THE WHITE WAX MYSTERY

As the exterior redwood trim was supposed to be only oiled, "all interior finish throughout the building, not otherwise noted, will be given two good coats of white wax, well rubbed each coat" (pg. 19). But what exactly is "white wax?" It doesn't appear to be a brand name, but rather a wax formula that was common knowledge at the time. It certainly was NOT pure beeswax.


Mrs. Beeton's (c. 1860) provides a "furniture paste" recipe of 3 oz. beeswax, 1 oz. white wax, 1 oz, curd soap, 1 pint of turpentine, and 1 pint of water (item #2310). Slight variations on this formula for furniture/floor polish appear in other 19th century household guides, sometimes including other ingredients such as linseed oil, resin, "rainwater," or paraffin instead of beeswax.


White Diamond Butcher's Wax is probably an adequate substitute, but Candice plans to try a simple recipe that is equal parts wax and turpentine.

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