What Is Cerused Wood?
There’s a technique in the hardwood flooring world that’s making a comeback after a 500+ year absence. That’s right, 500 years! Back in the 1500’s, the French invented a technique of filling in the grains in oak beams and paneling with a toxic paste derived from lead. This was initially done to help prevent rot in oak beams. Later, the wood finish known as ‘limed oak’ became popular in the cabinet and furniture world.
Today that stylish finish is still called limed oak in Europe and here in the US we call it cerused wood or cerused oak. What’s so great about this look? A cerused finish will highlight the contrast between the grain and the rest of the surface. Oak is the go-to choice for a cerused finish due to its characteristic open grain, however other hardwoods like ash could also work.
How’s it done? Well, the good news is that you no longer have to use toxic paste to do your cerusing! There are a variety of nontoxic colored waxes available. Once you have your filling picked out it’s really only five more steps to a trendy new finish to your oak flooring.
1 - Sand the wood so it’s flat and even.
2 - Use a wire brush to dig out the pores in the wood.
3 - Seal the wood with one coat of sealer.
4 – Apply the colored wax.
5 – Apply as many top or clear coats as you’d like.
Now your floors look like they’re straight out of the 16th century. Pretty cool!