Friday, May 15, 2009

Howard Feed-N-Wax

I've been catching up on the backlog of projects I have for friends and family lately. One project was a few single-shelf bookshelves. The first one I made was out of English Walnut and I finished with Howard Feed-N-Wax - the easiest finish / non-finish possible. Apply it, wait for 20 minutes, wipe/buff off the excess. The reason I say non-finish is that although you can apply it directly to bare wood as I did, many people recommend that you use it over a another finishing product. If there is any chance the project you are finishing is going to get wet, this is probably not the right choice! Also, you'll have to re-apply occasionally to keep the appearance up. Like all waxes, eventually it will volatilize and end up in the air - it does not just soak into the wood, it evaporates. But, if you are looking for a finish that will show off the wood and doesn't form an obscuring film, this non-finish is better than no finish & really enhances the appearance of hardwoods with smaller pores. I'm not sure I would use Feed-N-Wax directly on Oak, or on softwood, but I think it is worth your time to try it. Howard does have a product called Restor-A-Finish that they recommend that you apply to Oak first, but I haven't tried it.
I first heard about using Feed-N-Wax as a finish a couple of years ago on this page in an article called How I Clean Wooden Tools... by Ray Drake that gives a great step-by-step approach to cleaning wooden tools / tool handles. For cleaning wood, that is the simplest / most foolproof method I've seen.

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