One of our style stories this fall and winter is “In Neutral.” A number of our products that fit perfectly within this aesthetic have been cerused, which is a wood finishing technique that creates a two-toned look because the open grain of the wood is accentuated against a contrasting base color. Another word for cerusing is liming, the treatment originating in the sixteenth century in Europe. Then, the finish was accomplished when a caustic paste of slaked lime would be rubbed into the open grain of the wood to deter wood-boring insects. Centuries later, the textural surface is popular with designers and decorators, though the process is much less caustic than it was then.
Cerused Wood on Trend
For better outcomes, ring-porous wood species with larger pores are best, which includes red oak, white oak, ash, elm, and chestnut. How woods are cut also makes a difference: plain-sawn planks achieve the most dramatic effect because they show a flame-like pattern flowing along the wood grain. Quarter-sawn wood has a much cleaner and straighter grain effect. Here are a few of our products that have been treated to these beautiful cerused wood finishes.
The impressively sized gold flower door-pull on the Briallen White Demi-Lune is a stunning ornamentation. A bright accent on the cerused white oak, the brass floral motif in a brass finish brings the white cabinet a sophisticated feel and illustrates the skill of our artisans who hand-cast the handle in brass. We offer the Briallen in a number of designs and in several finishes.
The Visby Smoke Black Bench is made of solid oak in a cerused black finish with a linear brass accent in a brushed brass finish. The mid-century lines are enhanced by the rough cerused wood treatment. The seat cushion of the black bench is shown here upholstered in a F0224 Arita Smoke fabric. It is reversible so that the Visby can be used either as a seat or a table. We offer the Visby as a bench in other finishes and fabric choices, and as ottomans. It is also available in muslin.
The wire-brushed and cerused finish on our Saranya Light Pepper Nightstand, which we call light pepper, highlights the wood grain on this oak nightstand. Aimee Kurzner was thinking of the natural modern trend when she designed this family of products, which was inspired by her travels in Indonesia. We have a number of Saranya designs in pepper and black finishes.
The cerused white finish on the Morombe White Cabinet, made of white oak, highlights the patterns of natural wood that form embedded squares in a geometric illusion of depth. The centuries-old cerused wood finishing technique is designed to draw out the detail and character of the wood grain on this on this white cabinet. We offer the Morombe in a number of designs in cocoa and in white finishes.
An Age-Old Finish
In reporting on cerused wood being a design trend, the editorial team at MyDomaine declares, “What’s old is new again in the realm of interior design…Over the past few years, we’ve noticed a few of our favorite designer taking a liking to an age-old finish.” Given our Visby Smoke Black Bench is one of our bestsellers, we’d wholeheartedly agree with the savvy design writers.