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Thread: Homemade finishes - beeswax (food-safe)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    northwest Arkansas

    Homemade finishes - beeswax (food-safe)

    Was reading threads (being new here there seems to be about a gazillion hours of catching up to be done) and saw in one discussion about where to buy cheap mineral oil a referral was made to a beeswax salad bowl finish, which appears to be nothing more than beeswax and mineral oil. So, I'm wondering if anyone has any experience in making their own mix, and if so, what proportions? I really like the idea of environmentally friendly, user safe, inexpensive finishes that I can make myself.

    Right now I have a nice little walnut bookshelf to finish. Got it sanded to 220 and trying to decide how to best give it a reasonably durable yet natural looking finish. I'm about to mix up some homemade to the tune of equal parts mineral spirits, BLO and spar varnish. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Outside the beltway
    You 1st may what to put 3 coats of 50/50 shellac/alcohol then start with your mixture or it will take forever.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Welcome to the forum, Ben.

    The mineral oil and beeswax mix is a pretty common finish for things like cutting boards and bowls that will be in contact with food.

    The mineral spirits/BLO/varnish mix (in all sorts of different proportions and recipes) is used for a lot of things, too. Your little walnut bookshelf project would be a good thing to try it on. If you're looking for a more built-up glossy finish, I'd agree with Dave's suggestion to first start with a few coats of thinned shellac to seal the wood. The shellac also helps seal the wood and keeps the oil in the homebrew finish from darkening the wood as much. On the other hand, if you're looking for a more satin or matte look and don't mind a bit darker look to the finished walnut, I'd not bother with the shellac.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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