Ronseal interior varnish on top of ronseal interior wax?

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New member
16 Jun 2020
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Hi everyone,

I am very new to woodwork but spotted an old school desk in a skip and rescued it.

I have removed the old varnish and sanded it smooth.

I have bought ronseal interior wax and ronseal interior varnish and I am wondering if I can use the wax and then the varnish to seal it in?

i also started testing some of the interior wax on a small section and despite previously raising the grain and sanding (twice), it still felt rough - should I sand again or wait until the penultimate coat?

I have been unable to get in touch with Ronseal and would really appreciate some advice.

Thanks a lot


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Established Member
11 Feb 2011
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normally the wax would be the top coat. There may be exceptions, but generally nothing likes being on top of wax.

If you use wax on unsealed wood, it will keep sinking in, probably as you have found on your small section.


11 Oct 2014
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Sanding is a black art. It takes a lot longer than you think to get a smooth surface. Start with 80 grit, move to 120, then 150, (possibly 180 as well) then 220, and if you want a really smooth finish, go to 320. But you are talking MANY hours on a desk to work out all the scratches from the previous grits before moving to the next.
I have used wax first and then varnish on some of my boxes, I expect there will be several people along to say thats wrong, but so far the boxes still look good. 8)

Sgian Dubh

Established Member
12 Oct 2004
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sunnybob":24d81sr2 said:
I have used wax first and then varnish on some of my boxes, I expect there will be several people along to say that's wrong, but so far the boxes still look good.
It looks like I'm the first to say, well, maybe after marcros's preemptive comment earlier, that yes, that is wrong. I can't see how you're managing to get away with it because film forming finishes generally don't like contaminants underneath them, with wax being one of those contaminants.

But to answer ironwood's question, if you're going to use both varnish and wax, put the varnish on first over your prepared wood. If the first coat of varnish raises the grain a bit, lightly sand back before applying subsequent coats. If, when you've finished applying the varnish, you feel you want to wax it, its only purpose is to act as a lubricant for final buffing of the cured film, whether done with a cloth, nylon abrasive pad or OOOO steel wool. The wax itself can't penetrate the cured varnish film, so applying wax and buffing off properly essentially means all the wax is wiped off at the end, and all you've done is adjusted the sheen of the varnish.

Standard finishes available from common suppliers such as DIY stores, etc, include printed on the side of the container (or supplementary leaflets, either paper or online) the wood preparation and cleanliness requirements, along with listing appropriate tools and application methods, plus a description for clean up of the tools after the job's done. The manufacturers of finishes know very well how to ensure success with the application of their products, so their guidance should really be a user's primary source for information. Slainte.