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What Is A Cerused Finish?

The process of "cerusing" or created a cerused finish, is when a white paste or pigment is applied to the surface of wood. Used for centuries and particularly popular in the 16th century, this white paste was traditionally made from materials such as powdered lime or other white pigments (hence the name "limed oak").

The paste is worked into the grain of open pore woods like oak, elm, and ash, and excess is wiped away, leaving the white pigment in the recesses of the grain lines. This technique creates a subtle, contrasting effect between the lighter-filled grain and the darker wood background.

Cerused oak, especially, is common for its visually interesting and textured appearance. It adds a touch of vintage or antique charm to furniture and other wooden items. The cerusing technique can be used on various types of oak furniture, such as tables, cabinets, and chairs, to achieve a distinctive level of interest and refinement.

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We at Wayhome exist to empower you, the homeowner. Whether you're planning for a new build or remodel, or trying your hand at refinishing a piece of Marketplace furniture, our Experts are here to help. If you have any questions about your home's cabinetry or finishes, get free expert advice in our Facebook group Ask A Cabinetmaker. For more personalized expertise, we now have a DIY Coaching membership to get you best set up for success (no more scrolling YouTube for hours to find an answer!).

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