After Mike cut the pieces for the rainbow tunnel stacker for Finnian, I debated whether or not to paint it. In the end, I decide it was the colors as much as anything, that attracted Finn, so I decided to paint and polish the pieces.
For this project, I used store bought milk paint (colorless base), but it is an easy, non-toxic paint base you can mix yourself from materials from the grocery and hardware store. Good recipes can be found here and here.
I used three primary colors of pigments*; red, yellow, and blue. I really wanted to use milk paint with pigments that came from mineral, not man-made sources, so I decided I could mix my own orange (yellow and red pigments) and green (yellow and blue pigments) to meet this desire. I mixed up red, yellow, and blue, then after painting those pieces, mixed half the remaining yellow into the red and half into the blue.
After the paint dried, I lightly sanded it and chose not to do a second coat, liking the thin, worn look. To polish the stacker, I opted for a beeswax polish.
I used a recipe I read about before the holidays in Living Crafts magazine. (I won a subscription via Imene's blog last year!) Simply take 4 oz of olive oil, add 1 oz of shredded (or in my case, my button sized) beeswax, and microwave until the beeswax melted. (My own note would be that next time, I think I will try a mix of 3 oz olive oil to the 1 oz of beeswax.)
You can use the polish in its liquid form, but I found it much more preferable to wait until it cooled to a paste.
Simply rub, rub, rub the polish into the wood. Let it sit to harden a bit, then buff off with a dry cloth. I did this twice. I put the remaining polish in a jar for next time. The recipe indicated that the wooden item may need re-polishing from time to time.
*The pigments, beeswax, and the pre-packaged milk paint (base) I used all came from The Earth Pigments Company. They had the best prices I found for the sizes, colors, and sources I looked for. Their service was fast and their shipping was reasonable. I have no association to them, so I am just sharing my own positive experience.