What is a Cerused Finish?

Dark limed Kitchen | KitchAnn Style
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Dating back to the 16th century, ceruse was a white lead derivative used as a cosmetic by luminaries such as Queen Elizabeth I. Highly toxic on human skin, it found favor with woodworkers, who used the lead-white and wax to fill the porous open grain of oak planks to deter insects and rot. After a while it became a fashionable way to lighten up and enhance the look of wood.

Also known as “limed oak,” the finish was popular throughout the Art Deco era and employed by notable midcentury modern pioneers including Parisian Jean-Michel Franck and Viennese-born Paul T. Frankl. A version of the technique, with a whitened grain contrasting against a black stain, was widely imitated in the 1950s.

Frankl for Saltman Furniture Co | KitchAnn Style

A cerused finish on cabinetry is created by using a wire brush across the surface to expose the natural grain of the wood. The base color and a glaze coat are applied to accentuate the unique patterns within the grain. Cerused cabinets have a weathered appearance.

Dark limed Kitchen | KitchAnn Style

This finish is most popular on Oak and Ash because of their open grain structure but I have seen it done on Alder and Walnut.

Today, cabinet makers are raising the grain on extra thick slab veneered doors. Paired with streamline hardware , a more modern look is obtained. This look is also popular with industrial accents to invoke an urban chic interior.

Rough Chic | Kitchen Studio of Naples

Colored pigments are also popular and as the demand for “driftwood” finishes starts to wain, expect to see more colors options available.

A word of caution, overuse of this finish can be distracting and knowing how to make it flow with the rest of your home’s decor is very important. Also be aware that I had seen slab doors where half the door takes the color one way and as the grain changes, the other half soaks it up another way. When working with a lighter cerused finish, always order a sample door, don’t work from a small color chip.

Transitional Kitchen | KitchAnn Style

From inspiration and to see samples come see me in the showroom. 3415 Radio Rd., Suite 102, Naples, FL 34104

Brown Ash Scattered Showers | Kitchen Studio of Naples   Knotty Brown Ash Red Alert | Kitchen Studio of Naples


Unique Veneers on the Rise

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walnutWith all the new technology being applied to kitchens and kitchen design it is no wonder homeowners are taking advantage of the ability to customize their kitchens to their own personal tastes.

Customers today are used to affordable luxury.  Gone are the days when you have to shop at high-end stores to get designer names and styles.  The same Marketing that places Polo and Calvin Klein in Costco stores has trickled into cabinet manufacturing.

Cabinet manufacturers are now showcasing unique and exotic veneers in their standard line-up of species offered.  Homeowners are gravitating towards these offerings because it lets their home stand out in the crowd.

BeechAccording to the Timber Products Company, a quality wood product supplier in the cabinet industry, the technology behind Engineered Veneers has also contributed to the increase in veneer popularity because new cost-savings and consistent appearance add value.

It’s no surprise Bamboo veneer will be popular this year.  Other species to be fashionable are Beech, Walnut and Knotty Alder for it’s eye catching rustic appeal.

Using veneers with knots or in a dull luster are now giving homeowners with traditional tastes access to material they never would have considered using before.  I often tell clients who really like a unique veneer but are hesitant to commit to it to consider using it for a specialty piece such as a refrigerator armoire or small island.

Wenge Vanity for Recent Client. Contact me for your Unique Veneer Cabinetry.