Limed Wood: Hot, Hot, Hot

Everything old is new again, right?  But always with a twist.  Remember the pickled wood in the late 1980’s?  Limed wood is reminiscent of that, but with a twist.  Wait for it . . .



Pickled wood had a slight pinky undertone that screams late 80’s/early 90’s to this day.  Limed wood is also reminiscent of the whitewashed look of shabby chic, made popular by Rachel Ashwell in the 1990’s.



But here’s the twist:  pickled wood was pinky, whitewashed wood was white.  But limed wood has a distinct gray undertone (the undertone of the new decade), making it a nice change from all the expresso brown that’s been doused all over furniture for the last 10 years.




Even paneling is back – but now in a pleasing limed tone that doesn’t make your space into a cave.  It’s much like the look of linen fabric, but in wood form.  Where whitewashed wood looks Swedish, limed wood looks Belgian.



Now, don’t get all up in arms – I’m not encouraging you to get rid of the dark furniture and replace it with the limed.    I blogged about one popular store that has gone a wee bit overboard with it here.  But if you are tired with all the dark, consider bringing in a few small pieces of limed furniture or a few limed accessories (like the limed wood tray I recently bought from HomeGoods).




I recently heard about Brimax liming wax.  Sounds like a promising product for lightening up wood on your own.  Have any of you experimented with that or something similar on your dark wood pieces?

Get my special report "Child and Pet Proof Decorating"
Free when you subscribe to my email updates!

Share this Post

12 thoughts on “Limed Wood: Hot, Hot, Hot

  1. joy says:

    yes, this lime wood trend is everywhere now. I really like to see some good mix of this with the existing traditional brown furniture that most people have to see how it can compliment each other. Currently in magzines, it’s all exclusively lime wood for the entire house, like those in resotration hardware, making it impossible for regular folks considering those. I guess if someone’s existing furniture is white, it might be easier to mix with this lime wood trend. For brown and black, it would be not easy as the lime wood piece will stand out like a feature. thanks for the suggestion of accessories though. I think that’s easy to accomplish. I can use a tray in that finish, just to remember this trend.. How long will this trend last? that will be interesting to see….thanks for the post..

  2. Kristie Barnett says:

    It’s hard to say how long it will last, but we are starting to see limed wood kitchen cabinets in the high-end design mags – a big indicator that it’s going to be around to stay for a good while. I think we’ll continue to see expresso-colored wood, but this well lessen over the next 2 years as limed becomes the “it” wood tone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • joy says:

      thank you. In that case, I think it would be really needed to see how to mingle this lime furniture into existing homes, where brown/espresso color furniture are already there in place, especially if existing pieces are large ones, like the entertaiment centers, cabinet etc. If someone tries to bring in new sofa, what are those to consider and is it possible at all to mix them.. I would appreciate it if you can share some of your thought.

      • Kristie Barnett says:

        joy, i like to keep my wood finishes to a maximum of 2 per room – meaning you can mix 2 finishes in one room, just not more than that. maybe 3 pieces with an expresso finish + 2 with a lime finish might work nicely. everything shouldn’t “match” anyway – i want my rooms to feel like they’ve been added to over time, rather than all bought in the same store on the same day. hope that makes sense 🙂

  3. LiveLikeYou says:

    The limed wood today has such a nice modern yet earthy feel. I kind of think the difference of limed wood and the one we remember from the eighties is perhaps similar to the difference of a pair of cool worn low slung jeans to a pair of acid washed high waisted jeans from the eighties!! Kind of right?

  4. Pingback: Floor Wax Black - Wood Finishes | Wood Finishes

  5. Kathy says:

    I have saved an article about a Danish country house with limed wood floors for years because I loved the look so much. Saw a lot of it in the Scandinavian countries, but not so much in Belgium, where dark woods are popular it seems. I think the liming wax can be a great way to update those old oak veneer cabinets, especially combined with a brown or even a colored under painting.

    My grandmother had heavy custom oak slab doors on her ranch home, with white graining on black, and I always admired them. The effect was also popular on blond art deco furniture. The results are varied, depending on the colors you use, and the wax can be dark as well for a totally different effect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *