Email from Jake 11th Nov 2022
Hi there,

I have a problem with your traditional furniture wax. After a couple of weeks it has left an odd mottled look. I have photos to share. It’s over organoil burnishing oil on red gum. The mottled look hasn’t turned up on the underneath where there’s no wax so it’s definitely something to do with the wax. It’s on a table currently sitting in a gallery and making me look bad.


My response 12th Nov 2022

Hello Jake

How long had the Organ Oil been on the surface before putting the wax on?

If you could still smell the oil then it will still be off-gassing and will affect any wax put of it. Including Their own wax as the off gassing will not allow the wax to fully harden. Same with most non hardened oils.

If it is on red gum it may well be that the timber is still partially green and moisture from it, even the smallest amount may have been able to permeate the Oil and make the wax have milky marks especially if things have been sitting on the surface.

Please send me the pics and I may be able to give you a better idea as to the problem, but I can just about guarantee it’s to do with the oil, dampness of the timber or things that have been put on it.

On the Traditional Wax page it says: Traditional can be use over Organoil if the oil is applied as per instructions.

Directly beneath that it says the following:


If used over an oil DO NOT apply the wax if you can still smell the oil. This means the oil is still off-gassing and applying the wax will stop the off-gassing, so oil won’t properly dry/harden and that off-gassing will stop the wax from fully drying leading to finger marking and allowing dust to settle into the waxed surface.

Pics will definitely help.

Kind regards
Neil Ellis


Hi Neil,

Thanks for getting back to me, I didn’t expect anything so soon. Or so late in the day!

The slab was 8-10% when I acquired it, and it was sitting in my workshop for a year before I did anything with it. I’m confident it’s not moisture related. Also, the mottling is not milky. Phew.

The oil was burnished in a week before I applied the wax. Personally I couldn’t smell it at that point but I don’t have the world’s most sensitive sense of smell.

Photos attached. The marks aren’t finger printy, its almost like the wax has rubbed off in places. Many thanks again.


PHOTOS CAN BE VIEWED >HERE< bit too big for this page.


Hello again Jake 14th Nov 2022

I have to say that in over 30 years of making Traditional Wax I have never seen that sort of problem, but my considered guess will be that the problem will be with the Organ Oil and possibly with the epoxy left in surface after sanding and addition of Organ Oil.

A few thoughts and other things.

  • Organ Oil shouldn’t need wax over it for a long time, if ever.
  • If applied correctly it will take many coats of the oil being burnished into the timber over a period of days, weeks, and often months dependent on the timber used.
  • Redgum may have been 8-10% 12 mths ago, but deep probe may find internally it could be as much as 30%+ even in a thickness of 25 – 50 mm even higher in 3″ slabs especially if air dried and with all the moisture that’s been around over the last 4 to 6 mths ago.
  • I’m presuming the whole surface was sanded including the epoxy and that the whole table was affected by the sanding of the epoxy.
  • Organ Oil shouldn’t be used over epoxy.
  • Organ oil was designed to be used on raw timber only, and the finish is basically in the timber rather than on the timber. The surface shine is the burnishing of the timber rather than a surface oil coating.
  • Even one coat of Organ Oil will off gas for a couple of months.
  • Organ Oil shouldn’t be used over epoxy.

Organ oil was designed to be used on raw timber only, and the finish is basically in the timber rather than on the timber. The surface shine is the burnishing of the timber rather than a surface oil coating.

Even one coat of Organ Oil will off gas for a couple of months.

If off gassing is still going on it will soften any wax applied to it within weeks. May seem fine when first applied but will soften as the off-gassing continues and the problem is compounded by the wax stopping the oil for fully drying and crosslinking in the timber.

Same with Danish Oil and many other oils like linseed and other non or slow drying oils.

For what it’s worth, I am extremely familiar with Organ Oil products and have used and experimented with it and the manufacturers since it first came onto the market back in the 90’s. The original 3 directors are all friends of mine. They used and recommended our Water Dyes under their Danish Oil and our friction polishes over a number of their oils including their original Burnishing Oil and Hard Burnishing Oil for woodturned objects.

(I would not use or recommend our friction polishes (mentioned above) for use on your table or the epoxy.)

Organoil manufacturers spent many months writing their information sheets on exactly how to use each of their individual products. If you do not read and follow their guidelines exactly, you will not get the best results.

The only thing I can offer you by way of a fix may not be nice and is to wash the surface down with mineral turpentine and a lot of clean, soft, cloth/rag to clean off the wax.

However this could also mess with the oil beneath if it is not fully cured.

Other option is to use our Polish Reviver, but this may also mess with the oil.

I see you are in Ocean Grove. Where is the table now. We are in Geelong so if it’s local I may be able to have a look at it in situ.

Apologies for the long-winded response, but just touching the surface. Finishing can be a mine field and throw up some nasty problems especially with something new or different to what you are used to.

I hope this is of some help to you but that’s not helping the table.

Final questions. Did you use the oil and wax on the legs and if so did the same thing happen.

Did you ask the people at the gallery if they wiped it down with anything, Mr Sheen, Marveer, sanitizer, dry cloth, etc.

Cheers – Neil

Reply from Jake 15 Nov 2022

Hello again Neil,

I had thought that the epoxy sanding dust might be a problem, but did it anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. I did read their data sheet thoroughly and there was no mention of epoxy, either for or against.

wanted to use the wax because I’d used it on a chair (that incidentally I finished to great success with Aussie Oil, thank you for that amazing product!) and because it smells soooooo good. Noted that it wasn’t necessary on organ oil.

Your presumption is correct. I avoided the epoxy as best I could, ignoring the larger areas, but there are small infills where that wasn’t possible, so some epoxy sanding dust will certainly have become a part of the slurry.

Thank you for the information you’ve provided, it’s increased my understanding of oil finishes significantly.

I am quite happy to sand back the entire surface, so I will do that and have another go. All good practise. Is there anything in your knowledge that would be a good candidate?

To answer your final question, I did not use the wax on the base, but that is made from southern mahogany and iron bark and has no epoxy. But it is unafflicted. I’ve used your furniture wax on the two chairs that are at the gallery with no problems (over Aussie Oil, and over shellac).

Thank you for your time and expertise, I truly am grateful. If you did want to pop down to Ocean Grove I would be delighted to meet you.
Many thanks,

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