Finishing Tips

Finishing Tips To White Wash Raw Moulding
(This works best on maple or ash)


  • 1 cup White Paste Color or White Universal Tint Color (UTC)
  • 4 cups mineral spirits (paint thinner)
  • 1 can clear paste wax
  • several clean, white rags

Obtain the ingredients from any quality paint store. White Paste Color (UTC) is the pigment that the paint stores use for mixing colors. Make sure you get pigment that mixes with paint thinner.

Procedure: Apply white wash mixture with a rag (squeeze most of the excess out so the rag is fairly dry.) Put it on carefully to avoid lap marks. This will take a little practice, but if you blow it, just wipe off the white wash and start over. When you have an even coating, set the moulding aside to dry for about an hour. Be careful not to handle the moulding by any visible surface, as it will fingerprint very easily at this stage.

After it has dried, apply a thin, even coat of clear paste wax with a clean rag. After half an hour or so, buff gently with a clean rag. That is all there is to it!


  • Apply the wax evenly, avoiding globs. Too much buffing pressure will remove some of the white wash, which will result in an uneven finish.
  • Do this procedure with adequate ventilation and dispose of the used rags safely. Solvent-soaked rags can spontaneously combust (yes, wax contains solvent!) Follow directions and warnings for proper disposal according to the solvent manufacturer’s guidelines.

Finishing Raw Wood

There are so many different ways to finish raw wood that many people skilled in other crafts, who have never done finishing, may initially find the prospect intimidating. However, many finishes can be accomplished safely in a normal frame shop without difficult techniques, expensive equipment or specialty work areas. Picture Woods will happily share information regarding simple finishing techniques, including recommendations of wood and finish combinations. Just give us a call.

Special Note: we recommend you apply finish on properly sanded, raw moulding.

Suggested materials to keep on hand for miscellaneous finishes:  220 or higher grit sandpaper, 000 steel wool, clear paste wax, dark paste wax, natural finishing oil, soft rags.

Satin Wax

Sand surface to at least 220 grit until smooth. On light woods like maple or ash, apply a thin coat of clear paste wax. On darker woods like walnut, apply a dark past wax. Let dry –  at least 30 minutes, then buff with a soft cloth. A second coat is recommended.

Natural Oil 

Sand surface to at least 220 grit until smooth. Apply oil with either steel wool or rag, then immediately wipe off excess. Let dry thoroughly, generally overnight.  hen dry, buff with 000 steel wool.  Either apply second coat of oil or paste wax to increase sheen.

Safe Rag Disposal

Always be sure to dispose of oily, waxy, or solvent-soaked rags properly. Place them in a tight-sealing, metal can filled with water. Don’t leave them in the open, wadded up, as they can spontaneously combust. Check with your local waste hauler for final disposal options.

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