How to Apply Briwax (beeswax) to Oak

About: I create personalised and bespoke wooden gifts from quality hardwoods. I use a combination of traditional and modern techniques to achieve the perfect finish in everything I make. Come and take a look: www.Y...

Hi. This is a relatively simply job, but a lot of people do it wrong. Most people, in my experience tend to apply beeswax without having brushed the wood first, and finish by buffing with just a cloth. Although this will provide an acceptable result, if you want your wood to really look its best, then follow these steps...

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Step 1: The Things You Will Need...

You will need:

  • Briwax (or similar type soft wax)
  • A course bristled brush
  • A finer nylon brush
  • Lint-free cloth/ kitchen roll to apply

Step 2: Brush the Wood...

I know a lot of you will be thinking, "why bother to brush the wood before any wax is applied?", well...this opens up the grain of the wood, allowing the wax to really get in there properly and do its thing! Just hold your piece (if its relatively small) or the brush if that's larger than the piece, and give the whole surface a good brush.

Step 3: Applying the Wax...

Now that the surface of the wood has been properly prepared, the can start to apply the wax. Here I have used just a little bit on the kitchen towel, and rubbed it into the wood in all directions to get it into the grain really well.

For this example, I have used a small oak ring box which I make as a part of my business.

Step 4: Leave the Wax to Do Its Thing...

Now that you've applied the wax to all the areas you want protecting, its time to take a little break and make yourself a coffee! give the wax around 10-15 mins. The longer you leave the wax on, the harder it will be to buff-up, but the shine will be more prominent.

Step 5: Buff-up the Wood...

Now that the wax has had chance to penetrate into the grain, take the piece and briskly buff-it against the course brush. You know when you've buffed it enough when the surface feels smooth and no longer tacky. You can then use the finer nylon brush to add some extra sheen to the wood, by repeating the same process.

Step 6: The Finished Product...

Now stand back and admire all your hard work!

Thanks for thanking the time to ready my tips for applying bees wax. Please feel free to comment and share you own tip, tricks or experiences with wood finishing.

If you would like to buy the product shown in this instructable, you can visit us at

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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I also have an idea that mica powders mixed with a good paste wax will make Guilders Paste, and I'm interested in your thoughts on this...


    3 years ago

    I sell artisan jewellery on Etsy {ShopThisisBeautiful} I would like to link to your shop as it compliments my own... I also have an idea for a box but that's later. Please send me a convo on Etsy and let me know what you think!


    3 years ago

    Will this technique also work with my finishing mixture? I'm using a combination of mineral oil, turpentine and beeswax to finish my cherry and walnut end tables and I want them to be extremely smooth when I'm done. I've been sanding the wood lightly between coats of finish. What else should I be doing?

    1 reply
    Yewleaf WishesCharlieJazmine

    Reply 3 years ago

    All I would recommend is doing what your doing and finish by buffing the wood with a lint free cloth after all the steps I have suggested. This will help bring the beeswax to that final high sheen. Hope your end tables turn out great. Please post a pic when your done


    3 years ago

    You can really pack it in there by heating the surface with a hair dryer before and during wax application, then buff. To determine if more waxing is needed at a future time, just buff the surface, if a luster cannot be raised, then it's time to rewax.


    3 years ago

    I've never seen anyone brush wood prior to applying wax. It's an interesting technique, and I'll have to give it a try next time I'm waxing a bare piece of wood.

    Glad you shared this, thanks!