How to Make Your Own Woodbutter

I’ve been meaning to make a how-to blog for a while… so, here we are!

Since I started hand carving wooden spoons, it’s been a continuous hunt to find the perfect finish. I was never really happy with the pre-made finishes you can buy in hardware stores as the finishes never seem to last. After some google searching, and asking fellow woodworkers I came up with my own blend.

We need:

  1. Beeswax
  2. Mineral Oil
  3. Container to mix in (jam jars work pretty well)
  4. Stir stick
  5. Pot of water

I prefer to use all natural beeswax and I just happened to have Howard’s mineral oil. You wouldn’t want to use vegetable oil or olive oil as it spoils over time.


Next, we chop up that beeswax. Not crucial, but it will make the wax melt faster.


Now for the important part! The ratios are most important, and what I dislike most about the pre-made blends I’ve bought in the past. I’ve noticed the ratio on other wood butter recipes is 1:4… that is 1 part wax to 4 parts oil. I prefer my wood butter a bit waxier than that so I use a 1:2 ratio which is 1 part wax to 2 parts oil. I just find the protective wax layer stays on longer with this ratio.

Combine the wax and oil into a jar. I use glass jam jars since I always have some around and don’t mind them getting waxy.


Place your jar of wax and oil into a pot of water that roughly matches the height of your wax cubes. Turn on the stove and let the water boil softly. When the beeswax has melted, you’re going to want to stir it quite thoroughly so the wax & oil blend properly.


Stir for a few minutes to really make sure you’ve got an even blend. It should look a clear gold/yellow and have a slight hint of sweet smell to it. Pour into whatever container you’d like to have the end product in, or just set aside to solidify.


Tada! That’s pretty much it. Pour into whatever container you’d like it to solidify in. I eventually poured these into small tins and will put them up on the shop once my labels come in.

Before Applying.

Before I apply the woodbutter to my pieces, I thoroughly rub pure mineral oil into the wood a good 4-6 coats, or until the oil doesn’t seem to be absorbing any more. I then apply the woodbutter to give it a good smooth seal. Since this has a bit thicker consistency than other recipes, it will take a good rubbing in. If you prefer it softer to work with, you can place the tin in warm shallow water to soften.

Here’s the quick recipe:


  1. Beeswax
  2. Mineral Oil
  3. Container to mix in (jam jars work pretty well)
  4. Stir stick
  5. Pot of water


  1. Cut up beeswax
  2. Add 1 part beeswax to 2 parts mineral oil into jar
  3. Put jar in pot with water filled just about up to where the wax pieces are
  4. Turn on stove and let boil, gently!
  5. Mix wax & oil for 2-3 minutes
  6. Pour into your end container of choice
  7. Let solidify – and done!