Best Wood Polish

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written by:

Updated January 24, 2023

To help you find the best wood polish for furniture, such as kitchen cabinets and antiques, we tried dozens of the top products, preferring items with plenty of polish power and those that leave behind a protective finish. We also liked hybrid products that also include some form of conditioning agent, which can keep wood from drying and fading in luster. So, as you prep for your project, we have a guide that can help you select the best tools.

The best product we tried, and our #1 pick, was the Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner, which shines on antiques and wooden furniture, thanks to a gentle formulation that includes ingredients such as carnauba wax and beeswax. It leaves behind a nice protective residue and does contain conditioning agents, which further protected the treated wood from decay and fading. Keep reading to learn more about Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner and why we decided it was the best furniture wood polish available, plus, find out more about the other items on this list.

Top 6 Best Wood Polish Compared

 #1  Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Gentle formulation that is perfect for nearly any wooden surface, with ingredients such as beeswax and orange oil, and leaves behind a protective finish in addition to boasting added conditioning agents.

  • Excellent protective finish
  • Gentle formulation
  • Prevents decaying thanks to added conditioner
  • Not a restoring or refinishing agent
  • Dispenser may not suit every taste
  • There are bigger bottles on list

This Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner is a fantastic dual-use product that contains both a wood polish and conditioner. The Howard Feed N Wax wood polish and conditioner’s ingredients are gentle, including orange oil and beeswax, and are safe to use on antique wood or modern wood furniture, including wood doors and trim. It also leaves behind a protective residue and the added conditioning agents protect against decay and fading. All you need to do is spread the Feed N Wax evenly onto the wood surface evenly and let it stand for 20 minutes, then polish it out with a clean soft cloth and buff to a shine.

Though this product shines with water marks and similar imperfections, it doesn’t do quite as good a job with something like a beverage ring, as it is not a restoring or refinishing agent. Additionally, the dispenser can be a bit messy and may not be to everyone’s liking.

 #2  Howard Products Restor-A-Finish – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic refinishing agent that excels with eliminating minor blemishes, scratches and other imperfections throughout wooden surfaces and is available in a wide variety of wood-based color options

  • Great for blemishes & scratches
  • Available in variety of wood-based color options
  • Simple to use, no sanding or priming needed
  • Not ideal for flooring
  • Chemicals, so be careful
  • Could use a nice conditioner afterwards

Howard Products Restor-A-Finish is just a stellar restoring and refinishing agent that can do wonders to pieces of furniture that are suffering from excessive water marks, beverage rings, scratches, oxidation, food stains, fingerprints, cooking oils, and related blemishes. It is easy to use, needing just to wipe on and wipe off and comes in a wide variety of wood-based color options, including dark walnut and golden oak. So whether your wood furniture has a neutral, maple-pine, cherry, walnut, mahogany, dark oak, or ebony brown finish, this polish has got you covered. If you fear you may have to strip a piece of wooden furniture, this is something to try first. These waxes enhance the depth of grain and provide added protection and luster to wood furniture. The waxes also add color to the wood.

Though this product does a great job at restoring and refinishing, it could use a conditioning agent, such as found with our top pick, in order to provide additional protection to your wooden pieces. Also, this is a toxic product before it dries, so be sure to wear gloves and try not to inhale any vapors. Which you should also practice whenever applying the spray paint or other chemical solutions.

 #3  Method Lights Daily Wood Spray – Best Eco Friendly

WHY WE LIKE IT: Completely biodegradable product that is made entirely from plants that truly excels with simple daily maintenance on large pieces of wooden furniture, such as kitchen tables and the like.

  • Great for daily maintenance
  • Cruelty free
  • Pleasant almond aroma
  • Not as powerful as top picks
  • No conditioning agent
  • Does not leave behind protective residue

This Method Lights Daily Wood Spray is a cleaning product intended for daily maintenance, effectively ensuring your favorite wooden furniture pieces will remain gorgeous for years to come. It comes in a 28 ounce spray bottle and is ideally used as a wood cleaner. The formulation is gentle, made entirely from plant-based ingredients, and biodegradable, not to mention cruelty free. We also liked the pleasant almond aroma that the wood cleaner leaves behind in its wake.

Though this spray polish is a great product for daily cleaning and general maintenance, it is not for tough jobs, as it is not a refinishing agent. Additionally, it lacks conditioning oils, which can help wood furniture from decaying or fading with time. Still, this is one of the best wood cleaners on the market today. When doing electrical work, you need tools that can simplify your work. one of the tools you can use is the best wire strippers.

 #4  The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Furniture Polish – Best for Multiple Surfaces

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great polishing agent that excels with wood, in addition to a large variety of supplemental surfaces, including leather, marble, granite, stainless steel and glass, among a large number of others.

  • Not as powerful as top picks
  • No conditioning agent
  • Does not leave behind protective residue
  • Not a restoring or refinishing agent
  • Dispenser may not suit every taste
  • There are bigger bottles on list

The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Furniture Polish is a great cleaning product that shines with a number of surfaces, in addition to wood furniture and other wooden surfaces including stainless steel, glass, granite, marble and even leather. It does not leave a waxy buildup in its wake and comes in an easy-to-apply spray can design, which is nice. It is also available in multipacks of up to three units.

