Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Limed Elm Bedside Table

I hope everyone survived the storm in Sydney and along the coast last night. I came home from quoting on a job last night and the roads were awash with rain. I'm sure some local houses will have flooded. Fingers crossed for you. Our building site survived okay. The roof didn't blow off which is always a good thing :)

One little project I didn't share yesterday was a little elm bedside table that I decided to give a limed look to. Liming is like a whitewash, but a method that that allows the natural grain and features of the timber to shine. 

Traditionally liming timber was done using lime or bleach to give a faded weathered look. An easy way to replicate this without using caustic chemicals is to use liming wax. For this table I used Porters Lime Wax.  I did a post a while ago about making your own liming wax but to be honest this stuff is better and probably even works out cheaper. It even smells beautiful.

Liming wax works best on open grained timber such as oak and elm. The open grain will give the wax some where to settle.  It is very easy to apply. 

Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free from any previous finishes. If required, open the grain with a liming wire brush or coarse abrasive paper. This will score the timber.
Clean your surface again and then I just applied the liming wax with a lint free cloth (I used a chux wipe) and work the liming wax into the grain. Then take a clean cloth and wipe the excess off in the direction of the grain. Additional applications will increase the whiteness of your finished piece.

Buff as required.

I love how it enhances the beautiful timber grain, giving it an old weathered look.

This is a very easy makeover for a little coastal charm.

I'm off to take the kids to school then to continue painting Kristen's hutch. Stay warm, friends!

Fiona xx


  1. Hi Fiona. That looks great and thank you so much for sharing how you achieved that look. I know you mentioned in your post that it works well with more open timbers but do you think it would work to some extent on untreated pine. My gorgeous OH has built me some great shelves for our bathroom and I don't want to paint them as I love the natural timber look but feel they need something else. I am sure I won't get the same look as your bedside table but thought it might be a good option. If not, can you suggest anything else?

    Thanks so much.


    PS. Glad you and the renovations survived the storms too.

  2. Hi Fiona - I often see attempts at liming, but yours is very well done, not blotchy. Love it. Looks very much like Restoration Hardware furniture.

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

  3. I just found out this bedside table (and probably more so the lime wash) was the most popular pin on our Pinterest account and got a special mention in our newsletter. Quite earned, I thought.

  4. Just wondering is it English Elm???


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