There are varied opinions on the reasons some wood species change over time. Most industry experts agree there are two main factors: oxidation (exposure to air) and UV (ultraviolet light) exposure. Most of today's applied finishes can slow the changes but don't halt the oxidation process. UV exposure from the sun's harmful rays will affect the initial color or finish, but over time, if exposed on a daily basis, it will change the color of your finish.
Even after trees are harvested into wood and then turned into cabinet doors and drawer fronts, it continues to change within its environment. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity and sunlight. Darker woods like cherry and mahogany typically show the greatest amount of change in color. Many lighter-colored woods, such as oak and maple (above) prove to be a little more color-fast. Color changes in wood tend to be the most dramatic in the first year. Tip: If you have items that you can move around - like furniture - it will help to move these items around away from the sunlight so the color doesn't change as much. With items like kitchen cabinets or flooring, once they are installed, there is not much you can do to protect them from the exposure.
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