3 surface techniques for your candlesAs this article is about to show you, you don't need much to radically transform the appearance of a candle.
There are many surface techniques (techniques that have an influence on how the surface of your candles looks like) and you're about to learn 3 of them.
I picked these three techniques because they give candles such a different look with little effort.
1 - Shiny finish
Most of the time, a molded candle will automatically show a shiny finish, mostly because of the relatively high recommended pouring temperature (180°F to 190°F).
The rule of thumb is: the hotter the wax and the faster it cools off, the shinier the finished candle will be.
So if you want to achieve a shiny finish, pour the paraffin in the mold at a temperature close to 190°F and, if possible, speed up the cooling process by placing the mold in a water bath.
When it comes out of the mold, your candle will have a shiny aspect, just like the candle in picture 1.
You can accentuate this effect even more by wiping it gently with an old nylon stocking.
2 - Rustic finish
This technique, which gives your candle a superb rustic look, is theexact opposite of the previous technique.
As a matter of fact, to achieve this effect you will need to pour wax in the mold at the lowest possible temperature (depending on the paraffin blend used, around 140/150°F). You can also just wait until a film starts to form at the surface of the wax in the pouring jug: it's a sign that the wax is about to return to a solid state. This is the perfect time to slowly pour it into the mold.
Because the mold has not been preheated and the paraffin is at such a low temperature, by pouring very slowly the wax will immediatly set when it touches the sides of the mold. This creates a multitude of horizontal pale lines, also called jump lines (see picture 2).
Furthermore, when you will unmold the candle, parts of the candle surface may remain stuck against the sides of the mold, thereby accentuating the candle's already distressed and dry look.
Experience will show you that you will get better results with some colors than with others. Dark colors seem to work better for this technique...
3 - Snowflake aspect (mottling)
This third technique gives a candle a very soft, almost cottony look which is called mottling in the candlemaking world. It creates a very nice snowflake effect just under the surface of the candle, unlike the previous technique that actually acts on the surface itself.
To achieve this very nice effect, you need to know three secrets:
If you're using a metallic mold, don't forget to preheat it (in the oven or with your faithful heat gun).
Pour the wax in the mold; as soon as it's hard enough to flip the mold upside down without spilling, wrap the mold in one or two old bath towels to keep it warm and give the candle all the time it needs to completely cool off (the longer the better).
Unmold the candle: you will notice a great snowflake effect on its whole surface, as showed on picture 3.