Greenwood Aftercare, other finishes & Cleaning tips

In the last blog of this series, we looked at how we may preserve and enhance our greenwood creations with a selection of oils and processes and in this, the final blog of the series, we’ll look at other options we may wish to consider.

Spoon butter

Spoon butter is something I’ve been using for over six years now, I was introduced to it from a good friend Lily who lives in Bulgaria, it offers the same properties and advantages as the oil, but in addition a harder coating helps to endure the elements for longer. It is made from a blend of 1:1 mix of food grade oil (avoid olive oil as it tends to go rancid) and natural bees wax.

Jay’s spoon butter in handy tins

It is simple to make, simply measure out the ingredients weight for weight, then grate the bees wax and gently warm the oil in a suitable container. The oil just wants to be that little bit too hot to touch before adding the grated wax a little at a time, stirring as you do so.

Jay’s spoon butter setting 1:1 Veg oil & bees wax
Jay’s spoon butter setting, 50g veg oil, 50g bees wax and 1 tsp of pine tar for colour

Be cautious not to splash the oil as you do this and never overheat the oil to avoid it combustion. Once it is all melted and mixed in then decant into suitable container and allow to cool. Old shoe polish tins are ideal, and I use smaller tins to take with me when I’m out and about for a while. Once it has set you can apply a little spoon butter to your finished projects and buff the excess off with a clean dry cloth or paper towel. For quantity, 50g of food oil and 50g of bees wax will make roughly three shoe polish tins.

Jay’s spoon butter applied, the bowl in untreated

Above you can see the spoon butter applied. and the excess buffed off with a clean cloth or paper towel. The clear one enhances the grain a little and offers a nice sheen. The pine tar one offers a subtle change in colour and sheen.


I’m not a fan, but using paint on small areas of your creation is popular in some circles, especially on the handle sections of a spoon and other utensil. For best results use 240 grit for the paint to key to the surface prior to painting. Use food safe paint and read all the instructions as some paints may require a primed surface coat prior to paint application.


Over many years of use wooden objects can form their own beautiful finish. This is gained through use and handling as they absorb fats and oils. Over time and this this forms a smooth and shiny surface, giving the finish of something that is well used and loved.

The bright shine of patina through years of use on this old axe handle

In Use

The care extends to how you use and look after your carving creation. When cleaning after use, avoid soaking in the sink with the rest of the washing up. This saturates the wood and if the water is very hot with detergent this with start to remove any care treatment you have applied. A simple quick wipe in the suds is all that’s needed. Avoid dishwashers altogether as this will strip the wood of any care treatment and dry it out.

Avoid long soaks in suds

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of blogs and that it has helped with your carving creations. Why not show us what you have created on our Facebook group, we’d love to dee them. Below are the links to the previous blogs in this series:
Greenwood Carving Aftercare
Greenwood Carving Aftercare, Abrading and Burnishing
Greenwood After Care, Seasoning
Greenwood After Care, Oiling & Baking

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