Selecting the proper leather finish is an essential decision you must make. You will get a lot of different opinions but ultimately you will have the final say.
There are many options out there that can over-whelm a beginner leather crafter. Options include natural finishes, acrylic finishes, matte finishes, gloss finishes, ect ect.. the list goes on.
Lately I have been leaning more towards natural finishes, more specifically a natural beeswax leather finish. I like the idea of keeping my leather products free from any chemicals.
Even after deciding on what type of finish you would like to use, you now have so many different brands to choose from. It’s pretty crazy how many options you have out there.
So instead of purchasing my beeswax leather finish, I have decided to make my own. Of course, what kind of person would I be if I didn’t give you step by step instructions.
What You Need
The process is pretty simple, mix equal parts of beeswax and extra virgin olive oil in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, a Pyrex measuring cup placed in boiling water will also do the trick.
Typically your beeswax will come in large blocks but there are also some that come in small pellets to make measuring more convenient.
The easiest way to measure your wax, if they come in blocks, is to shave the block down with a knife. Once your wax is more manageable, you can place it in the Pyrex cup while measuring it with a food scale.
You will then pour the olive oil in to that same cup until you have equal weights between the beeswax and olive oil.
Mixing Wax and Oil
You will need melt the wax and oil together as mentioned earlier. If you measured your ingredients in the Pyrex cup, simply place it into a pot of boiling water.
It may take some time for the wax to fully melt but be patient and wait.
Stir the ingredients together thoroughly when you see that the wax has fully liquefied. Leave the mixture on the heat for a couple more minutes to ensure a good combination of ingredients.
Once you are satisfied you can take your beeswax leather finish off the heat. At this point pour your mixture into any container. Just make sure that the container can withstand the heat of your solution.
Step away and let the beeswax cool naturally until it becomes a solid.
That’s it! You are done!
How to Use
This beeswax finish is as easy to use as it was to make.
It might take some rubbing and body heat from your hands before it becomes soft enough to work with but it should become similar to the texture of Chap Stick.
Simply rub it all over your leather and let it sit for a few minutes. Then take a soft rag and buff out the leather.
This should leave you with a very nice finish.
To be clear, this is not a recipe that I came up with on my own. After doing hours of research, it became clear that this beeswax leather finish recipe has been used for decades.
It’s all natural and you know exactly what’s in it. The best part is that it not only protects and waterproofs your leather, but it also conditions it.
The beeswax acts as a sealer and forces water to bead up and roll right off. The olive oil used will act as a moisturizer and keeps the leather nice and soft.
Many people also modifies this recipe by experimenting with different ratios as well as using different types of oils.
Either way, it’s a great starting point to provide your leather goods with a natural beeswax finish.