Best way to highlight ebonized wood grain

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Forum topic by iminmyshop posted 06-15-2016 03:43 AM 1178 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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287 posts in 2172 days

06-15-2016 03:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: cerusing liming wax ebonize ebonizing

I know how to ebonize wood. What I would like to do is highlight the wood grain (I’m using oak) in white. It’s a technique called cerusing but I have not been successful so far. Here’s what I’ve tried to date:
- Ebonized the wood using a highly concentrated tea to add tannin then painting with a steel wool/vinegar mix. This gets the wood pretty black. It works even better on walnut.
- Applied a 1 lb coating of shellac.
- I then tried Liberon Liming wax. It certainly filled the grain but it was a royal pain to get off the rest of the wood. It left a gray haze that was impossible to remove. I tried removing it with various oils and then mineral spirits.
- I also tried filling the grain with latex paint which was suggested elsewhere. This too was a mess.

Once the grain is filled I plan to top coat with a polyurethane.

Any other ideas?


1 reply so far

View shipwright's profile


8133 posts in 2976 days

#1 posted 06-15-2016 02:27 PM

You shouldn’t need tea on Oak. It has lots of tannin and will go very black all by itself with ferrous ion solution.
The colour is not deep however and a light sanding will often take more colour off the hard winter wood rings than the softer summer wood leaving a highlighted grain.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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