How to Fireproof Wood Candle Holders

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Unprotected wood is vulnerable to fire, and given that candle holders are designed to be in close proximity to a heat source, fireproofing becomes a necessary safety measure. The elegance of wood candle holders is undeniable, but their propensity to catch fire demands attention. This guide will walk you through, step-by-step, how to fireproof your wooden candle holders, ensuring they are as safe as they are attractive.

Why Fireproof Wooden Candle Holders?

Wood is inherently flammable, which makes it a risky material to pair with candles. Without proper treatment, wooden candle holders can catch fire, leading to potential injury or property damage. By fireproofing your candle holders, you’re not just protecting your home—you’re also ensuring the safety of everyone around you.

Materials Needed

Before we dive into the fireproofing steps, make sure you have the following materials at hand:

  • Wood candle holders
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Fire-retardant wood treatment solution (clear or tinted)
  • Paintbrush or sponge applicator
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • A well-ventilated workspace or a mask if needed

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Safety first! Choose a well-ventilated area to work in, as some fire-retardant solutions may contain strong-smelling or potentially hazardous fumes. Wear protective gloves and safety goggles, and consider a mask if ventilation is insufficient.

Step 2: Sand the Surface

Begin by sanding the wooden candle holders with fine-grade sandpaper. This step is crucial as it will allow the fire-retardant treatment to adhere better to the wood. Make sure to sand the wood evenly and smooth out any roughness to avoid inconsistencies in the fireproofing. Wipe down the candle holders with a clean cloth to remove any dust.

Step 3: Apply the Fire Retardant

Now it’s time to apply the fire-retardant solution. Open the container and stir the solution well. Using a paintbrush or sponge applicator, apply the fire retardant evenly across the entire surface of the wood candle holders. Ensure that you cover all nooks and crannies. If the candle holders will be used outside, make sure the fire retardant is suitable for exterior use with waterproof properties.

Step 4: Allow to Dry

After applying the fire-retardant solution, let the candle holders dry completely, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time. Typically, it can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight. Ensure you keep them away from children, pets, and flammable materials during this time.

Step 5: Additional Coats (Optional)

Depending on the product you use and your desired level of protection, you might want to apply a second coat. Some products also offer an additional protective finish for enhanced durability. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to understand whether multiple applications are necessary or beneficial for your specific wood type and usage conditions.

Step 6: Test Before Use

Once dry, it’s wise to test your candle holders’ fire-resistant properties in a controlled and safe environment. Consider lighting a candle and letting it burn for a short period under supervision to ensure that the wood does not catch fire or smolder. Always maintain vigilance when candles are lit, regardless of fireproofing treatments.

Dipping in Borax Solution

An alternative home method is to prepare a borax solution, dip your candle holders into the mixture, and then let them dry. Borax is a natural fire retardant that can impregnate the wood for added flame resistance.

Natural Fireproofing Methods

If chemical solutions don’t appeal to you, consider natural fireproofing methods like a lime wash or a concoction of cob, a blend of natural materials including clay, sand, and water. While these methods are more eco-friendly, their effectiveness might not match that of commercial fire retardants.

Avoid Common Mistakes

Ensure you don’t overlook crevices or joints during the application process. Ignoring these spots could leave vulnerable areas that compromise the fireproofing. Avoid rushing the drying process; proper drying is crucial for the treatment to be effective.

Maintenance and Safety Tips

Regular maintenance of your wood candle holders is essential. Dust and clean them regularly to maintain the integrity of the fireproofing. Always place your candle holders on a stable, heat-resistant surface, well away from flammable objects. Never leave lit candles unattended.


Yes, nearly all types of wood can be fireproofed with the appropriate fire-retardant solution, although effectiveness may vary based on wood density and absorbency.

DIY fireproofing with a quality fire-retardant can be very effective for objects like candle holders, though factory treatments might be more durable for high-exposure items.

Reapply annually or if the wood appears dry or worn, especially after exposure to moisture or frequent use.

While natural methods exist, commercial fire-retardant treatments are generally more reliable and effective for ensuring safety.

Some treatments may alter the wood’s look slightly, so it’s recommended to test on a small area first. Clear solutions are designed to minimize appearance changes.


Fireproofing your wooden candle holders is a straightforward process that can make a significant difference in home safety. By taking the time to follow these steps and maintain your fireproofed items, you can enjoy the mood-enhancing benefits of candlelight without the added risk. Remember, while Fireproofing may greatly lower the chance of a fire, But it is not an absolute guarantee.

Always practice general candle safety to ensure a warm, welcoming, and safe environment in your home.

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