecessary. It’s easy to identify cherry wood by its distinctive pinkish or reddish tint. 

Wood furniture connoisseurs appreciate how cherry wood tends to develop a darker and richer color as it ages. 


Cherry wood is one of the most expensive woods on the market. 

Easy to Carve

Furniture makers appreciate how easy cherry wood is to carve and shape

Neat Graining

Another great feature of cherry wood is its straight, refined graining. If that is what you’re looking for in your furniture, you can’t go wrong with cherry wood. 

Final Thoughts: Is Cherry Furniture Stained? 

Cherry wood is so beautiful that there is no need to add a stain. Professional furniture makers know how to polish and finish this wood to bring out all its best features. 

If natural cherry wood is outside your budget but you want to approximate the look, you can look for furniture made of other woods that have been finished with a cherry color. 

About the author

Picture of David Yeoman

David Yeoman

I'm a technical writer who writes in-depth articles for readers wanting uncomplicated explanations for creative topics made difficult by industry jargon. I'm a woodworker, metalworker, landscape photographer, writer, Python and PostgreSQL programmer, and pilot. Freelance after 42 years in the corporate world, I have an MBA in Technology.

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