Custom Blending Your Own Paste Wax

I’m doing some prep for an upcoming presentation/demo for the Professional Refinisher’s Group on the topic of blending and producing your own custom paste waxes.  The topic emerged at last year’s meeting when my friend MartinO talked about the properties and performance of commercial paste waxes from his considerable studio inventory.  It was clear from the question session that there was a lot of interest in having tailor-made products at your finger tips, hence this presentation.


So I’ve been making like a mad scientist in the shop, creating everything from the elegant and ancient formulation being now produced by The Anarchist’s Daughter to some fairly exotic blends that emerged from our work at the Smithsonian.

The processes are pretty straightforward and at the personal shop scale about all you need is a hot plate (my favorite one is one from a fondue crock as I don’t have to think about it — if it is hot enough to melt but not burn cheese it is perfect for making paste waxes), a sauce pan, digital scale, and the supplies themselves.  For this process I use beeswax, carnauba wax, shellac wax, and high-temp micro-crystalline wax, along with turpentine, naphtha, and some additives like pigments, rottenstone, and acrylic resins which I use in trace amounts for some of the formulations.


It’s both a delightful and melancholy time as it forces me to remember my years of friendship and collaboration at the Smithsonian with the late Mel Wachowiak, with whom many of these discoveries were made in the lab.

I’ll make sure to post the recipe handouts and any event notes when I’m all done.