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How to Make Walnut Woodworking Projects Look Great with Dye & Stain

by Mark Stephens | February 6th, 2013

It’s a simple reality that walnut used in woodworking projects has two troublesome traits. First, the natural dark color of walnut will fade over time due to UV light exposure. The process is slow, but it happens. Second, walnut lumber contains some pale sapwood, depending on your tastes, you either like it or not. However, there is a very easy way to make the color last a long time, make the heartwood and sapwood blend, and still maintain a nice, dark, chocolatey walnut color that’ll make your projects look beautiful.

We’ve written up the process on how to do this in 3 Great Ways to Hide Sapwood, but we decided it was time to show how it’s done with a video. The video just shows the process, and that’s where the magic is. It’s not really in the specific brands or products I’ve used here. You can use different colors of dye and stain to come up with a final appearance that suits your taste.

Post your questions at the bottom.

Walnut board dyed and stained

Two walnut boards compared. Bottom is raw, top is dyed, stained, and finished to hide the sapwood. Can you tell where the sapwood and heartwood meet? Look closely, scroll down.

Get a little closer to that finished piece, and you’ll see how well that the sapwood blends right into the dark heartwood while keeping a beautiful dark walnut color:

Walnut wood dyed to blend sapwood and heartwood

Yellow highlighter lines show the delineation between heartwood and sapwood

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 2:06 pm and is filed under Tips and Tricks, Wood Conversations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  • Ed Mitchell

    Thank You for the help I will use these steps in my next project.