What the Heck Is Cerused Wood and How Should I Be Using It?

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It’s weathered, it’s wonderful, and you’ve been seeing it everywhere. Folks, get ready to fall in love with cerused wood.

Instantly recognizable for its grayed and grainy finish, cerusing is a treatment in which you take wood (or faux wood) and coat it in special wax to fill in the grooves, achieving a look that’s worn but still polished.

Cerused wood (also known as aged, limed or gray oak) first rose to popularity in the Art Deco era (1920s to 1930s), but the technique is actually way older than that—like 1500s Europe older. (It was first used in France to prevent oak beams from rotting.)

While cerusing is a solid (pun intended) option for floors, beams and wall paneling, household furniture has also taken a turn with the treatment, from dressers to side tables and everything in between. And then there’s our personal favorite use: rustic-chic kitchen cabinetry.

Pinning immediately to our Dream Kitchen boards. (And filing next to "croissant" under things to thank the French for.)

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Grace Beuley Hunt

Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.
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