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I am planning to build a tabletop out of walnut that will be exposed to sunlight during the day. I've read that the color of walnut can fade over the time, possibly due to exposure from sunlight. Is there anything I can do in terms of finishing or caring for the top to help prevent the color from fading over the years?

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Using a varnish or other finish with UV inhibitors, they're specifically intended to help with this sort of issue (darkening, fading, colour change).

You will have to top up or replace the coating periodically to maintain protection.

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Keep it out of direct sunlight is the best bet. However, the other option would be to use a light Walnut stain before you finish it. The stain would be less likely to fade, and while the wood will still likely fade some the stain will keep it from becoming too pale. At least long enough it will need to be refinished from wear...

I have some Walnut in a book shelf in my office and it's been there for 6-7 years, it does not have direct sunlight and I haven't noticed any fading yet. (didn't use stain either.)

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