For my new place I needed a board to go under the bathroom mirror. My mother brought me a simple one (I had specifically asked for that) she had in store at her place when she came for Easter monday, and when I thought it over I noticed that there were some knots and other little irregularities that could become complications due to the damp environment. I still wanted to preserve the natural look of the wood, so I went for beeswax. I love how that finish looks, it makes the board look far older than it is, but in a good way.
To seal a small piece of wood with beeswax, you’ll need
- a heat-resistant place to work at
- a spoon
- a candle
- a knife (I used both a pocket and a butter knife)
- a rag
- a piece of wood to seal
- and of course beeswax
You can get beeswax drops at your favourite craft supply store, but actually candle stumps will do just as well.
Break your wax down to small pieces or flakes and heat it in the spoon over the candle. This works really well for small amounts, and it shouldn’t take more than one or two minutes.
For larger pieces of wood, heat the wax in a bain-marie. We used one to melt the wax we sealed my bed with.
When the wax is molten, pour it on the part of the wood you want to seal. In the picture above I used two steps, first rubbing the hot wax in with the rag and then with a simple drop. This is what I found best for deeper cracks, but just the drop is enough for most irregularities.
For my bed I simply dipped the rag into the liquid wax and rubbed it all over the beams, but I actually had more fun with the small board and the pouring.
After the wax has settled a bit, gently scrap it off with a sharp knife. I first cut off the drop of wax as a whole and then shaved off the excess, as I found it easier that way.
With the bed-sealing, I used the blunt side of a butter knife to plough over the beam, while the Scoundrel liked to use the pocket knife. The butter knife method has the advantage of smoothing the whole width of a beam at once but needs a lot more pressure than the pocket knife.
When you’re done with what you want to seal – I did the whole upper surface and the sides of my board – polish it with a rug. Something soft like terry cloth or flannel might be best.
For me sealing this board had something near spiritual, like meditating. This will surely not be my last piece of beeswax wood.
Maybe this tutorial can be of use to some of you some day. I actually like writing tutorials, but most of the time I think that people know how to make that thing I just made anyway, so I don’t. So, if you’d like to see a tutorial to any of my future (or past) projects, just let me know.