Paste Wax





Introduction: Paste Wax

About: I have been working with wood since I could stumble into the shop with my dad. About a year ago I moved into a house with no space for a full shop so I decided to take up all hand tool wood working. That sta...

I Use Paste wax for all kinds of things from rust protection to lubricant on planes, to wood finishes, and a ton of other applications. the thing that surprises people is how easy it is to make. with just a few simple tools and 5 minutes of time, you can make up your new favorite wood finish!

You will find recipes of all kinds of mixtures and ingredients but in basic it is an oil suspended in a wax that is solid at room temperature. Some of these mixes are thousands of years old and have all kinds of uses. For most of mine, I use Beeswax and Raw Linseed Oil, but different waxes and oils will give you different uses from rust protectant to traditional remedies, to your own homemade lip balm.

Tools Needed

Dubble boiler, OR

small crockpot, OR

Strong coffee warmer and Coffie cup, OR

a set of pots and pans or glass bowl

Supplies Needed

BeesWax -

Linseed oil -

Container - plastic salsa container, or pickle jar, or whatever you want to put it in!

Step 1: The Setup

I have used a ton of different ways to heat the wax but all you need is some container that you can heat up to around 150F-200F (65C-95C) The traditional method is a double boiler. the nice thing about this is you can not overheat it because the hottest it will get is the temperature of boiling water. But any set of pots and pans where one can fit in another will work. some like to put a glass pot in a metal pan and put it over the eye of the stove. I just use a smaller pan and let it float in a larger pot. I like having the handle to grab.

Step 2:

So once the container is starting to heat up I add the ingredients and start the wax to melting.

I like to use 3 different mixes.

2 parts wax to 1 part Oil (hard)

2 parts wax to 3 parts oil (Medium)

1 part wax to 2 parts oil (soft)

I like Beeswax and raw linseed oil, but you can change the wax and oil to anything you want. some people like to add essential oils for aroma or other body uses. For a whiter look use paraffin wax.

for oils, you can use mineral oil for cutting boards, or Boiled Linseed Oil for Wood finishes. your imagination is the limit.

Step 3: Cure

Once the wax is all melted and it is well mixed then you can pour it into your container of choice. I use pickle jars and salsa containers. Then, put it in the refrigerator tell it is solid and it is ready to use.

Step 4: USES

You just made yourself Paste Wax.

I can not stress how many possible mixes you could make or how many uses you can come up with but here are a few of my favorites.

Hard - rust prevention on cast iron surfaces and hand tools. reduce Friction on wood on wood slides. re-waxing Waxes-canvas

Medium - lubricant on saws and plane bottoms and power planes. End grain cutting board finishes. Lip Balm

Soft - Wood finish. Furniture rejuvenator. Hair grease!

Have fun and see what you can come up with!



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I love it. I have always used paste wax for finishing wood and as a lubricant. Now I can make my own.

Been making this stuff for years. Amazing how much you can make for little. I get local wax at a farmers market for cheap and make enough paste wax to last year's. great woodworking tip cheers!

9 replies

Right on. I have a local beekeeper I get the wax from and a friend who presses the flaxseeds to make linseed oil. I love using products I can eat! and so satisfying to use!

I've been eating glue sticks and crayons since pre-school! Your post made me chuckle. :)

I used to eat kitchen matches--just the heads. But my Grandma caught me and put a stop to that fun. What a killjoy.

LOL yup. we got to stick together.

read step 2 I'm detail again...I think you have a typo..."add"

Edit 'ass'. I think it should be 'add'.

2nd para, 2nd sentence - first word should be capitalized :) - in Step 2. This is what jsmithblue was pointing out.

gott it thanks. spell checkers dont catch that kind of thing!

"...some people like to ass essential oils..." I think you intended it to say "add"

This is a great idea! I have used beeswax and coconut oil to treat cutting boards too and it works well.

Here's an important footnote, though: the linseed oil you buy at the hardware store is not safe to consume and should never be used on things that come in contact with skin or food. The flax seed oil that you linked to in the article is safe for those uses.

As I understand it, linseed oil and flax seed oil, though they come from the same source, are handled very differently and only the latter is safe in those situations. Also, you need to be sure to keep it in the refrigerator or it will go rancid pretty quickly.

1 reply

Very true, but Flax seed oil and Linseed oil are the same thing the difference is if they have additives to dry faster (BLO) or for faster refinement (Linseed oil labeled for finishing) The shelf life on Linseed oil is about 6-9 months Similar to olive oil.

I have two 1 quart containers of old boiled linseed oil that I picked up from an estate sale. Sometimes the old stuff is much better than the new so maybe I'll try this. Thanks so much for sharing!

1 reply

True. I use it all the time for hand tools and any wood that is in my hand. Feels so good.


This is great information - I've always wondered how to make paste using linseed oil. I've made 1:1 mix of beeswax and food-grade mineral oil for cutting boards, but it doesn't seem to offer lasting protection. What mix/recipe would you recommend for long-term protection of wooden tool handles? Thanks!

1 reply

ya, mineral oil does not polymerize so it can be washed out. Linseed oil will last 6X (or so) longer than mineral oil. Just be carful with BLO as most are made with chemical dryers to speed up the curing. dont want that on food, but for hand tools BLO is great.

Out in arizona i installed a lot of saltillo tile, its crude, and made from low fired earthenware red clay, thicker than italian tile it has a great rustic charm, comes without a glazed surface., and incredibly cheap.

this is something you must do if its to be used in a home where kids drop things on it but in a patio you can leave it un finished and its best to finish it very little if its used on a porch where skid resistance is a great consideration. i used a type of French Polish which i had learned about for finishing gunstocks, it was one third, beeswax, one third boiled linseed oil and one third alcohol based shellac.the method was to pour it on the tile after grouting, spread it around let it set overinght or a weekend and then do it again removing spots that hadnt absorbed the goop by mopping them up and transferring the standing un absorbed part somewhere else. this gives you a faint sheen and while it may need to be re done in a year or so , the path worn be traffic is part of its native ,super cheap, and chic. look.

for the outdoor stuff i would seal it with the same basic mix , substituting stoddard solven( (de oderized kerosene) for the shellac.

your mix is a great inspiration for people to do some fabrication of finishiing and ( less harmful ) items , while saving big dollars. this is the spirit of instructables writ large. thanks

1 reply

Right on that is a great idea. I will have to try that some time. I love finding a simple solution to a problem that people like to over think.