Sunlight and a Cherry Entry Door
From contributor W:
Discoloration will be a large-scale concern, even if the door is "generally well-protected from sunlight..." Indirect UV exposure (skylight) and even some unexpected sources (reflected sunlight from neighboring windows) will put cherry at risk of fast and uneven (the real problem) discoloration. I doubt that any clear finish would provide sufficient UV protection to reduce the risk of a callback from an unhappy homeowner. Cherry also has less resistance to dings and dents than oak and other harder species more commonly seen in exterior applications, especially something that will get as much use as an entry door.
From contributor B:
From Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Contributor R's comments are true and it is likely the bottom of the door will darken more than the top, as the top sees less light. In a few months, the door will not look like cherry due to the extreme darkening. As most exterior doors are not 100% solid wood, as they are too heavy and require superior hinges, the hardness of cherry is not as much of an issue as the overall construction technique.
From the original questioner:
Thank you for the comments. I can see the issue with the darkening - particularly at the bottom of the door. Other options would be American mahogany or walnut. How would mahogany darken in such a situation?
From contributor D:
I'll say that the cherry door will first darken, then bleach. It may stay dark at the upper rail, but the main part of the door will fade in a year or less. It will look like some discolored maple. Very light, not cherry like at all. We don't recommend cherry for exterior work as a result, unless the client is well aware of the - mostly cosmetic - look. Back when houses had porches, the cherry would age well and look better with time - except for the edge that remained behind the jamb stop.
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