Cerusing: what was OLD is now NEW AGAIN!

Cerusing finish by Holiday Kitchens: making the old new again!

Holiday Kitchens, one of our premier lines, has just released a line of doors with the finish CERUSED. The product is BEAUTIFUL, however, we’ve found that most of our customers have never heard of this technique. So we’ve decided to give you a little background on it:

Cerusing: What was old is now new again!

Ceruse: a pigment composed of white lead.

Back, well, let’s say WAY back, five hundred years ago there was a technique invented to fill the grain in oak beams. The French were using a toxic paste (ceruse) in order to preserve the wood and prevent rot. This paste was derived from lead and later it was used by cabinet makers.

In the early days, this was also used as a cosmetic to whiten the skin! It was eventually found to be highly toxic to the human skin and so fell out of favor…thankfully.

Photo Credits: Peonies and Orange Blossoms Blog

Today, cabinet makers are again using this ceruse finish (also called “limed wood”) to give a dramatic look to all types of open grain woods.

But don’t worry about developing lead poisoning from today’s version. It is now available in a non-toxic wax that is safely used on many wood surfaces.

So what does it look like? The finish is achieved by using a wire brush on the surface to dig out the veins in the wood and expose the natural grain. Then the base coat and a glaze are applied to give an amazing weathered appearance. The end product is similar to driftwood with beautiful dimension and is sure to be a show stopper wherever it’s used.

Oak is the most frequently used wood because of its open grain, but other hardwoods would work as well. This finish just highlights the contrast in between the grain and the remainder of the wood.

A word of caution. Wood, being a natural substance, can absorb the wax at different rates depending on the grain. If you’re looking to use it for cabinetry, I would highly suggest you approve a door sample before committing to a project. This finish is hand done and every project will be unique.

As unique as you are!

Credits: Walker Woodworking