Is Beeswax Waterproof on Wood?

Image of beeswax, but Is Beeswax Waterproof on Wood?You’ll want your wood not only to look beautiful but also to have that durable finish that will protect it from natural factors such as water. Of course, waterproofing is the best way to ensure this. Beeswax has been used as a wood finish over the years, how much protection does it offer? Is beeswax waterproof on wood?

Yes, beeswax can waterproof your wood, but it will wear out at some point. For this reason, you need to do reapplication after some estimated period to enhance the coat on your wooden structure.

Generally, you can trust this product on your wooden material since it is good at penetrating the wood grains and protecting the surface from spills that can cause yeast growth and other fungi.

How Long Does Beeswax Waterproofing Last?

The duration of beeswax as a waterproofing material varies depending on the wood surface. For instance, if you apply the wax on a cutting board intended for everyday use, you’ll have to reapply once a month. Also, remember to mix it with mineral oil.

On the other hand, if you apply the wax on surfaces that you don’t regularly use, you can consider reapplying once every six months. You can do the reapplication for decorative items once a year unless you realize the surfaces are now looking dull.

How to Apply Beeswax Correctly On Funiture

I highly recommend beeswax polish for hardwood furniture such as mango, oak, Sheesham, teak, and many more. You can do the reapplication at least four times a year to ensure the wood is in top condition. The beeswax is also ideal for unfinished wood to prevent cracks, splits, and staining resulting from spills or moisture. 

Please avoid getting spray polishes from the regular stores since they contain silicone that dries out the wood. 

It will help if you go for excellent beeswax polish. I recommend the natural creamed since it has a good penetrating ability. In addition, the item is easier to use since it doesn’t clamp as paste does.

Not forgetting that the beeswax is not only a clean-smelling polish with a low odor, it also produces a deep lustrous shine that will enhance the beautiful look of your home.

Below is how you can effortlessly apply the beeswax polish. 

First, you’ll want to have a soft clean cloth. Then, using the piece, gently apply the beeswax directly from the jar. Also, remember to apply in the same direction as the wood’s grain.

During the application, ensure you only use a thin, even coat across the entire surface. You’ll want to cover small areas bit by bit rather than coating the whole surface in a single application.

Supposed you find that your polish is too thick, the best way out is to keep rubbing until you get a thin, even coating. After this, use a fresh soft cloth to lightly buff the wood’s surface again in the direction of the wood’s grain. Continue rubbing the surface until it attains the degree of shines you desire. 

It would be nice to note that you can achieve a fantastic rich sheen if you buff the beeswax properly. Therefore, if you don’t require this type of sheen, consider smoothing less. That’s the last step, and you rest assured of a waterproof surface safe from spills and other natural factors for months to come.

How to Apply Beeswax On Wood

What You’ll Need

  • Cotton rag
  • Beeswax
  • chisel/carving knife
  • Polishing fleece bonnet
  • Various grain sizes of sandpaper.
  • Duster
  • Brush
  • Grinding machine/orbital sander
  • Triangle scraper

Step 1: Residue removal from the surface

First, you’ll start by removing any residue from the wood surface. The depositions may include dirt or even old paint. It might become quite challenging to remove old paint using a hot air blower or a pickling agent.

However, to end up with a durable finished surface, ensure no wax residues, paint, wood varnish, excess oils, or polishes remain on the wood’s surface before applying the beeswax. Suppose removing the residues becomes quite challenging. You may want to use a spatula, heat gun, or a paint stripper. 

When you are done removing the residues, consider cleaning with only water. If the need arises, mix the water with a specifically designed intensive cleaner. Also, note that there are some cleaners or soaps that may negatively affect the waxing process. After the cleaning process, let the surface dry well.

Step 2: Sand the surface before applying the beeswax

For the wood surface to quickly absorb the wax, consider sanding the surface using fine sandpaper before applying the wax. When sanding the surface, ensure you do it evenly and gently since a wafer-thin layer always remains on the surface. The worst part is that you can’t see the layer with your naked eyes, but it’s the one that prevents the beeswax from penetrating the wood’s grain.

On your last step of sanding, I recommend using 180 grip sandpaper to make the wood absorbent. Suppose the wood has filigree and fine grooves. You can carefully curve the area out using a carving knife. You’ll want to use a triangle scraper to remove any old paint from the strip’s inner corners and other hard-to-reach areas.

You can still use this tool for unique pieces of wood since it’s available in different unique shapes and angles.

Step 3: Prepare the beeswax before applying.

Wax is commonly solid in its pure state. For this reason, you’ll have to begin by melting it before applying. Doing this is as easy as placing warm water between 75 to 100 degrees for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

After it has melted, don’t let it cool. Instead, mix it immediately with the turpentine, then stir until it forms a homogeneous compound. You can now give it some time to cool before applying.

You’ll need at least 100gr of beeswax for every 400 to 500 ml of turpentine. However, if the wood has open pores, use a higher proportion of beeswax and less turpentine. 

