Wax finish?


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Just read your advice on waxing an Oak table. I'm having problems with a French walnut table I striped down. I used Liberon clear wax and followed the instructions, but I think I've put to much on. I can get a half polish, but when looked at in full light smears are very apparent. I tried using a polishing sheepskin in a sander, but that makes no difference. Then tried a cloth disc on the drill (you're probably laughing out loud about now). Wax was applied with lint free cloth. I'm coming to the conclusion I need to start again. Please help!


Established Member
19 Oct 2002
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Sudbury, Suffolk
Hi Reuben,

Welcome to the forum.

I find finishing the hardest part of any project. :?

I have never used just wax, I normally use a finishing oil (Liberon) to seal the wood and then and a wax on top. The thing I have found good when using wax is a clean shoe polishing brush to burnish the wax with. I got very odd looks when I tried to buy some new brushes, most shoe shops wanted to sell me silicon polish with a foam applicator!
Hope you get it sorted out OK.

Chris Knight

Established Member
14 Jan 2004
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SE London - NW Kent

You can't really put too much wax on, the excess will always polish off with enough elbow grease. Furniture that has been waxed and polished for a hundred years basically still has the same amount of wax on it as on day one - except in the corners etc where the piece hasn't been properly polished.

That said, your problem is not the amount but the type of wax. As Dave has said, wax is not usually used as a finish on its own and especially for a table where scuff marks, finger marks etc are inevitable.

A suitable wax for use as a finish by itself is made from blending equal amounts of carnauba wax and beeswax. Carnauba wax is as hard as the devil's toenails and the blend is a very hard wax that needs to be applied with the help of some white spirits. When the white spirits have fully evaporated (overnight) you then have about a week's extremely hard work to polish something the size of table. It can't be done by machine either as very high localised pressure - as from all your weight on one thumb has to be applied while polishing.

Waxes like Liberon are great for some things but way too soft as finishes in their own right. A pure beeswax polish would already be a good bit harder than Liberon Black Bison.