I love rescued furniture. Furniture would tell a thousand stories, if only it could. Old furniture was built to last, it’s sturdy, good quality and really great to work with. When someone put a call out on one of our local social pages to see if anyone wanted this old beauty before she took her to the dump, I couldn’t resist. All she wanted from me was a small donation to charity, and I was more than happy to oblige. That afternoon the table was delivered by a local man-with-a-van and my love affair with her began.
I sanded the grime and peeling varnish off the the table top. I scraped away the dull finish and revealed a beautiful pale pine underneath. I knew I had to finish the table top with something to protect the wood from the inevitable spills that occur daily in the centre of our home. But with what? Before the Nothing New project I would have headed down to the hardware store and would have probably bought whatever was recommended to me, but I can’t do that now. I remembered talking to a friend at work about finishing wood and she swore by beeswax as a natural finish. She had recommended that I use a combination of beeswax and oil melted together. It took me a week to find a local producer of beeswax, I even joined our local bee keeper group to see if someone could point me in the right direction. I ended up finding a little tub of backyard beeswax at a little Rotary stall in a farmers market a couple of towns south from home. It was the only one they had, and seemed to be the only locally produced beeswax (that isn’t being sold in health food stores) that was available so I jumped at the chance to take it home with me.
I wanted to use coconut oil, but I used the last of my jar in a batch of Chocolate-Beet loaf and was far too impatient for the delivery from our local co-op. I hunted in my pantry for a solution. Olive oil was it. I was surprised at how easy it was.
HOMEMADE WOOD RUB.
300g oil (coconut, olive, macadamia)
Use a nice sharp knife to chop your beeswax into small cubes to help them to melt faster. You will need to melt the oil/beeswax using a double boiling technique. You can do this by throwing both elements into a tin can and putting the tin can standing upright in a boiling pot of water, or put the oil and beeswax in a metal bowl on top of a boiling pot of water just like you would melt chocolate. It took about twenty minutes to melt the beeswax into the oil stirring every now and then to ensure that the heat was being evenly distributed. Once melted and nicely combined, pour the melted mixture into a glass jar and let it cool down and set.
When the cream sets it will be a pale golden colour and should have a lovely smooth creamy consistency.
Apply a thin layer of the cream to a clean wood surface, whether it be furniture, wooden spoons, wooden bowls or even ornaments. Use a clean cotton cloth (I use old muslin baby wraps) to gently rub the oil into the wood evenly. I left the table under cover outside for about 12 hours and then rubbed it down with a clean dry cloth to get rid of any excess oil before I brought the table inside.
The cream is 100% food grade so is really safe to use on any food prep surfaces or even on your skin. I used this exact cream on my dry feet with socks on and they were super smooth the next morning… Gotta love multi-use home made products!