Parchment Paper and Wax Paper are actually quite similar in a lot of their uses. Both can act as a non-stick surface, are great for food storage, and handle being frozen with no problem. But their key differences make it very important to know which paper to use when baking. Using the wrong paper could result in a sticky mess for your baked goods and even potentially cause a fire!
Wax paper is generally coated with either beeswax or paraffin oil. It is intended to be used as a non-stick surface in the preparation stages of baking and cooking, but it is not meant to be heated. It should never be used in the oven, as the wax coating can melt and attach itself to your food, or in extreme cases can potentially catch fire. Wax paper is especially helpful in keeping moisture out of food. It is also used for food storage and freezing.
Parchment paper is coated in silicone or quilon and is also intended to be used as a non-stick surface for food. Unlike wax paper, however, parchment is intended to be used in high-heat and works as an excellent alternative to oil or butter when lining your pan for baking. Parchment is great for food storage and freezing as well, and if you plan to bake the goods you are storing, you can store them in such a way that makes your future pan prepping a breeze!