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Helpful Hints and Tips
on Using Briwax and
Answers to many questions . . .
What is Briwax?
- Briwax is a blend of beeswax and carnauba wax. An all natural product.
- Beeswax is an excellent preservative, but relatively soft.
- Carnauba wax is a much harder wax. The combination of the two makes for a perfect finish on all surfaces.
- The addition of various dye colors suspended in the wax allows Briwax to diminish minor scratches disappear without changing the character or color of the piece.
- An inherent cleaning solvent in the wax is designed to clean grease and grime off the surface before it evaporates, leaving a waxed surface. This thin film of wax prevents oils and salts (fingerprints) from harming the surface finish.
- The possibilities for Briwax are endless. Use it on wood, leather, marble, concrete, metal or properly cured painted surfaces. The only surface NOT appropriate for Briwax is linoleum. The original blend of carnauba wax for long lasting shine and beeswax for durability protects most finishes.
- Simple to use, it leaves a beautiful finish that is easily maintained.
TIP #1: Briwax is reversible!
What does that mean?
Technically Briwax is an evaporative finish, which means that every time you introduce a petroleum distillate (mineral spirits) to wax, you will dissolve the wax.
Nothing is harmed of course, but a lot of house maids panic when they think they have "ruined" the furniture by spraying a liquid polish such as Pledge over a waxed finish. Simply reapply Briwax again and the problem is solved.
Reversible also means that you can alter the subtle color that Briwax reflects.
For instance: You have a beautiful Mahogany piece that you believe is too "red". Apply Dark Brown Briwax to "tone-down" the red and the piece will appear more in the "Auburn" range of color. If you don't like this effect simply rewax with Antique Mahogany and the red of the piece will be highlighted again. You see, it's reversible! You may do this in ten minutes or ten years, it doesn't matter, it is always reversible.
TIP #2: Briwax is designed to melt at 85℉.
You may have noticed that whenever you apply Briwax it starts to turn liquid under your hand and goes on very easy that way. Your hand's temperature is 98.6℉, so this is why the wax is liquefying. Pretty neat eh?
Now once you have spread the Briwax, the cleaning solvent in the wax will evaporate and the beeswax and carnauba wax blend of Briwax will return to it's natural state and have a melting point of somewhere between 150℉ and 180℉.
You may actually want to use your Briwax liquified -- read more about Using Briwax in a liquid state.
If your Briwax turns to liquid in the can, this in no way diminishes the quality of the product. If you hear the Briwax sloshing around in the can, simply allow the container to come to room temperature to return to a paste form. (You can also place the can in the refrigerator) Just like butter, the wax will harden again! Also remember that the dye that colors the wax is suspended in the wax, so you don't have to worry about separation of wax and color. No stirring required!!
TIP #3: The GREEN plastic lid that came on your Briwax can . . . .
The Briwax you purchased, more than likely, came with a GREEN plastic lid. This plastic lid is designed for physically stabilizing the product during shipping and for ease of stacking at your neighborhood retailer.
Once you open the can of Briwax, discard the GREEN plastic lid and RETAIN and use the METAL LID for storing your Briwax. The metal lid will keep your Briwax ready to use on your newly acquired antique or your next woodworking project.
TIP #4: How long will my Briwax finish resist a liquid spill . . .
Envision waxed paper - when you put liquid on the waxed paper, it beads then within a few minutes, the liquid is absorbed into the waxed paper. Briwax will resist a liquid spill for about 20 minutes before the liquid is absorbed into the finish. Simply wipe off the spill and rewax, if necessary.
TIP #5: Achieving a Sheen using Briwax
If you looked at a cross-section of your wood under a microscope, the top surface would look much like this:
The pores of the wood look much like "peaks" and "valleys". In order to achieve a sheen with Briwax, you must first fill the pores or the "valleys" with Briwax.
On soft woods, such as pine, the pores of the wood are large. Generally three or four applications of Briwax are necessary to completely fill the pores and develop a beautiful hand rubbed luster on raw pine. Pine wood that has already been stained or finished will develop a sheen more quickly.
On hard woods -- maple, oak, birch, etc. -- the pores are quite small. The hand rubbed luster can easily be achieved with one or two applications of Briwax.
Remember these key elements in applying Briwax:
1. Use Briwax sparingly -- a little goes a long way
2. Always buff after each application of Briwax
3. If the wax smudges, you've used too much Briwax.
TIP #6: Does Clear Briwax ever yellow?
Clear Briwax is just like its name - clear and it will NOT yellow. The wax will not yellow because it is made from natural ingredients -- beeswax and carnauba wax.
So, now with confidence, you can use Clear Briwax when you want a sheen, but no color.
Remember, a little Briwax goes a long way, so use it sparingly.
TIP #7: Antique Mahogany Briwax
Just a reminder . . . the Briwax color Antique Mahogany is also known as Cherry. Antique Mahogany has a hint of red and is beautiful on cherry or mahogany woods - to highlight and bring out the natural reds in the wood.
