Dramatic Wood Grain on Oak Furniture

Dramatic light colored wood grain contrasted by a dark stain is known as a “Ceruse” finish. The finish was developed by French cabinetmakers when clean lined modernist furniture came into vogue during the 1940’s. The contrast of light and dark enhances oak to a striking effect because of its strong wood grain. The finish can be found today on fine contemporary furniture.

The Ceruse technique involves rubbing white lead pigment into the wood grain prior to the application of stain and a protective finish. Most popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s on American furniture this is a special finish usually only available through custom furniture makers and specialty furniture finishers.

INSTUDIO interior Design Directors inform design aficionados with useful information on all things related to interior design. When you see this unique finish when shopping for mid-century furniture, thank the French cabinetmakers who developed it.

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