Renaissance Wax

July 18, 2022
renaissance wax

The world famous Renaissance Wax was developed in the laboratories of the British Museum and is used to preserve all types of objects in the museum and historical collection. 

In accelerated aging testing, scientists at the British Museum have found that all modern commercial waxes based on common natural waxes (beeswax and carnauba wax) contain acids that, over time, can tarnish the original finish of National Historic Collections. To solve this problem, new so-called “fossil” or microcrystalline waxes derived from crude oil have been proposed and investigated. Thus, waxes have combined the best qualities of nature with the advantages of modern technology. The mixture resulting from this study was designed to provide long-term protection for all classes of museum exhibits. Naturally, this wax is excellent for protecting blades and knives from corrosion and oxidation during long-term storage in private collections. Renaissance Wax has been produced commercially in London since 1968. 

The product was quickly adopted in the international museum world and became the universally accepted standard conservation material. Moreover, the most widely used due to its almost unlimited use.

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What makes Renaissance Wax different from other knife’s means of protection?

It has a finer crystal structure than all-natural waxes and this property provides highly effective moisture resistance. 

Renaissance Wax is used to protect metals such as Damascus steel, various types of steels and alloys, silver, brass and copper from tarnishing and to protect against corrosion.

Its unique qualities make it ideal for protecting all surfaces from environmental attack or processing. Knife wax, for example, replaces the preservative lubricant of weapons and armor in museums. Wax coating is hard and dry, does not attract atmospheric acid. 

Gun oil or Ballistol remain sticky and are therefore not suitable for knife collectors.

Exhibits treated with Renaissance Wax are more convenient to handle.

How to use Renaissance Wax

Renaissance Wax is used for collections of all types of metals (knives, swords, sabers and daggers, coins, weapons and armor, both original and replicas); wood and metal surfaces of vintage cars and musical instruments; bronze sculptures exposed to the weather; smooth leather goods; marble and granite countertops for stain protection, etc. These are just some of the applications for wax.

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Instructions for Renaissance Wax

When applied thinly and rubbed to a full sheen, the wax coating becomes clear as glass without changing the color of the wax or the underlying surface. Renaissance Wax is acid-free (pH neutral) and does not damage even sensitive materials. For example, photographs intended for exhibition or of historical value are waxed to protect the image from the natural acidity of the hands or environmental pollutants. The wax does not stain or darken even white paper.

On furniture or woodcarvings, the wax delicately enhances the grain of the wood. It protects existing finishes and can be applied directly to sanded, unfinished hardwoods without the use of sealants. Waxing is the final process of making handcrafted furniture and creating wood, stone or metal sculptures. Nevertheless, this is the first aspect that needs to be assessed with hands and eyes. The transparency and brilliance of Renaissance Wax make it visually appealing.

The matured wax coating feels smooth and silky to the touch. No matter how often the wax is used, clarity is never lost, so fine surface details never overlap. Reusing the wax deepens the shine by reflecting more light off the surfaces and making them look more alive. It is important to remember that it is necessary to test on a small inconspicuous area to ensure that the wax is suitable for use on that object. The number of layers of wax needed to protect an item depends on the type of surface, frequency of contact, and location. These factors also determine the frequency of further maintenance.

How to use Renaissance Wax for knife care (video instruction)

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