photo of pickled ceiling
photo of pickled ceiling

Pickled ~ Bleached ~ Wood

Pickling or bleaching oak, or other light-colored woods, is a method of infusing the wood with an even lighter color – white or sometimes a very light grey – that gives the piece an almost ethereal glow. The effect is popular in many parts of the world: the American South, Scandinavia, and Northern Europe especially. The idea probably started in Europe in the 1600s when caustic lye was infused into the wood to prevent insect infestations. They found that this treatment not only kept the insects away but also looked pretty cool.

This type of effect can be used on wood anywhere in your home both interior and exterior: floors, walls, ceilings, shutters - even furniture. The photo above shows a gorgeous pickling effect on the ceiling of the great room that our Design Studio created for the owner of a carriage house in Flourtown, PA. The photo below shows a wood wash effect that we created for drawers and cabinets in the bedroom of a barn to residence conversion in Chester County.

photo of drawer fronts with light wood wash effect
The Old Village Design Studio developed a unique wood wash we call "Palomino".
photo of drawer fronts with light wood wash effect
The Old Village Design Studio developed a unique wood wash we call "Palomino".

Various techniques can be used to achieve the perfect look for your home:

  • pickling
  • bleaching
  • lye wash
  • drift-wooding

This new home in Gwynedd Valley features a pickled wood effect to lighten the exterior beams and posts.

photo of Gwynedd Valley Chateau Front Entrance
Pickling effect used on the beams, posts and shutters on this home in Gwynedd Valley
photo of Gwynedd Valley Chateau Front Entrance
Pickling effect used on the beams, posts and shutters on this home in Gwynedd Valley

The wood wash treatment below was created for a beautiful renovation project in Fort Washington.

Wood Wash treatment on panels by the Old Village Design Studio
Wood Wash treatment on panels by the Old Village Design Studio

Other techniques can also be used to lighten the grain (cerused or limed wood) or react with the tannin (fumed oak) in the wood to produce a grayish effect.

If you can dream it ... we can create it!



See how Old Village Master Painters can Preserve and Enhance the Beauty and Value of your Home.

Old Village Master Painters, Ltd.
PO Box 165
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0165 USA
© 2000- Old Village Master Painters, Ltd
PA Contractor PA049613

Old Village Master Painters, Ltd.
PO Box 165
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0165 USA
© 2000- Old Village Master Painters, Ltd
PA Contractor PA049613
Catering to Fine Homes in the Delaware Valley

215-540-0196 | Email
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