Monday, February 17, 2014

Making Your Own Wax

In my last post, I went over some of the pros and cons of my favorite waxes.  Some smell far too strong, most have carcinogens, and the ones I really like are just far too expensive.  I come from a long line of thrifty women, so paying $34 for 10 oz. of Cece Caldwell's wax was really grating at me.  That's $3.40 per oz.  folks.  Fine chocolate is cheaper.  It was really cutting into my profit margin, too.  So, I started researching obsessively, 'cuz that's what I do.  I came across several things that were kind of helpful, but no recipes I could try as it.  I'm nothing if not picky.  I wanted all natural, or at least as close to that as possible, affordable, soft enough to apply with a brush, yet harden enough to buff to a soft sheen.  I looked up Cece caldwell's ingredients, did a little more research as to the purpose of each ingredient, and then just went for it.  I just started melting it together, keeping track of amounts, and adding more of this and that until I got what I wanted. Grating the beeswax block is the only part that was work.  I gave up on that and just start chunking it with a knife and that worked, too.  It was fun, and more importantly, it was a success.  For most of you occasional refinishers, this would be a bit much.  But if you go through as much wax as I do, have fun with my recipe!  Here's the breakdown of ingredients:
- 8 oz. beeswax                                   $6.75 etsy
- 16 oz. boiled linseed oil                   $4.00 home depot
- 8 oz. olive oil                                   $3.00 HEB
- 4 oz. carnauba wax                          $6.50 amazon
- 12 oz. D-limonene                           $7.92 amazon
- 30 drops lavender oil                       $2.00 health food store
48 oz. wax                                           $30.17       = $.63 an oz.

Sooooo much cheaper!  I gave you the price for the exact amount that I used, when in reality I ordered enough to make 2 batches for most ingredients, some many batches. 

Again, that's $3.40 per oz. vs. $.62 an oz.

How did it turn out?  Great!  Applies nicely with a brush, smells great.  I don't need to worry about fumes.  Works very similarly to Cece Caldwell's wax - by that I mean I apply it, let it soak in for a few seconds, and wipe it off.  It is ready to buff in about 5 minutes.  Dries harder than Annie Sloan.  The only thing I would change is ordering white beeswax instead of yellow - I just wasn't paying attention, didn't think it would matter, and maybe using plain vegetable oil instead of olive oil, just for color.  The end result would be a lighter colored wax.  I did try my wax on Old White, and it warms it up a tiny bit (like Minstead wax does), but I liked it just fine. It also works well with Annie Sloan dark wax. 

Here's a pic of how it turned out:
It filled two plastic paint tubs from Home Depot.  Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!