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Step 11: Wax Rubbing to Add Color

I have a texturing tool to make interesting shapes in the wood. This makes crevices that I can put color into. To do this, I mix gold powder (left below) with a soft wax (right) to form a paste that I rub into the cracks and all over the wood. This looks especially good with brittle woods that have tear out or lots of pores in general, such as palms and wenge. It looks great with ebony too, since the metallic powder contrasts nicely with black.

I've generally had luck with just rubbing the wax in and wiping it off with a paper towel (use oil if it's tough to rub off). Then I just let it dry, and it doesn't come out of the grooves unless I really dig for it.

I think spraying a clear finish would help protect it more though. I have tried a CA finish with... mixed results. I don't like CA as a finish just due to the hassle and smell but it also turned the wax a little cloudy. Not too noticeable though.