Step 4: Apply the beeswax to the wood surface

If you mixed the water with a cleaner during cleaning, your wood surface should thoroughly dry before waxing. Therefore, using old cotton cloth cloths, you can gently apply the solid beeswax. Doing this does not require any unique skills. You only need to dab the wax with the cotton cloth sparingly.

Being a bit stingy will be of help since it will prevent over application. Ensure you don’t use excess or less wax. If there is any remaining beeswax, remove using a coarser cloth or rag. Thicker layers of the polish will leave the finished surface with some visible bumps. 

If you want to avoid unnecessary shadows on the finish, ensure you control every step of the application by controlling your wrist in the correct direction. You can do this by starting from one end and following the same straight line to the other end, then repeat the process without letting it dry first.

Step 5: Allow for enough drying time.

After the application, give the surface the allowable drying time, which may vary depending on the environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. If you want to know if the surface is completely dry, touch with your fingertip and fill if it’s sticky or not.

You should also note that some surfaces will quickly absorb the beeswax than others. The penetration rate may also be affected by how the pores on the wood were open when you were preparing the surface. Therefore, ensure you give the surface adequate time until it’s completely dry.

Step 6: Apply another layer of the beeswax on the wood

Doing the reapplication becomes even more demanding if you applied on raw wood. Such a surface requires more than one layer. Therefore, you only have to give the first coat some ample time to dry, then apply the second coat or even third if necessary. 

If you used solid wax, you would only need to rewax one more time. However, for liquid or paste beeswax, you’ll have to make the application one more time after polishing the surface. Also, doing this step depends on your wood’s absorption capacity. 

The capacity varies depending on the type of wood. For example, it takes pretty long on old furniture than how it will take on untreated wood. Thus, untreated wood will typically take at least two layers of beeswax. If you realize any excess wax on the surface after application, consider using a clean rag to wipe it off.

Helpful Tips During Application

  • If you find it necessary to use water and a cleaner to clean your wood surface, it would be wise to choose an intensive cleaner. Also, please don’t go for colored household cleaners since they can penetrate the surface. Instead, ensure you get some essential tips from your hardware store.
  • You can quickly process the beeswax at room temperature, but this shouldn’t be too warm. The reason is that the wood surface soaks up the entire wax immediately that may result in an uneven surface and stains.
  • Consider reapplying the wax after some time since wood is a natural material and will still absorb more wax after a while. Reapplying is the best remedy since it will make the surface more resistant to water, dust, and many more.

How Long Does Beeswax Take to Dry on Wood?

The estimated drying time is from 20 minutes to 1 hour. However, this time entirely depends on the weather conditions and the amount that you apply. For instance, if your application room has a high temperature, the overall drying time will be less and vice versa. After this, you can add another coat if you wish.

To get the precise drying time, avoid humid and dumpy areas. After you are sure that the surface has completely dry, buff off using a soft dry cloth to achieve the desired sheen.

How Do You Make Beeswax Finish on Wood?

To make beeswax finish, you’ll need to have the required ingredients and then follow the step-wise procedure that takes only 20 minutes to complete. The first step involves melting the beeswax in a double boiler at temperatures of around 300 degrees F. However, ensure to be very careful since beeswax is flammable.

After melting the wax, add some oil that you prefer, then stir thoroughly, after which you remove the heat. You can also add some scenting oils if you need then pour the mixture into a container and allow it time to cool.

How Do You Waterproof Wood with Beeswax?

Below are some steps you’ll need to make the beeswax waterproofing.

First, you’ll need to have either organic or nonorganic beeswax. What to ensure is that the wax is 100% beeswax and has no additives. You’ll then need some wood finishing oil. But, ensure that the oil is a drying oil and must be 100% pure oil.

I recommend either tung oil or linseed oil. It would be best if you don’t use mineral oil since it’s not a drying oil. Also, please don’t use other oil finishes such as Danish oil since they contain varnish not ideal for this process. Even so, this step is optional as it depends on the specific beeswax mixture you need.

Finally, it’s time to add some thinner. You could consider using turpentine, paint thinner, naphtha, mineral spirits, or MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) in this step. 

After adding the thinner, it’s time to do the mixing. You can use an electric burner to boil a pot of water, then place the beeswax in a stainless bowl and immerse the bowl in the water. The method helps to melt the wax slowly. For the best results, consider mixing the beeswax, thinner, and oil with a ratio of 2:1:1.

After mixing, you can now use a clean piece of cloth to apply to your wood following the application method you have already seen above.

Here’s how to waterproof wood using beeswax:

Can You Use Pure Beeswax on Wood?

Yes, you can use pure beeswax on wood. It’s not only natural but also smells good and is eco-friendly. The product also helps preserve your wood’s natural beauty by repelling water, dirt, and grime.

Pure beeswax is perfect, especially on wood surfaces such as wooden toys, wood furniture, butcher block countertops, driftwood pieces, and many more.

