Today we're talking about a finish you can apply to oak wood to really make it stand out and not look like your grandma's kitchen cabinets! Can anyone guess? Uhhm... oh wait, it's in the title. Yes, you're all right because I gave you the answer! We're going to explore cerused oak today. You might also know this fine furniture finish as limed oak.
OK, so what is cerused oak? Well, it's actually pretty simple. A cerused finish is achieved when colored waxes are applied to the oak wood, showcasing the prominent gain patterns that are inherent in oak. Back in the day they used a highly toxic white lead derivative to fill the open grain but since we can't and don't want to work with lead, wax is doing the trick. The final appearance is a high contrast stunner! Just saying! This type of finish was popular throughout the Art Deco and Mid Century eras but then sort of lost it's appeal and fell out of style. It's not just because our place is furnished with a lot of cerused furniture, but we love the versatility of the stain and contrasting grain. It could be appropriate in a farm house or a 5th avenue apartment in NYC. We're dying for the bold client who will let us do this to their kitchen cabinets! Any takers?!
Cerused oak can come in many colors, so if you aren't a fan of the bold contrast between the dark wood and light grain you can lighted the wood color and lessen the effect. It still adds interest to the cabinetry, one you can be sure none of your friends will have. Color can also be added to the wax if you want something totally unique, we've seen it in many colors such as green, blue and red.
The buffet in our living room is the perfect furniture before and after. Before we had it refinished, it was a sharp gold oak. For our wedding, a family friend had it cerused. Ta-dah! Check that out. A dark brown wood stain with white grain. We love the handsome outcome! There's a woodworking project Becky wants to take on and while writing this post, she thinks she might copy this stain for her project. Stay tuned to see what that is and if she follows through and uses oak.