Monday, 8 July 2013

DIY Homemade Furniture Wax

After a week or two of teasing you on Facebook and Instagram, I have finally finished my kitchen dresser!  My choice of colour was solely based on what I had on hand.  I wanted free and durable.  So the olive green Behr Paint + Primer met those criteria nicely.  I had previously used this colour on my coffee table and loved the result.  Now after abotu 2 years, it is still mostly scratch-free.

I debated with myself long and hard over whether or not to distress this piece.  In the end, I decided to go for it because I couldn't get the previously crackle-finished drawers as smooth as I wanted.  The dresser is not good enough to warrant the work involved in stripping down all nine drawers to bare MDF.  I'm so glad I did decide to distress.  The effect is subtle, but brings out the details.

The hardware was covered in some thick gold paint, so I boiled all of it in the crock pot with a little dish soap, as recommended by This Old House.  The remaining aqua/white paint/faux verdegris wouldn't budge, so I left it.  Yet another reason to distress the dresser.

The "wood" detail that was on the top drawers turned out to be just painted plastic, so there was no way I was leaving those on!  Luckily the crackle finish had been applied before those details, so I didn't end up with a smooth part in the middle of each drawer.

This is what the dresser looked like before:

I was out of the Antiquax I've used on wooden furniture (both painted and unpainted), but I've been keeping a brick of natural beeswax handy for just this situation.  Combined with some olive oil, I had a great furniture finish that worked exactly the same as the store-bought stuff, but smelled way nicer.  I love the smell of beeswax.  The Antiquax was pungent!

Recipe for Homemade Furniture Wax

  1. Melt natural beeswax either in the microwave (30-second intervals, and stir to prevent fire) or on the stove in a double boiler (I used a glass measuring cup in a pot of water).
  2. When the wax is melted, add olive oil.  Approximately 1 part melted wax to 2 or 3 parts olive oil. (I used 1/2 cup wax and about 1 cup olive oil) Some of the wax will solidify, so melt it again and mix.
  3. Allow the mix to cool before use or you risk applying way more than you need (speaking from experience here).
  4. Apply a thin layer of wax to furniture (with your fingers, a wax brush, or a cloth), let it set for about an hour, and then buff with a clean lint-free cloth or paper towels.

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