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What is white lead?
Very old decorative technique, the ceruse is intended to bring out the veins of the wood by digging them slightly before filling them with a special paste. Formerly made with the very harmful "white lead", a material now prohibited for sale, white lead is made today with harmless and easy-to-use products, pasta and whitewaxes.
If all the woods can be cerused, the contrast will be more or less strong depending on the species. Very marked on hard and strongly veined woods such as oak, chestnut or ash, it will be discreet with pine and fir. Although you can whitewash natural wood, so that the effect is as marked as possible, it is good to tint it before moving to cerusage.
Good news: if in the past, only white break existed, now, with the return of colors in interior decoration, you can get whitewaxes of color and enhance your furniture, paneling and floors according to your tastes and desires!
Cererating a piece of furniture: step by step
If you want revamp an old wooden piece of furniture or add extra soul to new wooden furniture, whatever the species, white lead is the ideal operation. Here's how to do it step by step. whitewash a wooden furniture in the rules of art :
1. Whatever the age, condition or finish of the whitewash furniture (raw, waxed, etc.), it is compulsory to prepare it: sand it, pickle it and dust it first. The white lead must be done on a bare piece of furniture.
2. For the white lead to look better and the veins to come out well once the furniture is limed, you can stain your furniture with a water stain specially designed for wood. This step is not mandatory, but it is recommended for optimal results. Attention: if the water stains are easy to use (and odorless compared to those with alcohol!), They penetrate quickly into the wood.
3. Once the stain is dry, it is time to open the grain of the wood itself. To do this, dig the grain of the wood with a whitewash brush, made up of very fine brass-plated wires. Always work in the direction of the wood fibers and with a light hand, under penalty of scratching the support and obtaining a very unsightly effect. When you have finished digging your wood, carefully remove the dust using a vacuum cleaner (with the finest nozzle) and then a slightly damp cloth.
4. It's time to apply whitewax (or whitewash paste) to your wooden furniture; to do this, make circular movements with a soft cloth on your furniture to allow the white lead to penetrate the entire surface. Apply until the desired color effect appears and remove the excess product with a clean, dry cloth.
5. Let the white lead dry for the time indicated on the instructions (generally 24 to 48 hours minimum if it is a white lead paste and not a wax).
6. Finally, sand the surface of the wood with extra fine steel wool, with movements perpendicular to the wood grain. In this way, you remove the white lead from the flat surfaces, leaving it in the hollows of the veins. Remove the dust, then apply a hard bottom, then polish your furniture with a special cloth. It's over !