basics on applying paste wax over finish - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-06-2009, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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basics on applying paste wax over finish

I have been varnishing a series of interior clear pine doors with an alkyd varnish. I understand that paste wax can be applied over the last coat of varnish to develop a higher sheen or lustre. I've read that a high gloss can be obtained by sanding with 600-grit CAMI paper, rubbing it with car polish and finishing with a coat of paste wax. A few questions:

I am assuming that the reference to car polish is liquid car wax. I spoke with my paint supplier, and he indicated that Meguiars makes a liquid polymer wax that is essentially carnauba. (I've read that carnauba is the hardest wax recommended for furniture.) If this is the case, when applying wax over a finish, why are liquid polymer car waxes NOT preferred over paste waxes? I would imagine that they might be easier to apply and buff out.

I've also read that one should avoid polishes with silicone as it will make it difficult, if not impossible to refinish the wood down-the-road. Are there any chemicals in liquid car polishes that are harmful for the finish/wood, or would make it difficult to refinish down-the-road?

I've had difficulty in the past buffing paste waxes, i.e. removing streaks in dried paste wax. Some articles I've read recommend buffing (even applying) paste wax with 0000 steel wool, as this helps in removing the streaks. Do readers have any experience applying/buffing paste wax with 0000 steel wool?

Lastly, are there any paste waxes or car polishes that readers recommend for furniture?...or any good literature recommendations on applying paste wax over a finish?

Thanks...I appreciate any thoughts on this topic.


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post #2 of 5 Old 11-06-2009, 09:40 AM
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We do a lot of refinishing and other finishing. However, we don't try to achieve a high sheen. Rather a deep, lustrous sheen. We use Briwax paste wax or Johnson's paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool. We rub out with towel material.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-06-2009, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielC View Post
I have been varnishing a series of interior clear pine doors with an alkyd varnish. I understand that paste wax can be applied over the last coat of varnish to develop a higher sheen or lustre. I've read that a high gloss can be obtained by sanding with 600-grit CAMI paper, rubbing it with car polish and finishing with a coat of paste wax. A few questions:

I am assuming that the reference to car polish is liquid car wax. I spoke with my paint supplier, and he indicated that Meguiars makes a liquid polymer wax that is essentially carnauba. (I've read that carnauba is the hardest wax recommended for furniture.) If this is the case, when applying wax over a finish, why are liquid polymer car waxes NOT preferred over paste waxes? I would imagine that they might be easier to apply and buff out.


WELCOME TO THE FORUM

If you used a varnish, wet-or-dry block sanded with water (by hand) in stages up to 1500x-2000x and hand rubbed with automotive compounds would be sufficient. Using car polishes or waxes IMO is not the way to go. A waxed finish is temporary and would have to be constantly maintained. It offers no durability.

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Originally Posted by DanielC
I've also read that one should avoid polishes with silicone as it will make it difficult, if not impossible to refinish the wood down-the-road. Are there any chemicals in liquid car polishes that are harmful for the finish/wood, or would make it difficult to refinish down-the-road?
Once you apply wax any further finishing would be a questionable procedure. I don't use wax for anything in the shop. I would wax wood to wood drawer slide assemblies, and that's about it. Some waxes and polishes contain silicone. I might be all alone in my methods, but they are a product of "finding out for myself". Other chemicals that may or may not be in waxes and polishes can contaminate your shop area forever. Used on saw tops for example, can contaminate the sawdust from cutting. Since you can't trap all of the dust, it does get airborne and floats wherever it wants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielC
I've had difficulty in the past buffing paste waxes, i.e. removing streaks in dried paste wax. Some articles I've read recommend buffing (even applying) paste wax with 0000 steel wool, as this helps in removing the streaks. Do readers have any experience applying/buffing paste wax with 0000 steel wool?
Some paste waxes should be buffed off within minutes of application and not allowed to dry (haze over).

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Originally Posted by DanielC
Lastly, are there any paste waxes or car polishes that readers recommend for furniture?...or any good literature recommendations on applying paste wax over a finish?

Thanks...I appreciate any thoughts on this topic.


It's just my opinion that a suitable finish is a stand alone finish, needing no further finesse once applied. There are some that swear by waxed finishes, and they are entitled to their own opinions and methods.






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post #4 of 5 Old 11-06-2009, 12:55 PM
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You didn't mention if you were using a gloss, semi gloss or satin finish varnish. From my experience, I wouldn't wax over either a semi gloss or satin varnish as they have additives in the finish intended to dull it down, so you're working against the product. If you're using a gloss varnish, wax won't make it any better. You'd be better just buffing the final gloss varnish coat. I had some experience in the auto painting arena a while back, so I use a couple of grades of 3M polishing compound & buffer. The results are like glass.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-07-2009, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shopsmithtom View Post
You didn't mention if you were using a gloss, semi gloss or satin finish varnish. From my experience, I wouldn't wax over either a semi gloss or satin varnish as they have additives in the finish intended to dull it down, so you're working against the product. If you're using a gloss varnish, wax won't make it any better. You'd be better just buffing the final gloss varnish coat. I had some experience in the auto painting arena a while back, so I use a couple of grades of 3M polishing compound & buffer. The results are like glass.
The finish is one described in June 2008 Finewoodworking ("Hot-Rod Your Varnish"). It consists of 5 parts alkyd varnish (Aspen Gloss varnish); 5 parts Tung oil; 2 parts Japan drier; and 3 parts gum spirits turpentine.

I am applying six coats, and am using 0000 steel wool between coats to scuff the surface. (I've tried using 400-grit stearated sandpaper between coats, but I've found that it bulks up with dust too quickly.)

I'm intrigued by your idea of using the 3m polishing compound. What grades of sandpaper would you recommend between the 0000 steel wool and polishing compound? (I'm assuming I would use wet/dry.) What grades of 3m polishing compound do you recommend?

Thanks!
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