In finishing hard wood with a wax polish the wood is first coated with a "filler," which is omitted in the case of soft wood. The filler is made from some hard substance, very finely ground; sand is used by some manufactures.

The polish is the same as for soft wood. The simplest method of applying wax is by a heated iron, scraping off the surplus, and then rubbing with a cloth. It is evident that this method is especially laborious; and for that reason solution of the wax is desirable. It may be dissolved rather freely in turpentine spirit, and is said to be soluble also in kerosene oil.

The following recipes give varnish-like polishes:


Dissolve 15 parts of shellac and 15 parts of sandarac in 180 parts of spirit of wine. Of this liquid put some on a ball of cloth waste and cover with white linen moistened with raw linseed oil. The wood to be polished is rubbed with this by the well-known circular motion. When the wood has absorbed sufficient polish, a little spirit of wine is added to the polish, and the rubbing is continued. The polished articles are said to sustain no damage by water, nor show spots or cracks.


Orange shellac, 3 parts; sandarac, 1 part; dissolved in 30 parts of alcohol. For mahogany add a little dragon's blood.


Fifteen parts of oil of turpentine, dyed with anchusine, or undyed, and 4 parts of scraped yellow wax are stirred into a uniform mass by heating on the water bath.


Melt 1 part of white wax on the water bath, and add 8 parts of petroleum. The mixture is applied hot. The petroleum evaporates and leaves behind a thin layer of wax, which is subsequently rubbed out lightly with a dry cloth rag.


Stearine.......... 100 parts

Yellow wax....... 25 parts

Caustic potash .... 60 parts

Yellow laundry soap........... 10 parts

Water, a sufficient quantity. Heat together until a homogeneous mixture is formed.


Yellow wax....... 25 parts

Yellow laundry soap........... 6 parts

Glue............. 12 parts

Soda ash. . ....... 25 parts

Water, a sufficient quantity. Dissolve the soda in 400 parts of water, add the wax, and boil down to 250 parts, then add the soap. Dissolve the glue in 100 parts of hot water, and mix the whole with the saponified wax.


This is waterproof. Put into a stoppered bottle 1 pint alcohol; 2 ounces gum benzoin; 0.25 ounce gum sandarac, and 0.25 ounce gum anime. Put the bottle in a sand bath or in hot water till the solids are dissolved, then strain the solution, and add 0.25 gill best clear poppy oil. Shake well and the polish is ready for use.


A white polish for wood is made as follows:

White lac.......... 1.5 pounds

Powdered borax.... 1 ounce

Alcohol........... 3 pints

The lac should be thoroughly dried, especially if it has been kept under water, and, in any case, after being crushed, it should be left in a warm place for a few hours, in order to remove every trace of moisture. The crushed lac and borax are then added to the spirit, and the mixture is stirred frequently until solution is effected, after which the polish should be strained through muslin.


To restore the gloss of polished wood which has sweated, prepare a mixture of 100 parts of linseed oil, 750 parts of ether, 1,000 parts of rectified oil of turpentine, and 1,000 parts of petroleum benzine, perfumed, if desired, with a strongly odorous essential oil, and colored, if required, with cuicuma, orlean, or alkanna. The objects to be treated are rubbed thoroughly with this mixture, using a woolen rag.