From Dr. Woodwell's Wood Elixir

WoodElixir: How does Wood Elixir work?

How does Wood Elixir work?

Wood Elixir cleans, rejuvenates and protects in Just One Step!
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Dr. Woodwell Wood Elixir is a unique formulation designed to clean, rejuvenate and enhance all types of wood finishes. What sets Wood Elixir apart from other products is that it does all three tasks at once. Wood Elixir solves cleaning problems such as removal of dirt, grime, mildew, grease, wax, dried-on food & beverage stains, sticky residues from tape or gummed labels, paint smears, paint or stain over-spray, chewing gum, lipstick, magic marker, grease pencil, crayon, lead pencil, ball-point pen ink, etc. While the surface is being cleaned, the finish is being rejuvenated. As well, damage to the finish caused by dehydration and excess moisture is being repaired through re-amalgamation of the finish to the wood surface. Problems solved through this process include removal of white water rings, white hazing, scratches, cracks in the finish, finish separation from the wood, and, Wood Elixir reverses dry-finish flaking. Wood Elixir can also be used to clean and protect painted surfaces, tin, leather, and decals!

I have recently used the Dr. Woodwell product and am completely satisfied! We were going to throw away the bedroom set we retrieved from storage since it was full of mildew. Your solution worked magnificently and we are now using it --- thank you --- you have the only product that worked on our problem.

Matthew F.

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The "Dr. Woodwell" Story

Murray Westbrook, who was known as Dr. Woodwell in the antique business.

At the age of 46, Murray Westbrook was prepared to be actively retired after several successful business ventures in Toronto, Canada. The "active" part of his retirement was the revitalization of the historic Quaker village of Sparta, Ontario. This project involved the opening of several businesses in Sparta, including "Victorian Times Antiques & Art", a retail antique shop. A woodworking hobbyist with an interest in Victorian furniture, Murray frequented the auctions as a source of supply for his store.

He found that the finish on used furniture was frequently in such poor condition that refinishing is required. However, refinishing is expensive and, with antique furniture, the old finish and patina is more valuable than a new finish (which is why many people spend money to refinish, only to end up reducing the value of their antique furniture).

With this challenge in mind, Murray busied himself with the development of a one-step furniture finish restorer called Wood Elixir. Wood Elixir produces a lasting solution to a multitude of problems - problems that previously would have required refinishing - with one "wipe on, wait, wipe off" step.

Yesterday I sent you an e-mail complaining that it took so long to receive your products. Well today I had received the Wood Elixir (having forgot it was sent from Canada), and have got to say it is REALLY GOOD STUFF.

I have an old, old desk which I am trying to preserve and your Elixir has made it 60 years younger, at least. It made a tremendous difference to the wood which was faded, blemished, some old paint marks, and just looking real bad. Now the desk has a new lease on life.

I did not take any pictures but your product did exactly what you said it would do and the instructions proved to be correct all the way through. I am REAL HAPPY with your Dr. Woodwell's Wood Elixir. Thank You.

Charlie B.

Wood Elixir versus Howard Restor-A-Finish* and Orange Glo*

Wood Elixir's lasting results versus Howard Restor-A-Finish and Orange Glo

The Story Behind This Photo ...

"In October of 1998, I was asked to do a demonstration of the various uses for WOOD ELIXIR at the Southworks Antiques Mall in Cambridge Ontario.

"As one of the demonstration pieces, I took an antique walnut headboard on which I applied Wood Elixir, Restor-a-Finish* and Orange Glo* to separate areas. The original shellac finish was present but dehydrated with noticeable stress fractures and light colored striations indicative of a deterioration of the bond between the wood and the finish which, if left unattended, would cause the finish to flake off.

"After that show, I took my sample pieces home and left them in my driveway intending to store them inside later. Winter came early and the ice formed around the base of the headboard and it became stuck. I left it there, exposed to the elements for the rest of the winter. The above photo was taken in the spring of 1999. You can see that where the Restor-a-Finish and the Orange Glo products were used, the finish is totally missing. Where I applied Wood Elixir the finish was still in tact.

"I still have this headboard. It is still outside. The Wood Elixir treated finish is still in tact!"

Murray Westbrook,
September 2002

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What is the difference between Wood Elixir and ...

Howard Restor-A-Finish™ *


Wood Elixir

A tinted surface finish treatment. Adds color to the finish, and the purchase of additional bottles is required to work with different wood and finish colors.

A finish restorer - instead of imparting color or improving appearance cosmetically, Wood Elixir penetrates and restores the original finish. The patina of antique furniture is maintained. One product works with all wood finishes and colors.

Fills scratches by adding color. Particlarly helpful on some modern furniture where the color is in the finish, opposed to wood having been stained and a clear finish applied. Treats and beautifies the surface.

Reduces the appearance of scratches by reactivating and smoothing the existing finish. Certain ingredients penetrate to reamalgamate a dehydrated finish, and leaves a protective membrane even after wiping dry to the touch. Since Wood Elixir penetrates, strengthens and seals the original finish, the results are long-lasting (see photo above).

A quick-drying product. This reduces the ability to control the results.

Wood Elixir offers control over the process and the results. The product cures over a 24 hour period ... if additional applications are required to achieve the desired results, within 24 hours the previous application will be reactivated when additional product is applied. Allowing the sealing membrane to cure between applications, Wood Elixir can be built up to produce a hand-rubbed "French Polish" type of finish.

Click here to read a candid opinion from a Restor-A-Finish user

Orange Glo™ *

Orange Glo*

Wood Elixir

A satisfactory surface cleaner. Orange Glo has no restorative characteristics and offers no lasting protection.

By penetrating and imparting beneficial ingredients, Wood Elixir restores the existing finish instead of simply cleaning the surface. Once Wood Elixir cures, it offers additional protection against future damage.

BriWax™ *


Wood Elixir

BriWax is an excellent protective wax. If the finish is damaged, flaking, or dehydrated, using BriWax (or any wax) will simply seal the damaged surface. Murray Westbrook, creator of Wood Elixir, often saw that on pieces brought into Dr. Woodwell Antiques for restoration.

Dr. Woodwell Wood Elixir will remove BriWax and re-establish the finish. Wood Elixir will restore the damaged finish, and cure to leave a thin, protective membrane. Numerous coats of Wood Elixir can be applied (allowing 24 hours between applications) to build up a hand-rubbed "French Polish" type finish. However, after restoring the original finish with one application, a good quality wax (like BriWax, or any wax containing carnuba) can be used to produce a higher-gloss.

* Trademarks are property of their respective owners, and are used only to identify products used in this comparison. Their use in no way indicates a relationship between Woodwell Products and the owners of said trademarks.

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Page last modified on September 16, 2022, at 10:14 AM