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Wax finishing.....stupid question coming up!

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Calv

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Please excuse the next question......when you use wax on wood to finish it, is this applied to the bare wood then a stain or varnish used on top or is applied to bare wood only and polished up on it's own? If so is it as protective and durable as varnish?

Calv.
 

DaveL

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Calv,

When I use wax I would give the job a coat or two of finishing oil to seal the wood and then apply the wax. The wax should be rubbed on allowed to dry, the time depends on the type of wax and then burnished off. I have just bought a very nice brush from Chestnut for this, not had a chance to use it yet.
Here is a box of mine finished with wax over oil.
 
A

Anonymous

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Calv

You can apply the wax over another finish or on bare wood. The finish is nowhere near as hard or durable as varnish, but it is very easily repaired and tends to look much nicer than a varnish
 

Calv

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Cheers thanks for that.

Calv.
 

Terry Smart

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Hi All

I agree with everything written above.

Except in certain cases, stain is always applied to bare wood as it needs to be able to soak in; any coatings already applied will prevent this. Staining wood has at most a minimal affect on sealing the wood.
Some waxes (ours included) can be applied to sealed or unsealed wood (regardless of whether a stain has been used) and give good results. Others (the ones really intended for polishing furniture - it should say on the label) should only be applied over a sealer. This is because they are slower drying and the wax can soak into the timber leaving nothing on the surface to buff.

Sealing the wood can be done with either a Sanding Sealer, a Lacquer, an Oil, a varnish etc then followed by a coat of wax.
Using a sealer (any of the above) will make the coat of wax more resilient and will require less wax to be used. As the wax is likely to be, relatively speaking, the softest finish it is an advantage to use as little as possible (hang on... I sell waxes... did I really just write that???) as there will be less to get damaged.
It is possible to build waxes up to a very high gloss by applying several coats, but it would be very prone to marking when touched.

Finally, yes, wax is very easy to repair, it just depends where you are intending to use it as to how often it will need looking after and whether you want to!
 

Chris Knight

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It is probably also worth mentioning that there are different kinds of wax - probably thousands if one is pedantic. In woodworking, three kinds are noteworthy. The petroleum waxes that get incorporated in proprietary wax polishes. beeswax and Carnauba. The latter two are sometimes a component of the proprietary wax polishes too but usually in small amounts.

Beeswax and Carnauba are both harder than the typical petroleum wax used in commercial polishes. to use them they need to be mixed with a solvent to soften them. You can buy "pure" beeswax polish which is the wax plus solvent only but I haven't seen "pure" Carnauba sold in this way.

You can mix beeswax and Carnauba in various proportions and melt them into a bit of white spirit (gentle heat in a double saucepan) to make a wax polish that is far harder than the usual commercial products. This is useful inasmuch you can thereby create a far more durable finish that doesn't easily mark with fingers etc. However, applying and particularly polishing this finish is not for the faint-hearted. Lots of elbow grease is needed.
 
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