March 8, 2023

The Wonders of Using Beeswax on Wood: A Comprehensive Guide

Beeswax is a natural wax used to maintain and protect bare wood surfaces. It seals and protects all types of wood and wood surfaces, giving them a long-lasting, durable and natural-looking shine. When applied to wood, it gives it a natural shine, absorbs into the wood fibers and seals it.

There is no way you can tell that some wax has been applied. Beeswax protects wooden surfaces, such as wooden furniture, from fading due to sunlight, dust and pollutants in the air, and even water damage.

It helps keep your furniture in color, condition and value. Beeswax polish is easy to use and less expensive than other alternatives. It is suitable for modern and antique wood furniture, including wood veneers. It can also treat natural woods such as beech, mahogany, oak, pine, teak, walnut and yew.

Beeswax wood finish gives your furniture a natural looking finish, as is common in the industry. It can help bring out the true beauty of your wood by forming a rich, glossy coating that cares for your furniture. There is little chance that it will distort the beauty of the wood. The surface of your wood will feel silky smooth.

You can quickly clean and protect your wooden objects with beeswax wood polish. There is no need to keep pollutants and chemicals in your home anymore. Using beeswax on wood gives you control over the items and does the job. It is safe to use. The product, which is gentle on wood, will leave your surfaces looking fantastic.

Image by Hanna from Pixabay

Beeswax Wood Preservative penetrates directly into the wood to eliminate dry, dull, damp and sun damaged surfaces, leaving a warm shine. The shine you get is that of a professional interior designer.

Beeswax is of high plasticity. It is insoluble in water and resistant to many acids, but soluble in most organic solvents. The melting point of beeswax is between 62 and 65°C. Beeswax contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. These properties provide a balance between care and soothing.

Beeswax contains high-carbon paraffin, which feeds into the wood, seals, and protects its surface. That ensures durability, especially for furniture left next to an open window or door, exposed to damp winds or even rainstorms.

The History of Beeswax on Wood

The origins of using beeswax on wood

During the Middle Ages, Homer, a Greek poet noted wooden panels covered with beeswax. Romans were honored by having statues of themselves made in beeswax hence the MovieLand Wax Museum in LA. 

The Egyptians used wax figures of deities in funeral ceremonies and placed them in graves. In 400 BC Greek Historians say that Persian-coated bodies were a form of embalming. The Assyrians covered bodies with beeswax and then dipped the bodies in honey.

Neolithic humans used beeswax for multiple applications: as a waterproofing agent for pottery vessels, as a fuel, as a cosmetic ingredient, and as an instrument for religious ceremonies. Beeswax has been used since prehistory as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, as a polish for wood and leather, and for making candles.

Traditional methods of applying beeswax to wood

Apply the Beeswax Polish onto a cloth and rub it into the wooden surface following the direction of the grain. Leave for 5 minutes and buff over with a cloth to restore the lustre. Try using a Lint Free Cloth for best results (

Start by making sure the surface is clean. Sometimes the surface is clean but you cannot forget debris. Use warm soapy water to remove the debris. Rinse the surface and let it air dry. For a new wood surface to work on, strip all the old paint, waxes, varnishes, or other finishes.

Scrape the loosened finish and then repeat the process. Finally, wash the surface with an intensive wood cleaner with enough water. Sand the cleaned wood surface.

Sanding is another crucial step in this process. It helps smooth out the surface, which aids in absorbing the wax polish ( Start sanding using 100-grit sandpaper and work in the wood grain direction. Use a sanding machine or a sanding block, depending on the size of the wooden surface. Sand every inch of the wood furniture that will be polished.

Run the final round of sanding using 180-grit sandpaper for a smooth and even surface that will pop under the wax. To apply wax over a finished surface, scuff sand, so the wood wax applies well without running off.

Apply the first layer of the beeswax on your wooden surface. Apply the wax to the furniture using long sweeping strokes, along the wood grain. Repeat the same process over the entire surface of the wood furniture. Ensure the wax layer remains light and uniform.

