Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Green Finish Alternative-Waxed Farm Benches

Matching Farm Table and Benches!
These benches were fashioned in the same manner as my farm table.  They are made out of the same boards that Dad and I ripped down from the field fencing on the farm.  It was planed down by my friend and repurposed back into my life.  These fence boards once held me as I sat on top of the fence feeding my horses out of my hand.  Again they serve to support me through crafting, board games with friends, sit down dinners and honest conversations over tea in the morning.
Unfinished Wood Bench Top

I like working with the soft wax as a green alternative to the usual finishes such as polyurethane varnish.  I used Annie Sloan's Soft  Wax and a small Waxie brush that was purchased at The Purple Pear in Portland off of Glisan.  The bristles on the brush are very important because they are densely gathered providing a stiff bristly surface perfect for smooshing wax into all of the wood crevices.  
Dense Bristle Head with Soft Wax

As in the Farm Table tutorial you want to put an adequate amount of wax on the brush and then use some elbow grease to apply to the wood.  Brush it on going with, against and from side to side of the wood grain.  The purpose of the first couple layers of wax is to create base layers that will be hard for spilled items and smudges to penetrate the wood.
Wiping the Wax Off Along the Grain
 After applying a layer of wax you want to wipe off the excess till your rag no longer grabs on the surface of the wax.  The motion to take the wax off is slow and sweeping, not the buffing motion that is usually used when applying furniture polishes.  When wiping the wax off go with the grain of the wood.  This will prevent visible sideway streaks under the light which occur if you wipe off from side to side.  You'll know when the excess wax has been removed because it will feel smooth and dry, not tacky.  Make sure to switch out old rags for new ones once wax has built up on the rag.  Let an hour pass between each layer of wax and then repeat the process.  4 or 5 coats should do the trick.  It is time consuming but worth it in the long run.  
So Much Character!!

It takes 20-28 days for the wax to cure but I couldn't wait to use the benches!

Add your favorite tablecloth and centerpiece then grab the friends for a wicked rowdy game night!

Farm Bench Loving-Jessie


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