How to Finish Wood with Candelilla Wax?

finishing wood with candelilla wax

Wood waxes are a great way to protect your wood surfaces and add a bit of shine. As the wax will tend to highlight the wood grains, they can also be used to create a distressed look for your wood furniture.

Candelilla wax is one such type of wood wax made from the Candelilla plant/shrub leaves. It’s basically a natural product and is harvested from plants that are native to the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.

The wax is collected by workers who submerge the Candelilla plants entirely in acidified boiling water. The wax rises to the surface and is then collected by the workers.

But how to use this wax as a wood polish, on what surfaces can you use it, and are there any other uses of this wax? Let’s cover all these queries in this article.

Where to Use Candelilla Wax?

Many manufacturers in the paint and finishing industry blend Candelilla wax with other waxes to create a harder finish that doesn’t raise the melting temperature. Real Milk Paint Co.’s Good Ol’ Brown Wax is an excellent example of this. 

This natural wax combo contains candelilla wax, carnauba wax, and beeswax, creating a creamy texture with a gentle brown color that is perfect for bringing new life to older furniture pieces with nicks and scratches. You can use it to restore the sheen on all finished wood surfaces while providing protection.

The finish comes with excellent coverage as 16 oz. can easily cover approx 150 sq. ft. of area. And you can even use this inexpensive candelilla finishing wax over milk paint and chalk-painted wood surfaces.

With a bit of glaze, it will pop the color, provide durability, and bring out the high definition of the wood grain.

Candelilla Wax Wood Finish

Applying Candelilla Wax Wood Finish

The candelilla wood furniture wax comes with a creamy consistency, making it easy to apply and buff by hand or by machine. Plus, it would color in nicks and scratches as well – leaving only an attractive soft luster behind.

To apply the wax finish on wood by hand, simply follow these steps:

Step 1. Start with a clean, dry, and dull surface. If your wood is newly sanded, wait 24 hours for the dust to settle.

Step 2. Once the wood surface is ready, take a lint-free cloth or brush and apply a small amount of wax in a circular motion.

Step 3. Work one small area at a time, and don’t forget to wax the edges and any crevices of your furniture.

Step 4. After you’ve gone over the entire piece, let the wax sit for about 20 minutes to penetrate the wood grains.

Step 5. Then, using a clean, lint-free cloth, buff the wax in a circular motion until you’ve achieved the desired sheen.

For a high-gloss finish, apply additional coats of wax and buff each section until you get the level of shine you want.

If you want to use an electric buffer to apply the wax (on a relatively large area like your hardwood floors), follow these steps:

Step 1. Start by attaching a clean white pad to the buffer.

Step 2. Next, apply a small amount of wax to the pad and turn on the buffer to a low setting.

Step 3. Gently move the buffer over the surface of the wood in a circular motion.

Step 4. After going through the entire area, allow the wax to sit for about 20 minutes to penetrate through the wood grain.

Step 5. Buff the wax in a circular motion with a clean cloth until the desired sheen is accomplished. For an extra glossy finish, apply extra coats of wax and buff until the desired level of shine is achieved.

Can You Use Candelilla Wax as a Wood Filler?

Candelilla Wax is an excellent all-natural wax for filling nail holes and scratches on hardwood floors.

Much like any other wood filler, it’s simple to use candelilla wax to fill carpet tack strip nail holes after finishing your floor with tung oil or another similar topcoat. Simply rub it into the hole with your finger, and then use a putty knife or other sharp object to scrape the excess.

Candelilla wax can also act as a distressing agent, giving your furniture an aged look.

To use it as a distressing agent, apply the wax to the areas where you want the paint to look worn away.

Once the wax is in place, paint over it with your desired color. After the paint has dried, take a lint-free cloth and rub away the paint in the areas where you applied the wax to give it an antique distressed look.

If needed, you can also use fine sandpaper to achieve a more distressed look.

Maintenance and Caring Tip for Candelilla Wax Wood Finish

Once you have used candelilla brown waxes on your wood furniture, the maintenance is pretty straightforward. And it’s essential to keep the wood looking fresh and new.

  • Simply wipe your waxed furniture surface with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or fingerprints for regular care.
  • To clean any stubborn build-up, use a mild dish soap and water solution. Just rinse the surface afterward with clean water to avoid any soap residue.
  • When you want to touch up your furniture, apply another coat of wax in the areas that need it. You can also use a furniture polish in between waxing to keep the wood looking shiny and new.

The Bottom Line

Candelilla Wax is a beautiful all-natural wood finish perfect for those who want a unique rustic look. It’s easy to apply and maintain and an inexpensive way to add character to your furniture. 

Make sure you pick the right brand and product, such as the Good Ol’ Brown Wax, to get the long-lasting results you seek.

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