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Remove wax finish?

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boggy

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I recently bought a piece of furniture in merisier ( wild cherry) which was finished in wax. This finish has been damaged and appears to have been rained on leaving whitish spots. I want to apply a clear lacquer but should I remove the wax first and if so how?
 

Sgian Dubh

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If the only existing finish is truly wax, then white spirits and scrubbing along the grain with either 0000 steel wool or a red or green nylon abrasive pad should remove it. Lots of white spirits and repeated scrubbing is needed. If, after this and a little light sanding (180 - 240 grit), again with the grain, you're still not absolutely sure you've removed all the wax, you could use a barrier coat of dewaxed shellac between the suspect wood and the lacquer. The mention of dewaxed shellac is important: shellac is very good at coping with contaminants, and it provides a good base for a lacquer such as pre-cat or acid cat lacquer. If you are unable to completely shift the wax, and you go straight to a lacquer you're very likely to experience poor or failure to adhere, possibly including in crawling of the finish away from a waxy spot. Slainte.
 

ED65

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Yes you'll need to remove the wax before applying lacquer.

White spirit or turpentine will dissolve wax so you can use those to remove wax polish, but if the wax was applied to bare wood it'll be quite a job to remove all traces as it'll have soaked in the grain so expect to have to go over the surface numerous times. I'd start with fine wire wool or the equivalent in a nylon abrasive pad then complete the job wiping with lots of kitchen paper or clean rags, and use plenty of solvent.

Leave it to dry out thoroughly when you're done before shooting it with lacquer.
 
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