Finishing Wax

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Review by pjones46 posted 03-05-2013 03:00 AM 8381 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Finishing Wax No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For years I have been using a wax as the last coat over my finish and never really thought about brand until I made some tests. First let me say I have used just about every over-the-counter paste wax known to the retail marrket: Johnson Paste Wax, Butcher’s, Minwax, Liberon, Renaissance, BriWax, etc, etc.

All seemed to do the job but while finishing a project for my wife, I decided to do a little test to see which one gave the highest sheen after steel wooling the finished varnish. I went to my local True Value and checked the brands that they carried and found that they carried one I had never used, Staples Clear which I could remember using years ago but then could not find it.

I looked them up on the web and found out a few other things: Staples Wax is one of the oldest, uses imported premium grades of carnauba wax derived from Brazilian palm leaves, and contains no synthetics, silicones, or soft beeswax (their sales pitch, not mine). Anyway, purchased a can and made some tests on samples of the finished cutoffs from the project and hands down Staples clear gave the best sheen over the finish I was using.

It went on easily, and seemed to flow a wet edge as it was rubbed on to the surface and in a short time dried with a haze as many others do. However, it took a little elbow grease to buff it to a shine/sheen. Once it was buffed out the depth of the sheen was much deeper, didn’t have overlap lines visible with some of the waxes used, and in general gave me the impression it was a much harder finish than the others which was based on my old car polishing days.

Besides the clear, they also make available two different colors an orange, and a brown for I assume darker woods.

Also, because it didn’t contain synthetics, silicones, or beeswax I tried it on the cast Iron tops of my table saw, router table, band saw and the fences of all of the three; it cut the drag way down so the wood slid through like it was greased. How long that will last we will see, but it sure made it allot easier.

I rated it five stars due to the wet edge during application, the lack of synthetics, silicones, or beeswax and the end result of the sheen.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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1001 posts in 3443 days

6 comments so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1459 posts in 3785 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 01:30 PM

I have a can that I got from Craft Supplies USA when I lived down the road from them in college. I think it works great and agree with what you said, though I have not used all those waxes listed.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View dan81's profile


48 posts in 2786 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 10:21 PM

Thanks for the thorough review. Do you think it would be okay to use over shellac?

-- Glue-up is still the stage when everything that was perfect in dry-fit goes horribly wrong, but I'm working on it.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 3443 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 11:38 PM

To answer your question directly, I do not know. I have never used shellac as a finish material, have used wax with Poly, varnish, and lacquer and it works fine with those. Looking back over time I would suspect that it would work, as before the common use of Poly, both shellac, and varnish were the only finishes used and wax was a major player.

Do you use a wax now; that may be the telling factor? I would suggest you make up a sample for testing and apply the wax to see what happens.

You could also email them to see if they have any info.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View TDSpade's profile


121 posts in 3216 days

#4 posted 03-10-2013 07:24 PM

I use it over shellac and really like it. I use blo, shellac, and staples clear paste wax for finishing my small projects.

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View BAMAX10's profile


1 post in 1067 days

#5 posted 09-22-2017 12:43 AM

First, I do not have any experience finishing furniture. I’m just a 75 year-old mother of four, grandmother of ten, and great-grandmother of one (so far). I am refinishing a 50 year-old rocking horse previously ridden by my four children. I am thrilled that my youngest daughter now wants it for her two toddlers and the old horse will have a new home. However, the poor thing was looking tired, dirty, and grungy. It desperately needed a make-over.

So far, I removed what little was left of the mane, tail and bridle, as well as removing its glass eyes (tricky to do without damaging the shanks). I sanded it down to the bare wood using increasingly high grit sandpaper but being careful so as not to remove all the old initials my children had scratched into the wood years ago (want it to retain a little of its history). I then applied four coats of Watco Danish Oil Finish over a period of about 8 days, sanding lightly between coats. It looks like I had hoped – clean and fresh but not brand new. It just seems like it needs a little polish.

The horse has now been curing for two weeks, patiently waiting for me to figure out what to do next. I think I would rather use a paste wax than a polyurethane finish. Would this Staples Crystal Clear Paste Wax be a good choice for the final finish? I have read about so many finishes, I am thoroughly confused.

Once I complete the finishing of the wood, I will make a new leather bridle, put the lovely dark brown glass eyes back in, and create a new mane and tail. Then he will be ready to go to his new home in Kansas City after having spent his entire life in Louisiana. Hope he can make the adjustment. :^)

Thanks for any help or suggestions.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 3443 days

#6 posted 09-22-2017 02:56 AM

I have used it over Watco Danish Oil and have no problems on maple and cherry. However, make sure the Watco Danish Oil has cured/dried fully.

Just remember, once you use wax as an overcoat, it must be totally removed (washed with a wax remover) to apply subsequent finish coats of Watco Danish Oil or any other product otherwise there will be penetration and adhesion problems..

-- Respectfully, Paul

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