Craft: Oil & Wax Finishing

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Solid wood is an extraordinary material, from its outstanding performance and workability to its rich texture, colour and grain. Our oil and wax finish harnesses these characteristics, exposing the timber’s natural beauty while maintaining its authentic touch and renewable surface.

Donzilia is in charge of oil and wax finishing at our factory. After receiving components that have been laboriously sanded to a silky touch, she applies the oil by hand, using a soft cloth to work it into the wood fibres, and around all contours of the many diverse shapes. She must apply the oil in a single, even layer, with no overlap, even on the most complex forms. As she works, she checks the quality of the wood surface: the oil application reveals details of the timber that were not previously visible, including the intricacies of the wood grain and colour, and any surface irregularities caused by sanding. If she notices any issues, she will return the item to the relevant department to rectify it. For example, if the orbital sander has marked the timber surface, she will will return the item to the sanding team to resolve the issue, before reapplying the oil.

After oiling, Donzilia passes the piece to her assistant, who sprays the wax onto the surface before rubbing it in by hand with a soft cloth, also in an even layer. They have found this distribution of responsibilities to be the best way to maximise efficiency.

Donzilia has an enormous amount of skill and knowledge gained over 25 years working with a variety of different finishes. Having been part of our team for 13 years, she sees the factory as her second home, where she gets along with everyone. It’s easy to see why: her strong work ethic and attention to detail are matched by her infectious smile and easy laugh.

Photo credit: Carlos Teixeira