This polish is really quite miraculous. It’s easy to make, incredibly inexpensive, and yields beautiful results. It is guaranteed to make you fall back in love with your antique wooden furniture, wooden salad bowls, and wooden cutting boards. It restores shine and gloss, improving colour and adding an immeasurable amount of beauty. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not.
I began by buffing down my dresser. It’s a lovely piece of furniture, but years of sitting next to a window that is often open (even in rain storms… oops) has left it worse for wear. After dusting it down I buffed a thin layer of this polish into every surface, and delighted in watching the wood come back to life.
Next up was our antique sewing machine and spinning wheel, and then a bureau. I’m done for now, but quite convinced I will eventually go over every wooden surface in the house before long.
The polish itself is easy enough to make. I got the basic instructions and amounts from Fine Woodworking. I used a ratio of 5:1 oil to beeswax, but next time I may go with a 4:1 ratio to give me a thicker polish.
For this polish, I’ll use mineral oil. I am generally against mineral oil as it is derived from petroleum, but in this case it has the distinct advantage of not going rancid, which is always nice. We also had some in the medicine cabinet already. You can also use other carrier oils, like walnut or grapeseed (I’ve used these as well and they’re also wonderful), you’ll just have to watch for rancidity (though you generally don’t have to worry about it once it’s on the furniture, which is nice).
Beeswax Furniture Polish
50g mineral oil
Melt together. Remove from heat and stir until cooled. It should be thick and creamy. Decant into a small jar.
To use, buff onto a wooden surface with a clean cotton cloth. Let dry for about 15 minutes, and return to re-apply or buff off any leftovers (I like to apply a thin enough coating that this is not necessary to remove visible excess, but it is necessary to remove the stickiness so dust doesn’t stick to your furniture). Let the surface dry for a few hours before using.