Can someone share a recipe for a clear (non-yellowing) oil wax wood finish? I’ve made paste wax from 1 part wax to 4 parts boiled linseed oil before but I’d like an option that doesn’t change the colour of the wood. UV protection would be an added bonus.

I’ve heard mineral oil still changes the colour though I haven’t tested. Someone suggested baby oil but I’m concerned about the fragrance that’s added.

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    Good question, but maybe the ones on woodworking.stackexchange.com might have better answers. Finishing is part of their work.
    – crip659
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 20:42
  • 2
    Mineral oil would never polymerize like linseed oil or tung oil so it would never dry or harden. I have never heard of mineral oil (baby oil is mineral oil) used to finish wood. Also it would be a fire hazard. The wax finishes for wood are plant compounds which can oxidize and polymerize. Parafin "wax" is simply a long chain aliphatic hydrocarbon and is likewise not used to refinish wood for interior use. Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


Skip the oil, apply pure carnauba wax (quite hard) with a buffer, or else buy softened carnauba (the stuff I prefer for softened is softened with turpentine and hasn't been made in decades, evidently.) Modern mixes may use solvents other than turpentine, as that has become unpopular or highly regulated as a VOC. Clear paste wax is the generic product, but you'll have to check if they admit what wax they are using. Beware of buying "amber" paste wax, you don't want that.

The hard carnauba applied with a buffing wheel is commercialized as the Beall buffing system, (just a happy customer) but you can "build your own" with sewn cotton buffing wheels and hard wax. Friction heats it up and melts a thin layer on.

As stated in comments already, mineral oil won't dry, though the pharmaceutical grade commonly available at the drugstore should not yellow, and "baby oil" is pretty much the same thing with added scent (or stench, depending on your nose...)

All the various hardening oils I can think of (linseed, walnut, tung) do color the wood.

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