How to Make Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish

Unlike other polishes, beeswax doesn’t have added chemicals that may cause long-term health issues if inhaled. For this reason, I recommend using natural beeswax since it’s effortless to make some at home. In addition, you’ll only require two main ingredients, including olive oil and beeswax.

The entire process will only take at least 30 minutes of your time, then allow the end product to cool for a couple of hours. The best part is that you can use it immediately after it cools. The two ingredients combine to form a semi-hard wax ideal for most woods since they can restore the beautiful sheen on the wood surface.

What you’ll require

  • 150g (⅔ cup) of beeswax.
  • 30 drops of Anti-oxidant such as Vitamin E or clear Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional).
  • 600g (3 cups) olive oil.
  • 10 drops of Essential oil Lavender Essential oil or Woodsy Essential oil blend (optional).


  • Use at least 900g to achieve a creamier polish.

Below is the step-by-step procedure you’ll require to make the natural beeswax polish.

Step 1

In this step, you’ll want to use the double boiler method, which includes floating a saucepan with the ingredients in another pan half-filled with water. The technique is safer since it does not highly interfere with the integrity of the ingredients.

Step 2

After the previous set, you’ll now heat on a medium level until all the beeswax has melted. If you want the heating process to be a bit faster, consider stirring the ingredients rather than increasing the heat level. Doing this will help prevent boiling water from splashing into your components.

Step 3

Here, you can now add the essential oil and the anti-oxidant, but don’t forget that this is an optional step. After adding the two optional ingredients, stir well until you attain a uniform solution. 

Now you can pour the mixture into clean containers with a wide-open mouth, then allow to cool for about two hours. But, of course, it would be fantastic if you waited to see if it has formed a semi-hard balm.

Step 4

Your natural beeswax is now ready, and you only require a clean rag or even use your finger to scoop some out for your wooden surfaces. The best part is that you can apply immediately after the wax has cooled. If you realize some excess layers, wipe off using a clean rag, then give the surface some hours to completely dry.

Is Beeswax a Good Wood Finish?

Yes, it is suitable for wood finish since it provides the wood with a warm glow, and it’s one of the best natural ways of protecting your wood surfaces.

Even so, using beeswax as a wood finish comes with some drawbacks since it’s not heat resistant. For this reason, the wax can quickly melt, so you must never forget to recoat if you notice such. The beeswax finish is also prone to scratches since it’s soft.

Therefore, you shouldn’t use beeswax polish if you have plans of adding any other finish. The reason is that the wax is repellent in nature. Thus, it will prevent different finishes from sticking to your project.

Generally, you’ll want to use beeswax for your wood finish since it repels water and dust. It also smells good and enhances the wood tones.

Where Can You Use a Beeswax Wood Finish

  • Butcher blocks (ensure you use food-safe beeswax)
  • Home decor pieces and picture farmers 
  • You can apply over other finishes
  • Refresh an old dull finish
  • On wood toys (ensure you use food-safe beeswax)


Suppose you use the beeswax on woods with an open grain like oak. You must be very careful since the wax will penetrate and get trapped in the pores. With the wax in the grain patterns, it becomes difficult to remove, and it may give the surface an odd look by developing a whitish color.

Therefore, rendering beeswax ideal for woods with closed grains such as maple, pine, hickory, cherry, and many more.

Major Facts About The Beeswax

If you need an incredible substance that you can use for various applications such as candle wax, lip balm, plastic-free food storage, wood finish, or polish, among other uses, consider going for the beeswax.

Here are some of the significant facts about this natural substance given to us by mother nature.

  • Natural

The unique thing about beeswax is that it requires no additional chemicals since it comes straight from the honeycomb of the honeybee. The bees only need to consume pollen grains and honey to produce the beeswax. They always require around eight pounds of honey for the production of only one pound of beeswax.

  • Antifungal

The other fact about beeswax is the antifungal properties that protect the wood from various fungus and the growth of yeasts.

  • Edible

The best thing about beeswax is that it has no hazardous effect if ingested. Even so, it doesn’t provide many nutrients.

  • Antibacterial

The product helps to reduce any risk of infection by keeping things clean. All thanks to its antibacterial properties. 

  • Waterproof

The item is one of the best sealants and polish that you can use for waterproofing surfaces. It does this by penetrating the wood grains and forming a thin layer on the surface that prevents water from settling on it. Despite acting as waterproof to wooden surfaces, the beeswax also allows the wood to breathe.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you have seen how essential beeswax is to many applications. Even better, it comes from nature; hence it has no additional chemicals that are dangerous to your health. Therefore, you only need to follow the application procedures to get an outstanding finish. But…

Is Beeswax Waterproof on Wood

Yes, it is. The product protects the wood from spills that can cause the growth of yeast and other fungi. Even so, you’ll have to reapply after some time since it does not permanently stick on the surface.

I would love to thank you for taking your time on this article. Additionally, I’d love to let you know that I can help you with any other questions related to this topic. That’s why the comment section below is always open.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.