My daughter Katherine has cooked up a batch of Soft Wax 2.0, a non-toxic finish that I use on my chairs, kitchen countertops, tables and other household objects.
We switched to making this finish because it is non-toxic. And it works just as well as the high-solvent based wax she made for years. Katherine sells the wax through her etsy store. It is $24 for an 8 ounce jar, which is enough to finish two stick chairs (at least). A little bit goes a long way.
Here are the details and instructions.
Soft Wax 2.0 is a non-toxic finish for bare wood that is incredibly easy to apply and imparts a beautiful low luster to the wood.
The finish is made by cooking raw, organic linseed oil (from the flax plant) and combining it with cosmetics-grade beeswax and a small amount of a citrus-based solvent. The result is that this finish can be applied without special safety equipment, such as a respirator. The only safety caution is to dry the rags out flat you used to apply before throwing them away. (All linseed oil generates heat as it cures, and there is a small but real chance of the rags catching fire if they are bunched up while wet.)
Soft Wax 2.0 is an ideal finish for pieces that will be touched a lot, such as chairs, turned objects and spoons. The finish does not build a film, so the wood feels like wood – not plastic. Because of this, the wax does not provide a strong barrier against water or alcohol. If you use it on countertops or a kitchen table, you will need to touch it up every once in a while. Simply add a little more Soft Wax to a deteriorated finish and the repair is done – no stripping or additional chemicals needed.
Soft Wax 2.0 is not intended to be used over a film finish (such as lacquer, shellac or varnish). It is best used on bare wood. However, you can apply it over a porous finish, such as milk paint.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (VERY IMPORTANT): Applying Soft Wax 2.0 is so easy if you follow the simple instructions. On bare wood, apply a thin coat of soft wax using a rag, applicator pad, 3M gray pad or steel wool. Allow the finish to soak in about 15 minutes. Then, with a clean rag or towel, wipe the entire surface until it feels dry. Do not leave any excess finish on the surface. If you do leave some behind, the wood will get gummy and sticky.
The finish will be dry enough to use in a couple hours. After a couple weeks, the oil will be fully cured. After that, you can add a second coat (or not). A second coat will add more sheen and a little more protection to the wood.
Soft Wax 2.0 is made in small batches in Kentucky using a waterless process. Each glass jar contains 8 oz. of soft wax, enough for two chairs.
— Christopher Schwarz
11 thoughts on “Now Available: Soft Wax 2.0, a Non-toxic Finish”
Would this be comparable to Osmo (thin wood wax)? I’ve just built my first table, and curious what a good finish would be for the top. This looks like a great option.
Osmo is a hard wax. Beeswax is a soft wax. I use this Soft Wax on our kitchen table, but it will need touching up at times.
Works for me, thanks. And good to have on hand for the upcoming stick chair book.
Heading to Etsy.
This is awesome! I am trying to cut down the use of toxic chemicals, partly eco reasons, partly because I can’t tolerate them anymore as I have gotten older, my skin gets cracky, and I get headaches when I use most finishes and chemicals. This is great news!
Sold out in less than 3 hours! I hope she makes some more!!
Would this be suitable for cast iron machine surfaces as a replacement for the old paste wax?
it sounds like a a product I use for my wood spatulas , its called Dailys Kitchen wood treatment. to bad you sold out. I need some.
Can the soft wax be applied over stain?
Yup! Should be no problem. But it’s always advisable to make a test board.
Use on hand planes? Just tried and seems to work well.
On wooden handplanes, absolutely yes! And on the wooden parts of metal handplanes.
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