Saturday, 27 November 2010

Minding our Own Beeswax

Caleb recently purchased a new laptop. He's paying it off by working for us on a low $5 hourly rate (more for excellently completed jobs). He helped me hammer the nails in his room, Trev punched them in. Caleb puttied the holes and washed the floor and then using my freshly made beewax polish, polished the boards.

The colours in the timber came out beautifully. Not like you'd see with estapol etc where it looks like a layer of reflective water on the surface. Much more subtle.

Beeswax Floor Polish100 grams of beeswax chopped into small pieces and placed in a wide mouth glass jar.
In a small pot of boiling water place the jar with the lid loosely on. Heat the water slowly (do not boil) and stir occassionally to help melt the wax. Wax has a low melting point, do not over heat. We used some of our own beeswax and strips of old beeswax off cuts from the hive. The cheapest way to buy it is from apiary suppliers. Or, if you have a friendly neighbour apiarist, ask them.

When the wax is melted remove the jar from the water and, while stirring, blend in 100mls of mineral turpentine. Allow to cool.

With a lint free cloth rub the wax onto your floor boards. 'Dries' within half an hour, you can then buff it for an increased shine. We tested a spare board for staining. Water simply beaded on it, and dirt wiped off. We realise it's not going to have the same kind of durability as synthetic finishes. But that's a compromise we're willing to make.


Kristen said...

Hi There. I made my own floor polish using a similar recipe (I added some Kanarbu wax for colour and hardness - but this was unnecessary) 10 years later it could do with a going over but it is still holding up ok. I have found the best way to revive it is with a heat gun. A quick going over re-melts it then you can buff it with a cloth.

Kristen said...

My beeswax polish is 10 years old and still going strong. A good way to revive it is to give it a quick going over with a heat gun then buff with a cloth and its good as new. I added Kanarbu wax for strength and colour but wouldn't bother if I was doing it again.

Linda Cockburn said...

Thanks Kristen,

A friend came by who told us that every Friday after school they re-beeswaxed the floor. The kids sat on large cloths and pulled each other over the floor. I was dismayed. Every week!

We've continued to wax floors, discovered that my polisher I bought with diamond polishing gear also had a lambswool polishing head. Makes life much easier and comes up buffed beautifully.

Internal doors are going up and we'll be beeswaxing those too.

Anonymous said...

I think the boards that are polished up look fantastic! And well done Caleb too.

Allan Williamson said...

Hello Linda,

After 2 years are you still happy with your beeswax floorboards?
How often have you ended up re-applying wax and or buffing?
Do they hold up well to Nuju treatment?

Linda Cockburn said...

Hi Allan,
We realised our arms were never going to make it through the entire house and we woozed (sp?)out after two rooms and put a water based finish on the rest of the house, then after a while we decided to sand back the two rooms we had done and put the same finish on them. We're getting to that age you realise you're not going to be able to maintain everything always. Sigh.

The doors are still beeswaxed, and they look great, they'll never have the wear and tear a floor will.