FINISHING #2: Finishing with Wax & Oil Pt 1

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Blog entry by Tony posted 04-20-2008 09:35 PM 2321 reads 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: OVERVIEW Part 2 of FINISHING series Part 3: Finishing with Wax & Oil Pt 2 »

Wax and Oils are one of the oldest, if not the oldest form of protection for wood and wood products known to man – it has been used for millennia all over the world.

On the market today there are a multitude of products to choose from natural waxes, such as Bees Wax or Carnauba Wax to hybrid waxes, which are mixed with other oils and waxes to make application and drying times faster. These hybrid wax systems are usually available in different colours, which enable you to stain wood at the same time as providing a protective finish.

There are 2 basic ways of apply wax to the project, depending upon the required finish.
1. Directly to bare wood
2. On top of another medium, such as Oil, shellac or Varnish.

Applying to untreated wood.

Step 1.
For applying directly to bare/untreated wood, the wood should be sanded to about 180 grain for a matt finish, 320 grain for a semi-gloss finish and 600 grain for a higher sheen. All sanding should be in the direction of the grain where possible, ensuring that there are no traces of glue remaining.

Step 2.
Remove all traces of sanding dust, by cloth or vacuum.

Step 3.
Apply a small amount Fiddes “Supreme wax” with 0000 wire wool in the direction of the wood grain; not forgetting to get into the corners and joint lines. Immediately remove any excess wax with a separate soft cloth, again in the direction of the grain. It should be noted that the use of coloured waxes will darken the wood, and subsequent applications of coloured wax will deepen the colour. You should always test the colour waxes on scrap wood from the project.

Step 4.
Leave the wax to dry in accordance with the manufactures instructions, between 3 to 30 minutes depending upon the type of wax used and conditions in the room.

Step 5.
Buff the wax in the direction of the grain, wherever possible with a soft cloth. Leaving a super sheen.

Step 6.
Apply further coats of wax as necessary or desired.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

5 comments so far

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4435 days

#1 posted 04-21-2008 01:27 AM

So simple, I love it. I am going to try this on my next project.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4435 days

#2 posted 05-24-2008 10:56 PM

I’m gonna try this on my latest box, Tony. I can’t believe I’m the only one to comment here. This seems like such a valuable post for people who haven’t tried this simple, age-old finishing technique (the generation-polyurethane-ers.)

-- Happy woodworking!

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4411 days

#3 posted 06-03-2008 08:31 AM

Thanks Tony.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View sharad's profile


1118 posts in 4365 days

#4 posted 12-03-2008 07:51 PM

Very valuable information on wax polishing. I am going to try it on my latest project which is a box made from Shisham wood.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 02-27-2010 02:57 AM

thanks T for tip

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

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