How to Strip-Off Beeswax Finish from a Wooden Countertop?

Beeswax is an excellent natural way to protect and enhance the beauty and luster of wood surfaces. But what if you want to change the look of your wooden countertop and remove the beeswax finish?

To refinish your countertop, you need to sand it with medium-grit sandpaper. Then put a special liquid called stripper on it and wait 15 minutes. Scrape off the stripper and beeswax with a putty knife. Finally, sand it again with fine-grit sandpaper to make it smooth.

This guide will walk you through the steps of stripping beeswax finish from a wooden countertop. So, let’s get started!

Removing process of Beeswax Finish from Wood

Striping off a beeswax finish from your wooden countertop or any other wooden surface is an easy job that can be done quickly and with minimal effort. Follow this step-by-step guide to get the job done.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You will need a scraper or putty knife, steel wool or sandpaper, mineral spirits or paint stripper, a cloth or sponge, and a wood conditioner or finish.

Step 2: Prepare the workspace

Ensure the area is well-ventilated and protect your skin and clothing from the chemicals you use. To prevent overspray or drips, you may want to cover the surrounding surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheeting.

Step 3: Scrape off

Now, scrape off as much of the beeswax finish as you can using a scraper or putty knife. Start at the edges of the countertop and work your way inward, using gentle but firm pressure to lift the beeswax away from the wood.

If any stubborn spots won’t come off with scraping, use steel wool or sandpaper to scrub them away gently. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the wood.

Step 4: Apply a paint stripper or mineral spirits

After scraping and sanding away as much beeswax as possible, it’s time to apply a paint stripper or mineral spirits to the countertop. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the product and how long it should be on the wood. Cover all surfaces evenly, as this will aid in the removal of any remaining beeswax.

After it has worked, wipe away the product and any remaining beeswax finish with a cloth or sponge. You may need to use a scraper or putty knife to remove any stubborn bits.

Step 5: Apply wood conditioner

If the wood looks dry or damaged after stripping, apply a wood conditioner or finish to restore its natural moisture and shine. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to apply the product and how long to allow it to dry.

Step 6: Allow drying

Allow the wood to dry completely before using the countertop or a new finish. This may take several hours or even a full day, depending on the humidity and temperature of the room.

Step 7: Clean up

Now, clean up your workspace and dispose of any chemicals as directed by the manufacturer. After handling any chemicals, thoroughly wash your hands.

Step 8: Apply a finish

Once the countertop is completely dry, you can apply a new finish if desired. You may want to test the finish on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it looks and performs as you want it to.

What are the alternative methods for removing wax from a wood countertop?

You can safely and effectively remove wax buildup without damaging your countertop by following a few ways. Here are some of the best methods for removing wax from a wood countertop:

Method 1: Use Heat

Heat is one of the most effective ways to remove wax from a wood countertop. A hairdryer to heat the wax can soften it and make it easier to remove. Start by setting the hairdryer on a low setting and hold it several inches away from the wax.

Move the dryer steadily across the wax until it starts to soften. Keep the dryer in motion, and don’t leave it in one spot for too long to avoid overheating the wood. When the wax is softened, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it away gently.

Method 2: Use Ice

Another effective method for removing wax from a wood countertop is to use ice. Start by placing a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and then place the bag over the wax. Leave the bag in place until the wax is completely frozen. Once the wax is frozen, you can use a plastic scraper to remove the wax gently. Be sure to use a plastic scraper to avoid damaging the wood.

Method 3: Commercial Wax Remover

If the other methods don’t work, you can also use a commercial wax remover. These products are designed to remove wax from wood surfaces without damaging them. Follow the product’s label instructions to ensure that you use it correctly.

Method 4: Turpentine

Turpentine is an effective solvent for removing wax from wood countertops. Begin by applying a small amount of turpentine to a soft cloth, then gently rub the wax with the cloth.

To prevent damage to the wood, work in small sections and keep the cloth moving. Once the wax has been removed, wipe away any remaining turpentine with a clean cloth.

Method 5: Denatured alcohol

One of the best ways to remove wax from a wood countertop without using a chemical stripper is to use denatured alcohol. It is a type of ethanol fortified with ingredients that render it inedible, making it suitable for use in food preparation areas.

It effectively removes wax and other oils from wood surfaces. Apply a small amount of denatured alcohol to the waxed area with a clean cloth and allow it to sit for a few minutes before using. To remove the wax, gently rub the area with a cloth. Wipe the area down with a damp cloth and thoroughly dry it.

maintaining Tips for a wooden countertop with a beeswax finish

Wooden countertops can make a beautiful addition to any kitchen or bathroom. A wooden countertop with a beeswax finish can last for years when properly cared for and maintained. Here are some tips to help you keep it looking beautiful and functioning properly:

Clean Up Spills and Splatters Immediately

Wipe up spills and splatter immediately. Beeswax is a natural finish, but it is not completely waterproof. If liquids sit on the surface for too long, they can penetrate the beeswax and cause staining or warping.

Use Cutting Boards and Trivets

To protect the countertop from sharp objects and hot pots and pans, use cutting boards and trivets. Although beeswax is a long-lasting finish, it is not indestructible.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners

Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads should be avoided. These can scratch or dull the finish, increasing its susceptibility to staining and damage. Wipe away dirt and grime with a soft, damp cloth instead.

Reapply Beeswax Periodically

Apply beeswax regularly to keep the finish looking new and smooth. This finish can be purchased in a can or made by melting pure beeswax and applying it to the wood with a cloth or brush.

Hire a Professional Wood Refinisher

Consider hiring a professional wood refinisher to restore the finish if the countertop becomes severely scratched or damaged. This can help prolong your countertop’s life and keep it looking beautiful for many years.

Strip and Prep the Wood before Applying a New Finish

If you switch to a different type of finish, strip off the beeswax and properly prep the wood before applying the new finish. This will ensure that the new finish adheres well and looks its best.

Avoid Placing Acidic or Alkaline Substances

Avoid putting anything acidic or alkaline on the counter. These can react with beeswax, resulting in discoloration or damage. Citrus fruits and red wine, for example, can leave permanent stains on beeswax-finished countertops.

Don’t Let the Countertop Get Too Wet

Avoid getting the countertop too wet. While beeswax is a relatively water-resistant finish, it should not be exposed to water regularly. If you must clean the countertop with water, thoroughly dry it afterward.


Removing beeswax from a wooden countertop can be a daunting task. Still, following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can restore your countertop to its original condition without damaging the wood.

A few different methods can be used to remove wax from wood, such as using common household ingredients or store-bought wax stripper. Whichever method you choose, it is important to keep in mind that the wood may need to be sanded or refinished after the wax has been removed.

Additionally, it is important to note that some wood may be more sensitive to certain solvents or techniques than others, so it is best to test out the method on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire countertop.

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