Wax is often used in the final part of the manufacturing process to protect the finish of wood furniture. Premium French polish is a finer finish that is achieved by layering a number of thin coats of shellac for a glossier effect. A wax finish is less durable but is easy to maintain at home with a bit of elbow grease.
Bees wax polish
A basic tablet of bees wax polish is a time honoured way to keep your wood looking good but modern spray waxes can be easier to use. Ready formulated versions come with linseed oil added to maintain softness and are often pleasantly fragranced with essential oils. Waxing should be an occasional routine only – wood doesn’t appreciate being over treated as it can suffer from a build up.
How to use wax polish
On a daily basis, a quick wipe over with a duster or microfibre cloth will keep your furniture dust free and looking good. However, once or twice a year when further cleaning is needed, furniture cream or wax furniture polish will give a glossy, uniform finish and add a seal for some protection from damage from liquids.
While a wax build up won’t do your furniture any harm, the finish won’t be as good, so apply sparingly. Remember too that you can re-buff your wax polish for a fresh shine between applications.
Before you start, use a paint brush or a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove dust from carved or moulded details, where it can hide in hard to reach crevices. Wax polish itself doesn’t have cleaning properties, it is mostly cosmetic, so clean your furniture with a damp cloth if necessary before applying. A build up of old wax can be removed with a quick, gentle wipe over of white spirit or turpentine, but this is rarely necessary.
Try not to mix your polish products not all ingredients work well with each other. Silicones in some products can provoke a whitish bloom reaction with bee’s wax, which would necessitate the removal of all the old cleaning product with white spirit and a rub with fine grain wire wool before creating a new wax finish.
The waxing process is pretty simple. You’ll need a selection of lint free cloths. First apply the wax sparingly, then use a second cloth to rub the furniture in a circular motion. Use a third cloth to buff to a fine finish, then repeat the whole process if necessary.