How to Stain and Polish Wood for Quick and Professional Look!

How to stain wood using briwax quickly and professionally

With a small amount of effort you can make your wood look great by staining your posts and shelves.

Staining timber posts brings out the character of each piece of cut timber. The timber knots are particularly interesting. The knots are the curves and bends in the wood grain that make timber the best material to work with for display.

Stained wood post versus natural wood

Applying a stain helps prolong the use of your wood post for years. It also protects the timber from cracking and drying.

The stain I use is Briwax made from soft beeswax and cleans, stains and polishes timber in one product.

Benefits of Wood Stain using Briwax

  • Looks great – brings out character of the wood
  • Protects the wood from drying out
  • Like a soft toothpaste consistency, not water – very easy to apply with a clean cloth
  • One coat is usually enough
  • Dries quick
  • Various stain colours to suit your other furniture
  • Works well on new timber

Oil Based Stains

Staining wood using oil based stain

Oil based stains can be watery and need several coats of sealer. This makes it time consuming and tricky to get the colour right. But Briwax feels like soft toothpaste making it easy to apply using a cloth. Often I use old cut up clothes. Also, one application of Briwax is often enough!

Unlike oil based water stains, Briwax also doesn’t leave a lap line in the timber. You can start and stop staining as you like. 

Tips for using Briwax Stain

Briwax Before and After

Before and after image using Briwax

Get a great professional looking result without the hassle of using oil based stains. For the home weekend warrior, it’s a huge time saver.

Briwax Colour Chart

Briwax stain colour chart

My colour preference is Antique Mahogany. When applied to unpolished wood posts and shelves, it dries in a semi-dark yellowish colour.

Supplies Needed to Stain and Polish Wood

Step By Step Instructions


Sandpaper wood edges
Lightly sandpaper the front, back and sides. Sometimes the cut from the hardware store isn’t clean so some light sanding is required. Use sandpaper to smooth the wood surface starting with a medium then a fine grit sandpaper.


Test a small area of wood using Briwax

You don’t need a lot of Briwax. Less is best because finished wood has very little exposed grain for the was to adhere to. 

Test a small area of the wood.


Apply a small amount of briwax in the direction of the timber grain

Apply a small amount of briwax in the direction of the wood grain using a cotton cloth (or cut up old clothes).

Remove any excess build up of stain using a cloth.


Allow the stained timber to dry

Give the stained timber 1-2 hours to dry. I find one coat is enough to bring out the colour.

After the stain dries, give the wood a final light polish using a clean cloth (or cut up old clothes).

You will notice after a few hours there is a waxy feel to the wood which sinks into the wood over time.

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