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I have been working with furniture for three years (making and restoring) and have used several different brands of wax. I always return to using briwax. I am always looking for another alternative but just haven't managed to find one yet that gives the same quality finish that this product has. It comes in a nice variety of finishes too. I know how well furniture looks after using it.
I feel that the odour isn't too over powering and that the finish just looks second to none. It gives furniture a new lease of life. I am currently trying to set up my own business as furniture restorer and furniture maker, and so I have a few projects on the go at the minute and have used briwax on a number of them. I most recently used it on a worn tired looking occasional table and it just gave a nice clean look about it.
I was first recommended it by a work colleague and I just haven't looked back. I bought a few cans and like to keep a nice stockpile. I keep an eye out for other alternative waxes just in case I find one that is slightly cheaper but gives the same result. The wax just seems to keep going. I have used my mahogany tin for the last three years when I originally bought it. A little amount just seems cover a surprising amount.
The quality is high and extremely reliable.
I was first introduced to Briwax (Hello Briwax - How do you do?) when we were given a tin for free by the furniture retailer from whom we had just bought an expensive pine table. The table was brand new and we didn't want it waxed so it went in the cupboard and lived there for over a year.
Some time later, we had acquired a number of different items of furniture - from auctions mainly. These were good quality pieces that needed a bit of TLC.
After I had cleaned and sanded a couple of small coffee tables, I dug out the tin, read the instructions and gave them a single coat of Briwax and was amazed at how good they then looked.
Briwax is a wax polish for pine and for hardwoods and it cleans, stains and polishes in a single application. Its formula is based on Beeswax and Carnauba Wax. As with all things DIY, preparation is the key and it is important to follow the instructions to the letter.
We now use this regularly and I have moved on to buying and doing up tables as we see them going cheap, knowing that with my trusty sander, a bit of elbow grease and a tin of Briwax, I can get them looking like new again.
I apply the wax using 0000 grade steel wool but you can also use a lint free cloth. Gently rub it into the wood and well into the grain. When it is dry, buff it up to a nice shine. It's one of those situations when less is more - better to apply two thin coats than ladle it on too thick. Also, don't leave it to dry for too long and certainly not in the full sun as we once did or it will be really hard work to buff it up.
We don't like a hard wax finish and we detest varnish with a vengeance, but we do like our furniture to look nice and to have a slight sheen. Briwax helps to protect the surface from knocks and if you re-apply say twice a year, you can keep your furniture looking like new.
One 370g tin lasts for quite a long time as you really don't need much wax. The more you apply the harder it is to rub off so use it sparingly.
It is recommended that you don't use this in areas which will be exposed to water on a regular basis, but that doesn't rule much out.
Briwax original wax.
About 6 years ago we bought a pine dining table. God were posh. We liked pine at the time, I was told. Now we like leather and dark woods I'm told. But then we liked pine. The kitchen, rather than be given the much needed gutting, was instead embellished. By pine.
For a couple of years the table was cherished with cloths and table protectors but eventually we apparently got bored of that and now it is exposed once more in all its glory. The trouble, as predicted, is that eventually the sunlight and the children get to it. It's started to look worse for wear and 'Antique' before its time.
So we started rubbing things on it. I found this thrilling but it only made it worse. The first, and indeed only, restorative treatment we have used on it has been this Briwax Original Wax and despite having some interesting qualities, it has failed to restore the furniture to it former 'glory'.
The stuff comes in a nice round tin containing 400gms of the stuff. It has a nice oldy-worldy look about it - the sort of thing that you'd find in your grandfathers shed when he dies, hardly used and a bit rusty. I know the feeling. In 30 years the tin would be sold to a collector for £3.20. That sort of thing.
Scrawled on the tin are the directions for use - nice and simple and bloody great warning symbols telling you not to eat it no matter how hungry you are. Even unborn babies are not safe. Oh and if you do eat it - don't vomit. Have you ever tried NOT vomiting when you need to? And if you do vomit, do you then have to eat your own sick? We should be told.
So when you do eventually open it you realise the need for the warning. There is the heady scent of marker pens. Really heady. It fills the room at takes you off to a land of flowers and music and naked ladies. This is the toluene that it contains. That's one of the 'T's in TNT. Obviously, smelling solvents is very dangerous and not to be recommended but there is something very alluring about the aroma. The wax is dark brown, like melted chocolate with a lovely soft consistency.
Overall, Briwax have created something that looks like chocolate and smells heavenly and then tell you you can't eat it.
They do make a toluene-free version if you are sensitive to volatiles and have no call to make home-made explosives.
Scoop it up with a soft cloth and rub, rub, rub. It's not hard work and it soaks in well. Think Karate Kid. They suggest you use 00 gauge wire wool but I ain't got any.
Does it work?
Well, the tin says it cleans, stains and polishes. It does 2 out of 3 well.
Rubbing a table with a cloth, by its very nature, will clean. That's what rubbing does. There is an unsuitable gag there which I'm resisting. The table, afterwards looks polished. Again, rubbing will do that. And err.... polishing. What we needed was some really good staining. Patches of the table have faded over time and we wanted to get a uniform colour. Well, even though the lighter patches do slightly darken with the wax, it is a miniscule effect. We have put layer upon layer of the stuff on the table and we are nowhere near uniformity. There just isn't enough oomph in the stain for what we wanted.
Perhaps we expected too much. I feel I'm being a bit harsh and really, this is a product you need to use from day one to make sure your tables original colour and shine is maintained. Perhaps that pesky horse has bolted.
I still feel, even though we are not restoring the table, we are doing a good job at maintaining and preserving it from further wear so, I'll give it a 6 out of 10.
More details can be found here: http://www.briwax.co.uk/products/briwax.html
Thanks for reading. May also be posted on other sites.
The natural wood finishing treatment for all types of wood / Briwax cleans and protects wood, tiles, metalwork, marble and melamine.