How to use Antiquing Wax on Raw Wood for a Natural Rustic Finish

I’ve been working on a couple of projects this week. The first is a saddle stool makeover using Antiquing Wax on Raw Wood and the second is how to age new galvanized metal. I’ll have the galvanized metal post up next week.

French Farmhouse Saddle Stool with Natural Wood Finish.

Using Antiquing Wax on Raw Wood was about as simple as it gets. This was a fun project with quick results. Here are the before and after pictures.

Before picture of saddle stool.
Natural wood finish, using antiquing wax, on a saddle stool for a french country look.

The stool is about 18 years old and the finish was pretty beat up. You could see the raw wood in some places and I figured it was time to refinish it.

Before picture of saddle stool.

This was one of those projects that can be done in one day. It was super easy with no guess work. Here is the process.


I took the stool outside on my deck to sand. It just makes clean-up so much quicker. An added plus, it was a beautiful sunny day.

Originally, I thought about using Citristrip Gel to remove the old finish, but in the end I decided just to sand it off. If there would have been more detail on the piece or if there was a chance it was a veneer, I would have used wood stripper.

I used my random orbit sander with a 60 grit paper to start. This removed almost the entire finish. I did go back and do the tight spots by hand.

Next, I changed my sanding pad to a 180 grit. Went over the entire stool. Then finally I moved to a 320 grit for the finish.

I vacuumed the stool and wiped it down to remove all the sawdust. Here are a couple of pictures after sanding it.

Sanded raw wood on saddle stool.
Sanded raw wood on saddle stool.

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Now for the fun part. I used Valspar Antiquing Wax directly on the raw wood. Using an old chip brush I added the wax, making sure to press it into the grain and nicks in the wood. I added it in small sections and then wiped it off with the blue shop towels. I love the way it brought out the dark grain in the wood and will definitely use this finish on other wood projects.

Natural wood finish, using antiquing wax, on a saddle stool for a french country look.
Natural wood finish, using antiquing wax, on a saddle stool for a french country look.


At this point, I should have left the project alone. The finish was beautiful, but I have been seeing all these amazing furniture makeovers with Liming Wax lately and I wanted to give it a try. So I mixed one teaspoon of Fusion Limestone paint with two teaspoons of clear wax on a paper plate. This part worked out just as planned. Finding Silver Pennies has a good tutorial on how to tint and apply furniture wax here.

Mixing clear furniture wax with paint.

Then I applied it to the bottom of the stool to test it out. It worked great, but on this stool, I liked the antique look better.

Liming Wax on Bar Stool
Liming Wax on Bar Stool

I decided to remove the white wax before it dried. It came off easily with mineral spirits. If you do decide to remove it, I would do so before it dries. You can also use plain clear wax to remove tinted wax. There is a good video from Fusion Mineral Paint on how to use furniture wax here.

While I did like the overall look of the liming wax, I will save it for another project. For some reason, I though the black grain on this stool looked better.

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Save this idea for later! Did you know that you can hover over the images below, click on the red Pinterest circle, and save it to your DIY PROJECTS BOARD on Pinterest? Give it a try below.

Natural Wood Furniture Look

I hope this post helped you with your own furniture project. Are you going to give Antiquing Wax a try? Let me know in the comments.






  1. I would like to try this on a vintage piece, I really love the raw wood look. I’m just a DIY’r so this may be a dumb question but will this technique work on ANY type of wood? You did a great job on this stool

    1. Hi Miggy. So far I’ve tried it on this stool and three different pine projects. It looks slightly different on the two different types of wood, but still very nice. It’s a good question. I would try it in an out of the way place, like the back of a drawer front. I hope this helps!

  2. Do you think this technique would work on wood that has been stained a light brown shade? I assume it would not have a noticeable effect on very dark wood, but I wonder how it would look on wood slightly darker than what you used.
    Thanks, and thanks for the great article!

    1. I’m honestly not sure, as I haven’t tried that. I think it could work over previously stained wood, although the final color would be darker. It’s important to note that a protective top coat would prevent the wax from penetrating the surface properly. In my opinion, wax works best on wood that hasn’t been finished or has been sanded. Always test it out on the underside of something or on a scrap piece before diving in.

    1. Hi Teri. I’m glad this turned out for you and you like the Antiquing Wax. However, I would not recommend putting a top coat over any furniture wax. In fact, I would recommend the other way around in most cases, using a top coat and then wax. (If you want to antique a piece.) This is because the wax will effect the performance of the protective top coat. In fact it is usually advised to remove all wax before painting/refinishing a piece.

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