Wait for the first layer of beeswax polish to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. This time allowance can vary depending on the temperature and humidity in your region and the porosity of the wood. Allow the wood enough time to absorb the wax. Test if the wax is dry enough by pressing the tip of your finger on a hidden spot. Give it more time when it is sticky or takes on your fingerprint. It’s ready for re-waxing once it is hard to the touch.

Re-apply another layer of the wax in the same fashion as the first coat using light amounts with gentle, long strokes. Use a clean spot on the lint-free cloth you are using. Raw or unfinished wood requires at least three layers of beeswax wood polish ( Repeat the process for more layers of wax till satisfied. 

Buff the finished wood. Get a clean rag or cloth and rub it on the waxed surface in a circular motion to remove excess polish and smooth any build-up wax in corners and crannies. Keep buffing the wooden furniture using a clean cloth, going from the top to the sides and every inch. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the gloss level on your wood furniture. Let it dry for 24 hours. 

How the use of beeswax on wood evolved over time

In some countries in Asia and Africa, it is used in creating batik fabrics and in the lost-wax method of casting small metal objects. It strengthens threads then it comes to wood waxing. Time and innovation introduced beeswax as a wood finish. As finishes have developed, varnishes and paints have come along to preserve the wood and provide finishes for different preferences. 

Beeswax is a waterproofing agent for wood, leather, and strengthening threads. It worked in village industries such as candle-making. 

The Science of Beeswax on Wood

The chemical properties of beeswax and how it interacts with wood

Beeswax consists of fatty acid esters and various long-chain alcohols. The approximate chemical composition is 35% monoester, 14% diester, 3% triester, 4% hydroxy monoester, 8% hydroxy polyester, 1% acid ester, and 2% acidic polyester.

Beeswax wood polish brings natural warmth in wood while repelling dirt and water. That keeps your wood looking and feeling beautiful. By using a polish with a beeswax base, avoid using unnecessary chemicals in your home.

Beeswax acts as an extra protective layer after oiling your wooden products. The thick layer protects the wood, creating a barrier against unwanted moisture and filling cracks from damage and use.

The benefits of using beeswax on wood, including water resistance and preservation of natural colour

Beeswax cleans, nourishes, and protects the wood. It protects all wooden surfaces, such as wooden furniture, from fading caused by sunlight, dust and airborne pollutants, and even water damage. When protected, water will bead up on the surface of the wood in the form of globules. Re-apply Beeswax when liquids lie flat on the surface instead of beading up.

Beeswax provides a beautiful, rich finish to your wood furniture. It gives an instant, natural shine and helps keep your furniture looking rich in color, condition, and value. The clear wax does not allow your beeswax wood polish to alter the color and appearance of the surface it is applied to. It becomes a safe, natural, and effective way to bring new life to wood furniture.

Beeswax is easy to apply and reapply. Ensure the surface is dust free and clean the furniture using a Wood Cleaner. Apply the Beeswax Polish onto a lint-free cloth and rub it into the wooden surface following the direction of the grain. Note that you can add coats for extra protection or applied to bare wood.

Beeswax is versatile since it is suitable for all wooden surfaces. It finishes modern, antique internal wood furniture and natural woods, including beech, mahogany, oak, pine, teak, walnut, and yew. Beeswax polish can complement any other wood finish, including Wood Stain, Wood Oils, and Wood Varnish to leave the wood rich and natural.

The role of beeswax in protecting wood from rot and decay

Beeswax works as a wood preservative method and protects wood species with a low resistance to decay. There is less decay and a noticeable remaining load-bearing capacity in wood impregnated with beeswax. 

Beeswax contains high-carbon paraffin, which feeds into the wood. It also seals and protects its surface, especially from moisture and sunlight. That gives your wood surface needed durability, especially for furniture left sitting next to an open window or door, exposed to damp winds or even rainstorms.

