Whether to stain or not stain wood is a personal choice. The benefit of custom furniture is that you can stain the wood to your style, and not settle for a “close match”. Our preference is for wood to left to its own beauty, but there are exceptions to the rule.
One wood that we see repeatedly stained is American Cherry. Cherry in its raw unfinished state has a slight reddish brown color. Overtime, Mother Nature will enhance that color to range from brownish amber to reddish brown. Cherry finished with a clear finish and left to age on its own will become, in our opinion, one of your most stunning pieces in your home.
But, buyer beware! If a custom piece of furniture is not within in your budget at the time and you are visiting that local furniture store for a possible purchase, read the description carefully. Most stores label a piece with the term “cherry finish or walnut finish”.
What does that mean? It means that the piece of furniture is made from an inexpensive lumber and stained with a burgundy type stain that looks like cherry or a brown stain that looks like black walnut or mahogany.
If you do decide to purchase a custom piece of furniture, certainly ask for samples. Do remember that different woods take stains differently, not only different species but wood from the same tree. Expect some slight color variation.
When buying furniture at the local store or working with a custom furniture builder, make sure you are purchasing what you want.