Thomas’s Tips on Wax Finishing for Wood
Hey there! I’m Thomas, a passionate carpenter. Today, I’m excited to talk about one of the simplest and most effective methods to finish wood: using wax. Wax imparts a smooth, glossy appearance, emphasizing the natural hue of the wood. It’s important to note that wax creates a protective layer on the wood surface but doesn’t penetrate it. This makes it super easy to apply and perfect for achieving that shiny look on your wood projects.
Finishing wax can be used directly on bare wood. Its major advantage lies in its ability to enhance the wood’s intrinsic color and can be polished to attain the desired level of sheen. Wax finishes are particularly suited for items that aren’t frequently handled. They work wonders on items like picture frames, jewelry boxes, bookshelves, and more. However, remember that wax is alcohol-soluble, making it less ideal for surfaces like end tables or coffee tables that might come into contact with alcohol-based substances.
Keep in mind, for everyday wooden items, finishing wax may not be the best choice as it can wear off relatively quickly. Although wax is resistant to spills, it’s advisable to promptly clean any water from waxed wood surfaces.
Applying Wax to Bare Wood: A Step-by-Step Guide
Whether you’re a budding woodworker or a seasoned hobbyist, you’ll love how quick and easy it is to apply a wax finish to bare wood. This method is fantastic for bringing out the wood’s beautiful natural color with minimal effort. Here’s what you’ll need for waxing bare wood:
- Lint-free Cloth
- Buffing Pad
- Random Orbit Sander (optional)
If you’re working on a small piece of wood, a clean cloth might suffice for buffing. However, for larger items, I recommend using a buffing pad attached to a Random Orbit Sander for efficiency. When choosing your wax, opt for reputable brands and consider the form that best suits your project – liquid, paste, or solid stick. And remember, a little wax goes a long way! Apply it in circular motions with a lint-free cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.
After the wax dries, buff the wood with a pad on a Random Orbit Sander until you achieve the desired sheen. You can repeat the process with additional coats if you want a higher level of gloss.
Choosing the Right Finishing Wax for Your Wood
While wax may not provide significant protection against scratches, it does add a rich and natural look to wood. It’s ideal for items that won’t undergo much wear and tear. However, if you’re looking to apply a dark wax over a light one, you may need to remove the existing wax first. A wood polish remover or mineral spirits can effectively remove wax. Once you’ve ensured that the wood is wax-free, you can proceed with the new wax application.
If durability is a concern, you might want to consider hard wax oils, which offer a long-lasting finish while maintaining the wood’s natural color.
Top Picks for Finishing Wax on Bare Wood
- Howard CS0014 Citrus Shield: This natural multi-use wax is perfect for various wooden surfaces, providing a nice shine thanks to its blend of Brazilian Carnauba wax, Beeswax, and Orange Oil.
- Minwax 785004444 Paste Finishing Wax: Ideal for furniture and woodwork, this paste wax leaves a polished look with minimal odor.
- STAPLES 211 Carnauba Paste Wax: Made with imported carnauba, it provides durability and protection, enhancing the wood’s rich color.
- Howard Products FW0016: This blend of Carnauba Wax and Beeswax is perfect for easy application, giving wood a soft luster while preventing drying.
Applying a finishing wax will give your wood projects a freshly cut look, radiating its original color. For wooden items that don’t see heavy usage, wax is certainly one of the best options for a welcoming and attractive appearance.
|Directly on bare wood; enhances natural color and sheen
|Ideal for items with less frequent handling
|Wax, Lint-free Cloth, Buffing Pad, Random Orbit Sander (optional)
|Apply in circular motions; use a little at a time
|Top Wax Picks
|Howard CS0014, Minwax 785004444, STAPLES 211, Howard FW0016