If you think that you need to tone down the red color in the cherry or mahogany woods, you can always use Light Brown Briwax.
TIP #8: Briwax also comes in a 7-Pound Can (known as the Trade Size)
Briwax is generally sold in a 16 oz. or 1-pound tin. This is the size container that is seen most frequently in your neighborhood hardware store, antique store or woodworking shop.
If you have a really big job or are in the finishing business, there is also a 7-pound can available. The 7-pound can looks very much like a one gallon paint can. This large can is also referred to as the Trade Size. Clear and all 9 wood tone colors of Briwax are available in both the one pound can and the 7-pound can.
TIP #9: How do you remove Briwax?
We’ve been asked the question: How can I remove Briwax from my piece of furniture? Briwax can be removed using mineral spirits (paint thinner). Just take a cloth, we prefer white so that you can see the wax, and dampen it with mineral spirits. Wipe the area where you wish to remove the wax and the petroleum distillate in the paint thinner will dissolve the wax and your cloth will remove it. Rinse out your cloth in the mineral spirits and repeat until the cloth shows no signs of wax. Let the mineral spirits evaporate before attempting any other procedures on the piece.
TIP #10: Briwax is the final finish
Briwax can be used over almost every cured finish and Briwax is the FINAL finish. Think of the Briwax finish as the protective finish for your furniture. No other finish goes over Briwax.
Remember to use Briwax sparingly and to buff after each application. You’ll never have any wax build-up and you’ll end up with a museum quality finish that will enahance and protect your furniture for years.
TIP #11: What is Briwax 2000?
Briwax 2000 was PREVIOUSLY the name for the Toluene Free formula of Briwax. Remember in 1999/2000 when everything was named the catchy “2000″ to designate a new, exciting product?
Well, after many years, the “2000″ label became old and actually, dated. Hence a few years ago, the official Briwax designations became Original and TF or Toluene Free. The designation “2000″ is NO longer used on any new cans distributed in the US – even though a retailer could possibly still have some stock of cans that read “Briwax 2000″.
So, if you’re looking for Briwax 2000 – you should now be looking for Briwax Toluene Free.
TIP #12: Sheen or no sheen?
Most of the time, people are looking for a sheen for their furniture. Recently, we have had several people ask us how to decrease the sheen on their furniture! Decreasing the sheen has a very easy solution . . . simple apply Briwax in the color of choice and don’t buff. As we’ve said previously, you’ll know when Briwax is dry because it turns dull.
Even if you decide not to buff out Briwax, it is still important to apply the wax in light applications.
Remember, even after you buff your Briwax finish, a wax finish will always be a softer sheen than using a poly or plastic finish.
TIP #13: By the way, how do you pronounce Briwax?
Briwax is pronounced BRI wax – long I – rhymes with my. So, remember the jingle . . . My Wax, Briwax!
TIP #14: Can Briwax remove white water rings or white water marks?
Yes. Well not really! Its the solvent in Briwax that removes white watermarks. White water rings or watermarks are caused by condensation of moisture directly into the finished surface of the wood, affecting the finish from the inside out. Most finishes are durable enough for only the top layer of finish to be affected.
Here’s the analogy . . . remember when you last went to the doctor’s office for a shot? The nurse took a cotton ball, dipped it in alcohol (a very fast evaporator) and rubbed your arm to sterilize it. What was happening was that the alcohol was evaporating the moisture from your skin, actually lifting it out, and sterilizing it at the same time.
Using Briwax to remove white watermarks works the same way. The solvent in Briwax is a fairly fast evaporator, 45-60 seconds when it is spread out. This quick evaporation process is lifting out the moisture from the watermark causing it to disappear.
The process can be speeded up by using 0000 steel wool. You should be careful though, many times we will rub too hard in our haste to remove the watermark and rub right through the finish. Be patient and work on half of the mark at a time. This way you will be able to see the watermark get lighter and lighter and know that you are progressing. Again, be patient!
Be sure to feather out the edges of the area where the white water rings or watermarks once was to blend with the entire finish. Once you have removed the water ring or watermark, use Briwax over the entire piece to renew the finish.
Use Briwax sparingly. A little goes a long way.
Do not rub too hard – gently rub the area so that it will not become too smooth.
The solvent in Briwax is actually removing the white water ring, not the wax. The solvent is evaporating the condensation that has caused the white water ring or watermark.
If a ring or spot on your furniture has turned black, the condensation has gone through the finish has has affected the wood itself.
TIP #15: Am I limited by the ways in which I can use Briwax?
We, generally, refer to Briwax in the more traditional usage - on wood! However, you're limited only by your imagination as to the ways you can use Briwax. We have customers who use Briwax on leather, on metals, in faux finishing, creating Venetian plaster, on drywall, on pottery - the list goes on and on. Imagination and creativity along with a little "color outside the lines" attitude is encouraged with all of the Briwax products!
Visit The Briwax Guy blog -- http://briwax.wordpress.com for more tips on using Briwax.
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Read more at Briwax Retail.
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Hilton Head, SC 29925
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