Recently, I received an inquiry in my guestbook:
i am a painter also, and was attempting to use cold wax menium. i was admiring your work on your site and wanted to ask you about using wax. do you know if there is a way to make the wax harden? i’ve tried cutting it with mineral spirits, and gamblin galkyd, and find that it always stays soft, like a candle. i’ve done research, but if you have any suggestions could you please write me back?
I though I’d post my answer here for all as a point of reference and to open the theme for discussion. Please feel free to post comments, additional information, corrections, etc…
Yes, there is a way to make wax harden – though never fully. You can add Damar Resin (also some times called Rosin, Dammar, Damhar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resins) . Also, using a portion of Carnauba Wax (Carnauba wax – from the leaves of the Carnauba palm – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnauba_wax) helps. This wax is much harder than beeswax. Lay off the turps and use 50% microcrystalline wax (Microcrystalline wax – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcrystalline_wax – with very fine crystalline structure – find it in a craft store or order online).