• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Cleaning waxed surfaces

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

beaver

Established Member
Joined
26 Dec 2009
Messages
95
Reaction score
0
Location
ashford/kent
Hi Guys
I have got some waxed pieces that i need to apply a revitalising coat to, can anyone suggest a cleaner to remove any built up dirt first.
Regards
 

mrpercysnodgrass

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2012
Messages
719
Reaction score
93
Location
Lingen Herefordshire
To revitalize wax I would normally just apply another coat of wax, if the waxed surface you are trying to revive is dirty you could apply some wax on a wad of fine wire wool ( 0000 ) this will clean off any surface dirt. If you feel you need to take off the existing wax then you could use Liberon 'wax and polish remover' which is a white spirit based cleaner, just wipe on, leave a few minutes and wipe or scrub off, leave for several hours to dry and then re-wax. A third method is to make your own reviver, something restorers have always done, the recipes vary but are more or less the same, here is mine.
One third raw linseed oil, one third turpentine ( or white spirit ) one sixth meths and one sixth ammonia. Put into a strong glass bottle ( HP sauce ) give it a good shake before use. Apply with a rag or fine wire wool as above. This reviver will also work to remove ring and bloom marks from polished furniture. If a little more power is required then you can add a fine grit to the mix like flour emery or pumice powder.
Hope this helps.
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,478
Reaction score
309
Location
UK
mrpercysnodgrass":1vjmev6c said:
A third method is to make your own reviver, something restorers have always done, the recipes vary but are more or less the same, here is mine.
One third raw linseed oil, one third turpentine ( or white spirit ) one sixth meths and one sixth ammonia.
I thought those home brew reviver recipes (which I've made up myself many times) containing linseed oil had largely been discredited because of the tendency of the linseed oil to darken the wood. Do you find that using raw linseed oil rather than boiled linseed oil mitigates against the darkening characteristic of the latter? Slainte.
 

mrpercysnodgrass

Established Member
Joined
29 Apr 2012
Messages
719
Reaction score
93
Location
Lingen Herefordshire
9 times out of 10 the wood is completely sealed with one polish or another so the reviver does not come into direct contact with the timber, so darkening is not an issue. On the odd occasion when there is bare timber I have never noticed any darkening, even on bleached out mahogany and walnut. As for boiled v raw, I use raw because it is thiner and does not smell as bad as boiled and as for boiled drying quicker, I don't think it makes much difference in a reviver. I have been using mine successfully for over 30 years and will continue to do so.
 

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2004
Messages
2,478
Reaction score
309
Location
UK
Thanks for that. I too, as mentioned above, have occasionally made up similar revivers when I've worked on old furniture. I seldom do restoration work nowadays, although back in the early 70s to about the mid 80s that seemed to make up about half the work my employers gave me to do. As you point out, there's often some kind of film polish at the base which keeps the reviver mix off the wood. But sometimes there wasn't, and the original finish was wax or something similar. I did notice the reviver used in that situation tended to darken the wood. I think the main difference between your mix and the ones I've concocted are the boiled linseed oil I've always used instead of the raw linseed oil you use.

Anyway, since those days, and sometime in the last ten years or so, I came across an article that lamented the darkening tendencies of the linseed oil in the common reviver recipes and it reminded me that I'd noticed the tendency. I can't recall who wrote the article or where and when it was published. Since becoming aware of the concern expressed in that article I've noticed the subject discussed a few times, but again I can't recall where and when.

On the other hand, I sometimes deliberately use boiled linseed oil under finishes such as shellac and various sprayed lacquers primarily to achieve the darkening effect. A typical use is over American black walnut and under pre-cat or post-cat lacquer for the express purpose of 'warming up' the walnut because walnut can look a bit cold and uninviting if the only finish is a clear polish straight on the wood, and especially so if the clear polish is a water based finish. Slainte.
 
Top