A baby-safe beeswax finish on wooden toys has a lot of advantages for a craftsperson and the children playing with the toys. Beeswax polish doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, and is actually good for skin, improving it’s health during the application of the finish. It’s food safe, hence baby gnawing safe, and all natural. Also, it doesn’t hide the true texture and warm touch of the wood, rather, it moisturizes and enhances that feel. Best of all, in my opinion, is that beeswax wood finish smells wonderful, like sweet things to eat and flowers. No mask or fancy ventilation is needed to apply beeswax polish to the wood, and children can use the items finished with it right away, with no worries about chemicals or fumes.
To make a very nice natural beeswax wood finish, you’ll need:
4 oz. of olive oil, by weight
1 oz. of grated beeswax, by weight
These are the only two necessary ingredients for a very nice finish. To make the beeswax wood polishing paste, gently heat the olive oil in a double boiler or a glass measuring cup in a pan of boiling water. Add the grated beeswax, and stir gently while it heats, until the mixture is clear. This indicates that the wax has completely melted. Pour this into a wide mouthed container (an reused cottage cheese or sour cream container can work well), and continue to stir it gently every ten minutes or so until it’s completely cooled.
Stirring while it is cooling will enable the oil and beeswax to remain fully integrated and result in a creamy texture in the beeswax wood finishing paste, making really easy to work with and apply to wood.
To use this all natural wood finish, apply a small amount of the paste to the surface of the wood with your hands. This is a greasy process, but will leave your skin very healthy and smooth. Rub the paste all over, warming it with your hands and working it into the wood. After rubbing it in well for a while wipe the surface dry with a soft cloth. This finish can be repeated a couple of times to ensure that the oil has moisturized the wood and a layer of wax is present to protect the surface from drying out.
A natural finish like this will have to be reapplied every so often so the wood can be moisturized and replenished again, but will gently protect the item and provide a warm satiny texture for playing children.
Some variations on this recipe include using different oils, such as walnut or jojoba oil, in place of the olive oil, adding essential oils (only those oils that are safe for ingestion should be used) for a nice scent, and applying the finish to the wooden surface while it is in liquid form with a paint brush, then buffing it when it’s set. This baby-safe wood finishing method for wooden toys is versatile and safe enough to allow some experimentation.