Johnson Paste Wax vs Minwax – Choosing the Best Option

Wax protection is one of the excellent ways to keep your wood furniture shining like a piece of artifact in the museum.

But choosing which product to use can be a problem, especially when you have various products with similar compositions.

If you are uncertain about which product to choose between Johnson Paste Wax and Minwax, check out this detailed comparison to make an informed choice.

Johnson Paste Wax

Johnson Paste Wax is manufactured for cleaning and polishing wood and furniture. When applied to wood, it leaves the wood with a lustrous sheen and protects it from damage by moisture or dirt, and improves its durability.

During usage, it is applied to the wood surface with a brush, piece of cloth, or paper towel on the wood surface. Afterward, the wood surface is buffed with a lint-free cloth.


  • It contains volatile organic compounds such as standard solvent, paraffin, and carnauba wax.
  • It is made of 1,2,3 trimethylbenzene and film formers.
  • It comes in the form of a paste.


  • It can be easily applied on wood surfaces using a brush or a piece of cloth.
  • It leaves your wood surface with a lustrous shine.
  • It can be used to restore the shine of old and fading woods.
  • It comes in a recyclable container.
  • Johnson Paste Wax protects wood surfaces from dirt and moisture.
  • The carnauba content of Johnson Paste Wax protects the wood surface from scratch.
  • It increases the longevity of wood and furniture.


  • It is flammable.
  • It can cause health hazards to the eyes, skin, and central nervous system when exposed to it for a long time.
  • Requires buffing after use.


Minwax has been in existence for over a century. Their products include wood stains, conditioners, industrial coating, wood finish, and more. The product has received many positive reviews from users over the years.

It is also noted for giving a lustrous sheen to wood surfaces and protecting it from moisture or dirt for a long period.

For application, you want to apply it to the wood surface with a brush, piece of cloth, or paper towel on the wood surface. Afterward, it would be best to buff the wood surface for a good sheen.


  • It contains C13-14 Isoparaffin and water-treated solvent extract of heavy naphthenic distillate.
  • It is manufactured with odorless mineral spirits, petroleum, lightly aromatic, medium aliphatic, and solvent naphtha.
  • It contains 1,2,4 trimethylbenzene and 1,3,5 trimethylbenzene.
  • It contains C9-11 alkane, cumene, and carbon black.
  • It comes in the form of a paste.


  • Minwax has different variety of wood finishing products to choose from.
  • It adds a lustrous shine to wood surfaces.
  • It can be used to add shine to fading or old woods.
  • Water-based Minwax wood finishing products are less flammable.
  • It improves the durability of wood and furniture.


  • Minwax is a polyurethane product, which can cause health hazards when exposed to it directly for a long time.
  • It is quite expensive and flammable.
  • Requires buffing after use.

Choosing the Best Option Between Johnson Paste Wax and Minwax

Johnson Paste Wax is great, and Minwax comes in a variety of products to meet the need of your woodwork. However, both products are not the same.

Here are some similarities and differences between the two products to help you choose the best option for you.

Similarities Between Johnson Paste Wax and Minwax

Johnson Paste Wax shares some similarities with Minwax, which are as follows.

  • They both give a lustrous shine to wood surfaces.
  • Both products can cause health hazards when exposed for a long time.
  • They can both be used to restore shine to fading and old woods.
  • Both products can easily be applied on wood surfaces with a brush, paper towel, or a piece of cloth.
  • Both products do not contain silicone.

Differences Between Johnson Paste Wax and Minwax

The following are notable differences between Jonhson Paste Wax and Minwax.

  • Johnson Paste Wax is harder l compared to Minwax.
  • It is easier to apply Minwax to wood surfaces compared to Johnson Paste Wax .
  • Johnson Paste Wax is cheaper than Minwax wood finishing products.
  • Minwax has a variety of water-based and oil-based wood finishing products, while Johnson Paste Wax is water-based only.
  • Minwax increases the longevity of wood surfaces more than Johnson Paste Wax .
  • Water-based Minwax is less flammable. However, Johnson Paste Wax and oil-based Minwax products are highly flammable.

Which Product is Best?

Minwax is an excellent choice because it gives more longevity to wood surfaces compared to Johnson Paste Wax .

However, it is quite expensive to purchase. So, if you need to cut costs while getting a value close to that of Minwax, Johnson Paste Wax is your go-to option.

Johnson-Paste Wax does not contain synthetic substances, unlike Minwax. This makes it a great choice for those who want to avoid wood finishers containing synthetic materials.

Also, both products are known to cause health hazards when you are exposed to the product for a long period. Therefore, it is advisable to use safety gear such as nose masks, safety gloves, safety goggles, etc., to reduce the chance of direct contact when working with either product.

How to Apply Johnson Paste Wax or Minwax to wood Surfaces for Best Results

Once you decide on the best product that fits your budget and preference, here is how to apply it to get an amazing result.

1) Clean the Wood Surface

Preparing the wood surface for the application is perhaps the most important step for applying the johnson paste Was or Minwax to wood surfaces for best results.

Working on a contaminated surface will hamper the quality of the final result.

To make it ready for the application of the wax, you can use mineral spirits. They are sometimes referred to as paint thinners. You can use mineral spirits to clean off just about any type of wooden surface and prepare it for treatment.


You want to use a soft lint-free cloth. Pour some paint thinner on it. The key to cleaning the wood surface is to use wipe the table uniformly in long strokes reaching both ends of the wood.

After wiping the table, you will notice that the cloth picked up some dirt from the wooden surface. You can usually tell this from the dirt on the cloth.

This is for a smoothened wood. If the surface of your wood is not smooth, it would be best to smoothen the wood surface with fine-grit sandpaper before cleaning the surface with the mineral spirit.

Swipe your index finger slowly on the wood to check whether the cleaning was thorough. Holding your index or middle finger on the wood surface and pulling it back against it should give you a screeching sound. This screeching sound is from the friction between your finder and the wood surface as you pull it back against the wood surface.

2) Apply the Paste to the Wood Surface

There are many ways to apply wax to wood. But for the best results, it would be best to scoop a little paste on your lint-free cloth and work the wax for a few seconds.

After that, you want to scoop a little wax with the cloth and wipe the wood surface with it. Apply the wax in long and uniform strokes. The objective here is to get a thin coat.

You want to be careful not to apply any pressure to the wood surface.

3) Dry and Remove Excess Wax

The next step is to leave it to dry. Afterward, remove excess wax by wiping the surface with a clean cloth. Minwax dries faster than Johnson Paste Wax .

4) Buff the Wood Surface

Whether you choose Minwax or Johnson Paste Wax , buffing is required for the best result. You want your wood surface to have a great sheen, and the way to do this is to buff the wood surface after applying the wax.

You can use a clean piece of cloth to buff the wood surface in a circular motion. For buffing, you must use a lint-free cloth. The reason is that you do not want lint on the wood surface.

If the wood you are waxing is a table or a chair with intricate carvings, you can buff the carved areas with a shoe brush.

If the result is not to your taste, you can apply another layer of wax to the wood surface and repeat the entire process.

Bottom Line

Although they have some differences and similarities, they are different products. If you are working with a budget, you can go for the cheaper one, but if you are not working with a budget, either of the products is good for your project.


Perhaps the major thing to remember when making your choice is that Minwax offers more durability than Johnson Paste Wax . But unlike Minwax, Johnson Paste Wax does not contain any synthetic substances. This makes it great for DIYers looking for a natural and protective wood finish. If that is what you want, give it a try today!