Get to Know Black Bison Wax – Lost Art Press

cabinet black wax IMG 3048 1
Black bison wax over acrylic paint,

I exploit coloured waxes relatively so much in my completing, particularly the darker colours. I’m partial to Liberon’s Black Bison Paste Wax, however that’s as a result of it’s the best logo I’ve ever used.

Coloured waxes are a secret weapon when it comes to muting a in particular loud or brash colour. Additionally they upload a intensity to many finishes via including a 2nd hue to the full piece. 

Many vintage restorers use black wax to upload age to a end or a restore, and it’s nice for that. However that’s now not my purpose with black wax. I am hoping the footage right here will provide an explanation for it higher than phrases.

First, forget about the gross sales reproduction concerning the stuff. 

“(I)t feeds, polishes and is helping to save you picket drying out…” No, it doesn’t.

“Giving a extremely lustrous and hardwearing end…” It in truth offers a low-luster end. And, like any waxes, isn’t in particular sturdy.

“Well known for its high quality and delightful, unique aroma…” Uhhh, these things smells like a Fifties cleansing resolution for septic tanks. It isn’t delightful. However the odor dissipates.

red chair before IMG 2654
A comb-back chair with best acrylic paint. No black wax.
comb back black wax IMG 2691 1
The similar chair after a coat of coloured wax.

Right here’s what it in point of fact does. It’s a fast-drying sludge. Select a colour. I exploit “Darkish Oak” and “Tudor Oak” and can not inform the adaptation. While you apply it to uncooked picket, reminiscent of oak, it is going to darken the oak and accumulate within the picket’s open pores. When used on uncooked closed-pore woods, reminiscent of pine, it most often looks as if a smeary mess (a take a look at board will verify this).

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I generally apply it to best of a end, both shellac or paint. When used over shellac, it is going to cut back the brashness of the brand new shellac, and the wax will accumulate within the pores of the picket, giving the piece just a little of measurement.

I like the combo of mahogany, shellac and black wax. That’s what I exploit on nearly all of my marketing campaign items.

When used over paint, the black wax will get just a little smeary. It’ll accumulate in small voids left within the paint. And it is going to buff off inconsistently at the paint. This can be a excellent factor. A vibrant new paint end can seem like you dipped your furnishings in Plasti-Dip. The asymmetric absorption of the wax mutes the one colour.


The stuff dries briefly, so I like to recommend you’re employed small spaces, about 12″ x 12″. Wipe the wax on generously with a rag so you’ll be able to push it into the pores and small voids (put on protecting gloves). Stay wiping the wax till you may have a skinny, constant coat. Then right away start wiping it off with a blank, coarse rag (I exploit towels with a Huck weave – mainly surgical towels). Stay wiping till you can not take away to any extent further. Then transfer on to the following segment of the challenge.

When you botch a bit, merely observe extra wax. The wax’s solvent will dissolve the onerous layer and you’ll be able to wipe once more. Or dab some mineral spirits on a rag and you’ll be able to rub the skin to take away skinny layers of wax till you get the impact you wish to have.

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If at any time you hate the end, flood the skin with mineral spirits and rub onerous. Many of the wax will come off.

black wax sample board
A contemporary take a look at board, The uncooked colours are at the proper. The colours at the left display the illusion after a coat of the coloured wax.

Check Forums

Making take a look at forums is the one manner to be certain you are going to get the impact you wish to have. I’ve used the wax for many years and nonetheless do a take a look at board earlier than I get started smearing the stuff on anything else.

A tin of these items lasts for a few years, so don’t be eliminate via the top value (about $35-$40 right here within the U.S.). Don’t be eliminate via the odor (we name it the “pungent janitor” wax as it smells like some cleansing fluid from my youth). And don’t be eliminate via the bison phase. I believe there’s hardly ever any bison within the wax.

– Christopher Schwarz

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