The Country Potter- Make Your Own Wax Resist




I am currently single, and have been a maker all my life. I currently work as a technician for a ...

Wax resist is used to cover areas on pottery you dont want Galze or Slip to get on when you dip the peices into your vat of chemicals. Commercial wax resist is avaialable, but at 20$ a pint, im too cheap to go that route. this procedue will make about 1/2 gallon of wax resist for about 10$

this also works well as a saw lube and a tool waterproffer, not to mention one of the best fire starters ive seen

WARNING! These chemicals are Flammable. do this outdoors and do not use open flame.

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Step 1: The Materials

you will need,
a glass jar with a tight fitting cap
a box of canning parrafin
a can of mineral spirits
a metal parts brush

a can larger than the glass jar, and boiling water( i use my tea kettle I have to heat the throwing water)

optional, Food Colour (blue or red woks best)
if you dont like the smell of Mineral Spirits, you can add a drop or two of vanilla or cinimon extract to the mix.

Step 2:

into the glass jar, break up 1/2 of the box of parafin. this type comes in 4 cakes. I chunked it into some largist peices, and shaved some of it in too,,  the smaller the better. not need to pack it in tight ..

put the glass jar into the larger can (im suing a coffee can)

and cover with mineral spirits.

Step 3: Hadding the Hot Water

cap the jar loosely, and add the boiling water around the glass jar, until the water is level with the top of the mneral spirits.

let set for a few miniuted

Step 4: Mix in More Wax and Flavours

uncap the glass jar and stir with the brush. most of the wax will have melted, you can keep adding wax until no more will melt.
add the food colouring and scents now if you want them

the final wax will cool to a thick oily opaque material, to use, you just need to warm slightly, and breush on to aresa you dont want glaze on, like feet, or as a decorative acent.

wash you hands with soap and water before you handle any pots, this wax resists is very powerful and very pernicious....

seal tightly  and store in your fire cabinet.

a dab of this wax will light quickly and burn hot and makes a excellent kindling starter.....



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    10 Discussions


    3 years ago

    thank you for this recipe and encouragement. Here in Australia the paraffin wax comes in different weights etc. have some that is used for the top of jars in jam making. What is the ratio of paraffin wax to mineral turps/ spirit. Cheers , Pamela


    3 years ago

    Thank you for this recipe. I want to use the resist on the foot ring of dinner plates. You state that the wax is highly flammable and can be used for kindling. Does this not present a danger in the kiln? what happens at glazing temperatures of 1200 degrees centigrade? I'd hate to have a fire on my hands. So i am a bit nervous about it. I agree with you wax resist is pricey, especially where I live as it is imported. So finding this recipe is a great help. Thank you.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Your kiln is made to resist temperatures and fires. Think about how some kilns are heated; wood, oil, gas etc. The bricks are going to laugh at a bit of wax :) The only downside is you may get a little more smoke than normal, but that's not likely to be an issue if it well vented in the first place.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    simply...yes that's what it does. wax/oil are not water soluble and do not allow water-based substances to coat an object that has wax/oil on the surface. just like using a crayon on a egg before dipping in colour for, easter.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    glad to help, albeit quite a bit after the fact.
    i used painters tape today to 'block out' an area on some mugs i was glazing. i came here to learn how to make wax resist, answered your post and used something different...i did get some stain blocker spray to try it as a 'should' work...we'll see,


    9 years ago on Introduction

    My professor who taught the advanced pottery I took as a refresher course after being away from my pottery for a while used a plug-in cooker with lid that has the temperature dial on the part that plugs into the cooker where the other end plugs into the electrical outlet. He only kept enough paraffin wax in the pan to cover the bottom of the pots although we had plenty of brushes & sponges if we wished to cover other areas so glaze wouldn't stick in those areas. It was kept just warm enough to keep the wax melted yet not so hot the wax smoked. The lid was always on it but cracked a bit to make sure the wax wasn't getting too hot. This worked out perfectly and allowed us to simply dip the bottoms of our pots in the wax without having to use a brush or anything. The wax dried between clear and a white depending on the number of wax coats applied.



    you was the bottom of your pot, dip into glaze, the glaze runs off the waxed areas and the wax burns off during the candling of your peices.

    you dont need very much thickness, in fact my biggest problem is leaving distinct finger prints on my pots when Im glazing, during your warming period you should have the kiln door cracked open and the peepholes out anyway to let chemical steam out before going to full run up. there is a bit of smoke , but its expected, and if yur are firing with fule, it goes up the flue.
    if you are electric, just put up with the smoke... you can also burn off the wax with a propane torch if iut gets messed up or you want to do multiple resists..

    (you can wax over one colour, like white, in a pattern, re-dip into another glaze, to produce patterns...  the most complicated ones look like batik egs.