Tips on a Ceruse Finish
The wood needs to be intricately prepared in the sense of both flat and uniform as to sanding. Once that is almost achieved, just before your final sand (which should be with 320 grit or finer), you need to wire brush out the pores so that they are perfectly clean and will properly accept the filler of choice. I use a soft wire brass brush for this purpose and also compressed air from my air compressor and a fine nozzle air gun.
Then after final sanding you can either dye stain or pigment stain the wood and seal the wood in with one good coat of sealer. I prefer a sanding sealer because after the ceruse is applied and dry I want to sand the rest of the surface to rid any trace pigment colors to insure the filler will just show up or be in the pores only. After that it is just a matter of building the clear coats to any desired level you need or want.
From contributor J:
A good cost-effective way to create pigmented water stains is to use off the shelf match pots (uk term) you find in decorating/paint supply shops and dilute them 1/2 and 1/2 with water, a great money saver, and standardized colors for a lot less cost than equivalent water pigment stains. Obviously make sure they are water based of course.
From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
There are a couple discussions in the Knowledge Base about cerused oak. Make sure to use solid wood with large pores. Open the pores before dying or staining the wood (brass brush). Adjust how much you thin the seal coat (wash coat) you use over the base color. If it's too thick, you won't get enough of the glazing color in the pores. If it's too thin, the glazing color won't be limited to the pores and it will look hazy.
If you use a thin finish on the stained wood, you can use a colored wax (e.g., liming or cerusing wax) in place of the glaze to get the second, contrasting color. The benefit of the wax is that it's removable or you can change the color at a later date Do some good size samples on scraps or the backs of pieces to work out the technique that gives you the best results.
From contributor K:
I've been doing this using a breakaway glaze. We are an all WB shop and Renner has one available. If you’re a solvent shop you can get them from most of the big suppliers. Just spray on and scuff off.
From contributor W:
I would do the finishing steps as follows:
1. Wire brush to open the grain and pores.
2. Apply stain to make even color.
3. Apply a sealer coat or was coat.
4. Apply the latex paint or liming stone, let it dry and sand to let
5. Apply the top coat.
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