This is a great multi-surface polish but it is not designed with wood as its primary concern. To that end, it does not contain conditioning oils or refinishing agents. It is, essentially, strictly for cleaning. While the best corded drill and the right polishing pads can help you with the toughest jobs, such as refinishing headlights.

 #5  Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo – Best for Hardwood Floors

WHY WE LIKE IT: Fantastic combo pack that includes a floor cleaner and wood polish restorer that shines with the cleaning and maintenance of hardwood floors, with a gentle formulation that is safe to use around kids and pets.

  • Removes scratches
  • Creates protective layer
  • Safe to use around kids and pets
  • Though it can work with furniture, not really intended to use with it
  • Can be difficult to treat large flooring areas
  • Not for use with unfinished wood

This Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo is a combo pack that contains two 32 ounce containers each of a floor cleaner and a standard wood polisher/restoring agent. These products work in tandem to clean and maintain hardwood flooring, effortlessly eliminating scratches and related blemishes, and creating a protective layer after use. We also liked that it is a gentle formulation that is safe to use around kids and pets.

Though this product is a cleaning and polishing agent that could, in theory, work with wood furniture in addition to flooring, it is not really designed for that. Additionally, it is not to be used with unfinished wood, so make sure to check out the status of your hardwood floors before purchasing. And with floors in mind, you might want to check out a list of the best disc sanders, which can drastically speed that job up.

 #6  Hastening All Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish – Best for Antiques

WHY WE LIKE IT: Gentle formulation making it ideal to use with antiques, in addition to modern pieces of wood furniture and pieces made from other materials, such as limestone and marble.

  • Works on surfaces in addition to wood
  • Easy to use
  • Leaves behind protective finish
  • Small container (12 oz)
  • No conditioning agent

This Hastening All Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish features a classic formulation that was cooked up during the 17th century, whose primary ingredient is beeswax. This makes it ideal to use with antique furniture and objects but it also does well with modern pieces, in addition to working with other surfaces in addition to wood, including limestone and marble, among others. It also leaves behind a protective residue, which adds another layer of safety.

Though the formulation is mostly beeswax, it does also contain turpentine, which can be toxic if inhaled, so be careful. Additionally, it comes in a small container, at just 12 ounces of product. If you are starting out as a woodworker, and you need a solid work surface, check out our best workbench guide for great recommendations.

How We Decided

To narrow down to the above list of fantastic furniture polishes, we tested out dozens of top products, preferring items that delivered a fresh and efficient polish to both antique and modern pieces of furniture, including doors and kitchen cabinets, among other items. For antique pieces, we preferred products that were made almost entirely from beeswax, which is a classic formulation for wood polishes that has been used to polish wood for centuries.

We liked items that were easy to use, often needing just a rag, soft cloth or some other simple applicator, and those that brought other functionalities to the table, including conditioning agents, which can help to prevent decay and fading. We also liked items that left behind a protective residue after use, adding yet another layer of safety.

We also preferred items made from biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients, though our primary concern was, of course, efficacy. Finally, we took a look at products that could be used on other surfaces, in addition to wood, such as stainless steel, glass, leather and marble, among many others.

Wood Polish Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Application Process
    You are going to want to purchase something that is easy to apply. To that end, look for something with a big enough applicator that you can easily squeeze some into a damp rag, sponge or a similar applicator. If you are looking for something to use with hardwood floors, make sure the formula can be semi-diluted in water, so you can use a standard mop in order to begin the polishing process. All of the above products are fairly easy to apply and to remove.
  2. Additional Functionalities
    These products run the gamut when it comes to functionalities. Some are simple surface/wood cleaners intended for maintenance. Others contain powerful oils that leave behind protective residues, while certain products excel at refinishing. If you are looking for long-lasting efficacy, be sure to pick a product that boasts additional conditioning agents, which can prevent decaying and fading over time. Our number two pick boasts this feature.
  3. Multi-surface Support
    You may be looking for a product that is primarily intended to be used with wood pieces of furniture or you may be looking for a multi-surface polish that is equally effective with stainless steel and marble, among other surfaces. Some products can even be used with leather, vinyl and glass. If your household has plenty of different types of furniture, that may be a good solution for your needs.

Wood Polish FAQs

Do these products change the color of wood?

Some polishes and cleaning products have color added, for use on dark woods, such as walnut. These waxes add color to the wood, and are especially helpful if the finish on the wood is blotchy, but they do not stain the wood.

What is the best application method for polishes?

Buffing machines are ideal for large floor areas, though these are out of reach for most consumers. Cloth can be used for pieces of furniture and particularly shines with beeswax-based products. Some products also call for the use of sponges. For paste wax, put a spoonful of wax inside a square of 100-percent-cotton fabric. Wrap the fabric around the wax ball and rub in a circular motion over the wood, one area at a time. The process can be a little complex, so we recommend you read the directions carefully..

Can you use these products on unfinished wood flooring?

No. Hardwood flooring needs to be finished in order to safely use a wood polish. Before doing anything, test the nature of your finish. Splash a few drops of water on a hidden area and watch to see if water beads. If it does, then your floor has a protective finish. That implies that it cannot be damaged when exposed to moisture, so go ahead with the polishing.
Lawrence Bonk Profile image