I need to know in simple steps how to do Cerused or Limed finish Oak?

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I'm making some book cases out of white oak 2" x 2" and 3/4" shelving. The client is asking for a natural look ie un stained but with a cerused/lime finished look. So white amplification of the wood grain.


I've tried to find out on line (youtube etc) but I'm struggling to find sufficient, simple first timer type information on the subject. Most of the stuff I've seen is stained a darker color first and then cerused.


I need to know what to buy, what I'll need to do the job and a simple (idiot proof) step by step process to get a reliable result...


Any takers???

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I second that technique .... And I prefer the water based glazes or paint because it's a lot easier to sand off, and I usually use a fine brass wire brush and brush with the grain to really open the pores so the color pops.

Also google " liming wax " ... It's a lot easier to apply but I find it a bit of a pain to remove

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  • 1 month later...

I just did a similar finish on pine.  so easy it was hard.  I just thinned latex paint (pick whatever color you like) 50/50 with water, wiped it on and let dry overnight.  I then sanded back with a 320 sanding screen on my ROS until I got the look I wanted.  I top coated with nitro lacquer.  I guess a seal coat of shellac or something else between the paint and lacquer might be a good step, but I live dangerously and so far the lacquer has adhered well. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

What type of finish are you going to use?  Can you spray?


My schedule using a 2K urethane is as follows:

Step 1. Sand oak to 180 grit and then wire brush to open the pores up.

Step 2. Spray on alcohol based dye stain (You can skip this step if you want natural oak)


Step 3. Full coat of sealer (I do a wash coat first, scuff sand with 400 grit and then spray a full wet coat to get a very smooth sealed surface)

Step 4. For my ceruse now I use a high build water based primer (Camger) I brush and rub it into the grain wet and then using a window squeegee I squeegee all the excess off the surface. This leaves an almost perfect ceruse with just a very small amount of white on the surface. I used to use oil based paste filler but the WB primer works so much better and dries much faster so I switched.

Step 5. After the primer has fully dried (about an hour but I usually let it sit all night) I block sand the surface to get the remaining white off from where I don't want it.

Step 6. I spray on another seal coat just to make sure the primer is sealed in and can't have any reactions to the top coat.

Step 7. Scuff sand with 400 grit, tack off dust and top coat with whatever sheen finish is required for the job.

Definitely want to do samples before attempting on an actual project and it is VERY important to watch the grain structure as more grain will change the overall color as well as the cut of the wood, either all rift cut or all plain sliced.

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