Microcrystalline wax - not getting expected results.


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Established Member
15 Jan 2015
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Falmouth, Cornwall
This is related to another thread on here but didn't want to highjack that one asking lots of questions.

I'm using axminster's microcrystalline wax and trying to coat brass and steel and I just don't seem to be getting results. Fingerprints show instantly upon handling. I've used regular furniture wax on metal before and that seemed to work.

Here's what I've been doing:
Degrease the metal with acetone
Gently rub on a thin coating using t-shirt type cloth.
Wait around 20 minutes, then gently buff with fresh t-shirt cloth.
Wait an hour, then repeat process x2

I'm not sure if what I'm doing is wrong or maybe I'm expecting too much?

I'm wondering if I need to work the wax in more, especially on the first coat. Or maybe I'm not buffing enough and actually leaving too thick a coating?
The only other thing I can think of is that I use my conservatory as a workshop, and even with the doors and windows open it does get very hot in there, maybe affecting the application?

Any advice would be most appreciated!
Microcrystalline paste wax, at least the brand I use for turning work requires the bear minimum of smears on the surface.
It needs about 15-20 minutes for the volatiles to disperse then needs buffing (mechanically with a soft cotton mop) to friction heat it up to its melting point, (I believe about 60c.) to distribute it and remove surplus.

Maybe your hand buffing is not melting it?
I'm surprised it works at all on metal. I would use solvol autosol and then if it could not be regularly re-polished, coat it with clear spray lacquer.
Thankyou both for your replies, as a little update I've had a lot more success since!

I looked around and found the instructions made for renaissance wax, specifically for when applying to metal. They recommend three light coats on metal, applied around an hour apart. Each coat is buffed a couple of minutes after application, with the first one being done lightly to act as an "anchor" for the other two. This seems to have done the trick!

I sanded some brass to a satin finish then did the application on half. I put a nice healthy thumbprint on each half and after a few days the un-coated side had a brown thumbprint, while the waxed side just had a light print that buffed off easily with a soft cloth!
As a side note, I picked up a kiwi shoeshine brush from tesco and found that going over the dried coat of wax with that made buffing with a cloth much easier. The brush appears to be boar hair bristles, not as soft as a horsehair brush but not as stiff as synthetic bristles.

Thanks again!