Ceruse finishing is also called limed finishing. Cerusing is a technique used to highlight the detail of the grain on wood. This technique can be done on stained or painted wood. Today I am going to show you how to create a ceruse finish using grain filler.
History of Ceruse Finishing
Ceruse finishing has been around for over 500 years, in the 1500s it actually started as a cosmetic makeup a white lead-based pigment. Then it was re-formulated and put on wood furniture. Originally a white ceruse was rubbed on furniture to accentuate the wood grain.
This is a very popular type of finish today, it fit in well with many home decor styles from Mid-Century Modern to Farmhouse. You can find many pieces from mirrors, coffee tables, dresser and kitchen cabinets finished in the ceruse style.
One thing to keep in mind when deciding if you want to do a ceruse finish or not is the wood type. The typical type of wood is oak. It was also coined “limed oak”. Oak was a popular choice because oak has a heavy deep grain. A Trick that I will mention later is to use a wire brush to deepen the grain. However Ceruse any open grained type wood. The large open pores are what you are looking for.
How To Ceruse (on finished wood)
- First start by cleaning and then wire brush. The wire brush will help pull some wood out to make the grain deeper.
- Sanded and cleaned again.
- Paint to your color choice. I spraying my paint on.
- Mix custom White Aqua Coat Grain Filler color
- Used a scraper to work the grain filler into the grain and scraped level.
- Cleaned up excess with a wet rag. You can do clean up with sandpaper too after its dry.
- Clear coat
- Admire work
This grain filler comes in white and clear so the color possibilities are endless. Mixol Dyes are perfect for adding color to the grain filler. I have many other pieces I want to try this technique on, one being an oak dinning room set! Stay tuned…..