Friday, February 24, 2012

Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part III

(continued from Finishing a Pine Table, the Natural Way... Part II)

So, there I was with the table, perfectly stained, but looking like a hand without Wunder Budder.
It needed wax.

So, I thought about it.
Beeswax, of course.
Candelilla wax to harden it up a bit?
Jojoba is a liquid wax, so why not?

Remember, this was my first try!

I put the waxes in a glass measuring cup, put it in a pan of water, and melted them on low heat.

As this was melting, I went back to Google and did some more searching. Then I found out that flax (often called linseed oil when used for painting) is what is known as a drying oil.

What the heck is a drying oil? I wanted to know that too. What I found out was that it's an oil. A wet, easily applied oil, but through oxidation it becomes hard. How cool is that!

I had some flax oil in my fridge, so I added some of that to the mix. But, I was running out of room in my melting cup, so I just added as much as could fit, then for fun I added some rose and chocolate extracts that were too old for use in skin products, but still smelled amazing!

I poured the new furniture wax into one of the ex-peanut butter jars I always have around my house, and let it cool, but in true Lisa fashion, I couldn't wait anymore and started using it while it was still warm.

This turned out to be a good thing, because as it cooled more and more, it became almost too hard to work with! So, I did what I don't suggest you do (but it was really fun!)... I applied the wax with my hands instead of a cloth! Scooping out large amounts of wax, I used the heat from my hands to soften it and make it easy to spread over all surfaces of the table, even the hidden ones. Although the danger of splinters is a real one (especially if you put as many coats of water based stain on your table as I did!), it's a pretty amazing, grounding feeling to work with raw wood and waxes with my fingers.

I massaged the wax in a circular motion, giving it a nice thick layer. I left it to dry, buffed it with a soft cloth, then applied another thick layer of wax with my hands. Once more, I left it to try, then buffed it with a soft cloth. After the third application, I used all my strenght to buff it down as much as I could. To remove as much excess wax as possible. I buffed it until my arms hurt.

Then I left it alone.

Heavy coating of wax on the table
At first, no matter how much I buffed, a thin sticky film remained, but luckily, due to a mixture of procrastination and being too busy, I left it for days. Somewhere within those days, the stickiness changed to a unique softness that felt neither wet or dry, to just a nice and smoothly finished table.

I'm in love.

And I'm proud. So proud of it, I've put off actually switching the tables out and using it as a full time coffee table. I know my life will have to change once it's out!
No more Stuff being left on it. No more forgetting the coaster. Daily cleaning.

But this weekend... it's happening.

The giant table is going into the attic, and we start using our awesome new table.

And with more space, I can start working on the second table. And with the second table, comes more experimenting and learning, two things I love doing.

Did I make the stain too weak (definitely!)? Did the jojoba sink into the wood (maybe)? Did I use too much candelilla (yes!)? Did the flax help it turn from sticky to smooth (I think so!)?

I'll share what I find with you, and when I do, I'll be sure to include the recipes and formulas I chose and tell you exactly what and why I did or didn't do differently.

Because I want you to Love Living Naturally!

Have you done this before using your own experiences? Did you try it based on mine? Are you looking forward to more specifics about how to do it? Let me know by commenting below!

Talk to you soon...

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