Wood coated repeatedly with beeswax, keeps the wax on the wood longer. The duration reduces when the wood is subjected to wear, tear, and dissolution through cleaner. 

Beeswax waterproofs the outer layer of any wood surface, sealing and locking in the wood moisture and protecting it against any elements that include rain. Beeswax works with wooden furniture, such as inside coffee tables, wooden benches inside your kitchen, and outdoor wooden tables. Beeswax seals any wood surface, locking the moisture within the wood, making it ideal for any outdoor table or furniture piece. The wax prevents mold or mildew, protecting the wood from the rain.

Beeswax protects that area from any coffee/tea cup circles marking the bench. The beeswax puts a protective layer between the coffee cup and the wood. 

Wooden furniture like deckings is exposed to rain, meaning water will hit the wood on rainy days. That may cause mold, and mildew, and the wood can expand in the rain, causing the wood to crack and split. Applying beeswax to your decking will put that extra layer onto the beeswax, protecting the wood from water damage.

Beeswax is natural and seals and waterproofs the chopping board. That is how the wax prevents staining from any foods going into the wood, making it easy to wash away with detergent and water. Meat juices will not get trapped within the wood. No bacteria gets trapped within the wood.

Make sure the beeswax polish you use has natural ingredients and that the beeswax is organic. Since wooden floorboards are where feet and shoes walk over constantly, causing wear and tear, beeswax is applied on floorboards to seal and protect the wood against spills, water, and dirt.

Wooden items left outside need protection so the wood does not expand and slit. Since mold and mildew can appear on the wood from the rain, applying beeswax is crucial to protect outdoor furniture. Beeswax is most effective when used as a polish on top of another type of finish.

When beeswax gets absorbed into the wood grains, giving the wood a sealing effect that prevents the wood from drying out and losing its moisture. The sealing means the wood repels any additional moisture from water, another polish, or a chemical.

When beeswax is applied to wood, it helps to repel other substances like other wood polishes. That means that once beeswax is applied, the wooden surface is almost waterproof.

Applying Beeswax to Wood

Techniques for applying beeswax to wood, including melting and brushing


  1. Cut the wax. Sometimes it comes in a block. You can skip this step if you use these beeswax pellets.
  2. Melt the oil, depending on which one you are using. The oil and wax should be about the same temperature to mix easily. You can use coconut oil to make your wood polish. Scoop out about 3-4 tablespoons of oil into a microwave-safe container. Melt the wax oil in the microwave at 50% power for about 1 minute, although the time will vary for each microwave. When the oil melts, measure three tablespoons and pour it into a mason jar.
  3. Melt the wax to mix with the oil. Be careful since beeswax is flammable. Melt the wax in a double boiler or a microwave. Place about 1-2 tablespoons of wax in the microwave-safe container you used to melt the oil. The microwave has to be at 50% power for about 2-3 minutes. Use a skewer to stir the wax and melt at 50% power for another minute. Times will vary for each microwave. Be careful since the container and wax will be hot.
  4. Mix the oil and wax using a skewer. The mixture may get chunky if the oil is cooler than the wax.
  5. Apply the Beeswax wood polish. Apply the wax with a clean rag using back and forth motion. Allow the wax to dry, and buff it off with a clean rag.

Steel wool

  1. Using an Ultra Fine Steel Wool, apply a thin coat of wax on the surface in the wood grain direction. 
  2. Allow the wax to dry for about 20 minutes, and then buff it to a sheen with a cotton cloth or a Liberon wax polishing brush. 
  3. If the wood is new or very dry, apply another coat.


  1. Gather the tools and materials you need. These include Beeswax; a course bristled brush, a finer nylon brush, and a lint-free cloth. 
  2. Brush the wood to open up the grain of the wood, allowing the wax to get in there. Hold your piece or the brush if larger than the piece, and give the whole surface a good brush.
  3. Rub the wax into the wood in all directions to get it into the grain well.
  4. Since you have applied the wax to all the areas you want protection, take a break and let it dry. The longer you leave the wax on, the harder it will be to buff up, but the shine will be more prominent.
  5. Now that the wax has had a chance to penetrate the wood grain take the piece and briskly buff it against the course brush. Buff it until the surface feels smooth and no longer tacky. Use the finer nylon brush to add some extra sheen to the wood, repeating the same process.

