Castile Soap Cream for Finishing
I advocate using Castile soap for finishing some pieces of furniture. It’s non-toxic, easy to repair and gives light-colored woods a whitish glow.
Never heard of soap finish? I’ve written and recorded a lot about it. Here’s an introduction.
The only problem people ever have with soap finish is making it. I use soap flakes from the Pure Soap Flake Co. plus boiling water. Different ratios of water:soap will give you a different finish. Sometimes I hear from people who just cannot get the soap to make anything other than a watery goo.
I’ve had that problem with really old soap flakes (those that are more than a year old). But some woodworkers have had the problem with fresh flakes. Weird, I know. I don’t know how to fix their problem from afar except by suggesting they buy the Castile Cream Soap, which is already mixed. It’s $10 for an 8-ounce jar, which will get you started on a single project.
It is mixed to have a consistency like hand soap. Scoop it out of the jar with a soft cloth and rub on a thin coat on the bare wood. When the water dries, buff it off with a clean, soft cloth. It will leave a matte and soft finish behind.
No, it’s not durable. It’s soap. But it is easily repaired and renewed.
If you need an introduction to this kind of finishing (the kind that doesn’t kill you and looks better with wear), please read this.