Using Waterbased Polyurethane on Cherry

I used waterbased polyurethane on a cherry project and it came out looking pale and parched. Will the cherry still mature under the polyurethane and become a rich red, or should I strip it and start over?

Helen Patterson: There’s no need to start over. Mine turned, and yours will, too.

John Brock: Yes, cherry develops its characteristic color by exposure to sunlight, even through clear finishes. I like to put my cherry projects in the sun for several hours before finishing to speed up the color change. Waterbased finishes tend to be much more clear, and do not yellow like oil-based finishes. In my opinion, cherry is one of those woods that benefits from the yellowing effect of oil-based finishes.

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