Tips for achieving a smooth and even finish

  • Go over the final round of sanding using 180-grit sandpaper.
  • Sand the wood surface before applying beeswax.
  • Before using the beeswax wood polish, ensure the surface is dust free.

How to maintain and reapply beeswax on wood

  1. Apply the Beeswax Polish onto a lint-free cloth and rub it into the wooden surface following the direction of the grain.
  2. Leave for 3-4 minutes and buff over with a clean cloth to restore the lustre. Add coats for extra protection or if applying to bare wood.

Beeswax Polish should be re-applied once a year to maintain the furniture. It must be polished and re-applied frequently to ensure they retain that finish. 


In conclusion, there are multiple benefits of using beeswax on wood. Beeswax keeps your wood surfaces shiny and stronger. It helps keep your furniture looking rich in color. It eliminates dry, dull, moisture and sun-damaged surfaces. 

Beeswax can enhance the durability and appearance of wood by blocking all the moisture away from the surface. Try using beeswax on different wood projects for more knowledge and experience on how the finish works. 


What is beeswax?

Beeswax is a natural wax that bees produce to build their honeycombs. It is a versatile and useful substance used for centuries, including protecting and polishing wood.

How do I apply beeswax to wood?

Clean your surface, apply the wax on a cloth, and rub it on the wood. You can use a soft cloth or a brush to apply beeswax to wood. First, make sure the wood is clean and dry. Then, apply a thin layer of beeswax to the surface of the wood, using circular motions to work it into the grain. Finally, buff the wax with a clean cloth to achieve a smooth and lustrous finish.

How often do I need to reapply beeswax?

Reapply beeswax at least once a year. The frequency of reapplication of beeswax depends on the amount of wear and tear the wood is exposed to. Generally, you can reapply beeswax every six months to a year to maintain the protection and shine of the wood.

Can I use beeswax on painted wood?

Yes, over almost any other wood finish, including paint. Test an area to ensure that you are happy with the result. Using beeswax on painted wood is not recommended, as it may cause discoloration and affect the paint’s durability.

How does beeswax protect wood?

It is waterproof. It creates a barrier between dirt, moisture, and the surface. Beeswax creates a natural barrier on the surface of the wood that protects it from moisture, dust, and other environmental factors that can cause damage and deterioration.

Is beeswax safe for food contact?

Yes, it is safe for food contact. Beeswax is a food-safe material that can protect and preserve wooden kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and other items that come into contact with food.

What is the best way to seal and protect wood?

There are several ways to seal and protect wood, including using varnish, oil, or wax. Beeswax is an excellent option, providing a natural, non-toxic, and durable protective layer.

How do I make homemade beeswax wood polish?

To make homemade beeswax wood polish, you will need beeswax, olive oil, and a double boiler. Melt the beeswax in the double boiler, add the olive oil, and stir until fully combined. Let the mixture cool, then apply it to the wood using a soft cloth.

Can I use beeswax on furniture?

Yes, beeswax can be used on furniture to protect and enhance the natural beauty of the wood. It is particularly effective on antique furniture and other wooden items with intricate details and carvings.

How does beeswax compare to other wood finishes?

Compared to other wood finishes, such as varnish or oil, beeswax provides a more natural and subtle finish that enhances the texture and grain of the wood. It is also easier to apply and maintain.

How do I remove beeswax from wood?

To remove beeswax from wood, you can gently scrape the wax from a scraper or a spatula. Then, use a cloth soaked in mineral spirits or vinegar to clean the remaining residue. Repeat the process if necessary until all the wax is removed.

David D. Hughes

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