How Does Wood Wax Work?

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Wood wax is similar in ways to varnish and stain, but offers more protection that most other wood coatings. When given a light coating of wood wax, the entire surface of wooden objects is protected from moisture, and it holds the color of the wood for a long time. Wood wax will produce a deep shine, which is sometimes hard to attain with other products. Wood wax can be used on painted or non-painted wood. Not only can it be used to treat and seal wood, but it is sometimes used as a light lubricant, as well. Pull-out drawers and wooden bench screws can benefit from a light coating of wood wax.


Wood wax is normally a specially formulated blend of carnuba wax, paraffin and beeswax mixed with colors and other wood enhancers. This blend of wax is the most efficient when it comes to sealing out and resisting moisture and harmful chemicals which may otherwise permanently damage wood. Wood wax is offered in a plethora of colors, so you can match the wood that it is treating, or throw in other colors to create a look all your own. This type of wax is in no way harmful to any wood, so antique lovers and restorers alike use it all the time on their projects.

The process of applying wood wax is very similar to waxing your car. It is recommended to use a clean, dry cloth for application, and use it very sparingly. Only a thin coat is necessary to produce the desired results in most situations, and using too much will cause the wax to buildup or clump, resulting in a dull, opaque finish. It is recommended to push the wax into the wood, using ample pressure to work it into the grains. After allowing the wax to dry for a recommended 5 to 10 minutes, buff it off with another clean, dry cloth or a furniture brush. The resulting shine will be obvious at once. This wax can also be applied using 000-grade steel wool, once again a light coat. This process can be repeated a few times for an unbelievably rich, dark shine and maximum wood protection. Always be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when polishing or waxing furniture, because some fumes can be harmful. Also, wear protective gloves to isolate your hands from any chemical compounds.


Derek Odom

Derek Odom has freelanced since 2008 and is also an author of the macabre. He has been published on, and various other websites. Odom has an Associate of Arts in administration of justice.