If you looked at a cross-section of your wood after it has been sanded, under a microscope, the top surface would look much like this:
The pores of the wood look much like “peaks” and “valleys”. You cannot see this with the human eye after sanding with 180 grit. In order to achieve a sheen with Briwax, you must first fill the pores or the “valleys” with Briwax.
On soft woods, such as pine, the pores of the wood are large. Generally three or four applications of Briwax are necessary to completely fill the pores and develop a beautiful hand rubbed luster on raw pine. Pine wood that has already been stained or finished will develop a sheen more quickly.
On hard woods — maple, oak, birch, etc. — the pores are quite small. The hand rubbed luster can easily be achieved with one or two applications of Briwax.
Remember these key elements in applying Briwax:
1. Use Briwax sparingly — a little goes a long way
2. Always buff after each application of Briwax
3. If the wax smudges, you’ve used too much Briwax.