Home made oil and beeswax finish.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. linseed oil. Make sure to read the label thoroughly. Some oils are chemically treated, do NOT get these. Make sure your oil has zero Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)s.
  • 1 oz beeswax. I was able to purchase this at my local health food store. Another source is Dadant and sons.
Use a wide-mouth 12 oz. canning jar. I marked it at 8 oz and 9 oz, using a permanent marker. I then added the boiled linseed oil into the jar, to the 8 oz mark. The beeswax was then shaved off of a 1 lb. block. The shavings were added until the mixture reached the 9 oz mark.

*DO NOT USE boiled Linseed oil like in this photo.  I used it, but later found out that it contains heavy-metal dryers (Cobalt)

The mixture was then placed into a pot of water. The water was heated on medium on the electric stove until beeswax melted. I stirred the mixture while heating, using a bamboo skewer. The oil probably off gasses while heating, so I wouldn’t do this on a gas stove. Do not directly heat the oil / beeswax mixture. Only heat in water.
Once the beeswax melts, the mixture was allowed to cool.

Once cool, the finish can be used. See Finishes for tips on applying.

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17 thoughts on “Home made oil and beeswax finish.”

  1. I am interested in homemade non toxic eco friendly wood finishes. I was wondering if any other oils could be used to replace the boiled linseed oil in this recipe? Walnut oil, etc? WIll this beeswax finish create a hardened surface, as appropriate for a coffee table? Also I have been searching for information on stains as well. HOw do these work? Could you add a natural pigment directly to the beeswax finish? I am in process of building a coffee table from local sustainably harvested cedar and have noticed that the natural pigments look more purple, however, when wet or finshed the coloring becomes more red. Would you recommend any way to capture the more purplish tones? Thanks for your time! Oh, and I really appreciate your website. MY greenhouse is in its early stages of construction. I can’t wait!

  2. Angie:

    I recently called makers of the oil pictured here and found out that “boiled” linseed oil does contain heavy metal drying agents (cobalt), so I’m going to adjust this page.

    Linseed oil is the same as flax oil, so I may try making a batch of flax oil & beeswax at a 8:1 ratio. I don’t think it will dry as quickly as commercial finishes, but it will be homemade.

    I have mixed water based paints with water based polyurethane for a “white wash” finish. That worked great.

    If you can get the pigment to mix with the oil, it should work.

    If you are looking for a commercial finish, Tried & True Wood Finishes are fantastic. I’ve finished 2 floors and countless projects with their Polymerized Linseed Oil and Varnish Oils.

    http://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/

    -Eric

  3. Another question about homemade finishes. Could you make the oil and beeswax finish with tung oil instead of linseed? FYI: A small company out of Corvallis, OR makes some really nice petroleum-free, metal-free wood finishing products. They also sell raw linseed oil on a special order basis that can be shipped direct.
    Thanks!
    Angie

  4. Hi Eric, thanks for your site! I am going to make the playstands for Christmas. Question: where might I buy linseed oil? I have no idea if this is a hardware store thing or grocery store thing or something else. Did you try the flax oil, and did that work out? I do know where to get that, if it’s the regular stuff I eat :)

    Thanks – your site is a fantastic resource!

    Jenny

  5. Thanks Jenny. In the past, I’ve purchased boiled linseed oil at the hardware store, but later found out that the “boiled” part means that it has has heavy-metal dryers.

    I haven’t tried flaxoil, but it should work, although it may take longer to dry.

    If you are looking for raw linseed oil, Angie and I were discussing it in the comments above. She suggested http://www.landarknw.com as a company that can supply it.

    -Eric

  6. Hi Eric, thanks. I’ll check that site. I guess I was wondering if you have any ideas on what types of local/offline stores might have linseed oil, where I could buy it more quickly and without shipping charges. Anyway, I’ll check the site and may give flax oil a try!

    Jenny

  7. FYI- Raw linseed oil really takes a very long time to actually dry. Usually 6-8 weeks, and then it still isnt really cured. Boiled linseed does contain cobalt as a drier to expedite the down time raw linseed causes due to lengthy curing periods.

    Mike

  8. I have real brick floors in our home and two years ago had them finished with beeswax and linseed oil mixture by a local floor finisher that heated it up in a large pot outside and applied it with a mop.It was extremely stinky for quite a while! He then applied duraseal paste wax to finish it after it cured. My concern is we now have a grandson who crawls on it , we need to reseal and when checking contents of duraseal realized it was dangerous if absorbed into skin and neurotoxic. Is the beeswax and linseed oil toxic? Is there another wax we can use to finish as a top coat thats safer than duraseal paste wax? Thanks for your blog! Cathy

  9. Beeswax is nontoxic and pure linseed oil normally is, however, some “boiled” linseed oils contain drying agents. Make sure to read the labels. Also, you could top it with a poly-urethane. Those are fairly impermeable once dry.

  10. Unfortunately polyurethane is toxic for up to 5 years or so after it dries and it cant be put onto beeswax and linseed oil mixture. I’d be thrilled to just find a wax that would give the bricks a little shine. If I heated up straight bees wax could I apply it to the surface of the bricks and polish with a floor polisher. Would it harden?

  11. Thanks Eric for responding. Do you think if I bought Linseed Oil that is chemical free and heated it with the beeswax I could get a hardened finish on my brick floors? Its areas that have worn off the original beeswax /linseed finishes that I need to seal and also in a new storage room that’s tied into existing floor that needs sealing. What would you suggest for paste wax for regular maintenance following sealing to top and buff? I need to go with something with no voc if possible b/c grandson will be visiting often. I checked out the products you use and I’m not sure if they will go over the beeswax mixture I currently have on floors and also if they are non toxic. Thanks so much! Cathy

  12. Cathy: I don’t believe it would harden. The oil/beeswax finish soaks into the wood, but stays kind of soft. However, I do believe tung oil hardens. I remember seeing a source on the internet some time ago, but no longer have the link.

  13. I reinvent rusted and patinaed found objects (metal junk) into functional art (i.e photo frames, vases, vessels). I’m looking for a safe, non-toxic finish to rub on or otherwise apply to rusted metal objects to keep them from further rusting and oxidizing. To date, I have used a spray poly-urethane or other clear coat, but I’d like to find something more natural and less toxic. In passing, someone suggested rubbing beeswax, but beeswax alone proves too hard. I wonder if this might be what he was referring to? Other thoughts?

  14. @Cara:

    I’ll start by saying, I don’t know. Anything from here on is just a guess.

    The beeswax/oil mixtures I make tend to leave a very greasy/oily coating. it may be too oily for what you want to accomplish.

    I have used a gun cleaning product called “Gunzilla”, which is plant based and non-toxic. It seems to be a two part product. First, it cleans, and secondly, it leaves a thin, oily coating. It does seem to remove rust, and inhibit new rust and the coating it leaves dries almost completely after about 6 months. I use it on really rusted tools. It’s worth a try.

    I’d be interested in your results! Thanks.

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A computer geek with a taste for sustainable living, organic food, green products, buying local, woodworking, bicycling, running, yoga, recycling and doing-it-yourself.