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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought this table on clearance: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/big-sur-natural-65-dining-table/s450898

It's a "European Oak" and unfinished. The manufacturer suggests finishing it with a Wax Paste.

I've found many different types of Wax Pastes and was wondering which one is LEAST likely to a) change the color, b) be stinky (oy, tung oil is the worst) and c) be "chemically"--I had a surgery gone awry that left me with skin and breathing issues.

Some brands I've seen pop up online include Liberon Beeswax (wax+carnuba+turpentine), Liberon Wax Polish Black Bison (not sure how this is different from other Liberon product) and Daddy Van's (wax+carnuba+olive oil). I've also seen recs online to just mix 6 parts mineral oil and 1 part beeswax.

What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank You

Wow, thank you all for your thoughtful replies. Like most things worthwhile, it seems like this is as much art as science. I only wish I had this depth of knowledge on something besides handling toddler temper tantrums. :)

If I try something like poly or shellac, will it be shiny? I like the way the wood looks and feels now.

Alternatively, I was wondering if I could just try the wax. If it doesn't work out, could I hire a pro later to sand it down and seal it using poly or shellac? (I probably wouldn't dare poly or shellac it myself. Seems a lot more irreversible than wax, and harder to do correctly.)

Also, turp sounds "chemically." Could I do the wax+carnuba+turp thing every year or so, then do something more natural like the wax+carnuba+oil paste for touch-ups every few weeks or whenever it loses its water-beading abilities?


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By the way, I am very much interested in reading both what kinds of wax you like and alternatives like poly. I didn't ask about the latter because the manufacturer recommended wax. It didn't occur to me that there could be something better! So glad you all volunteered your thoughts. And Al, I also appreciate you keeping things on point, too. :) If I were smarter, I would have been more specific in my post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
How to tell if waxed?

Interesting!

Do you know how I can tell if it is waxed?

The sales person said it was unwaxed, and in previous reviews on the table people complained that it came unwaxed. (They complained because they only learned it had to be waxed after getting water rings, etc on the table.)

However, it being a big box retailer, it's very possible that the salesperson got it wrong and/or they started shipping it waxed because of customer complaints. So now, how do I tell if it's waxed? I've tried their customer service, and they didn't know. The rep looked up their "care sheet," which wasn't helpful at all...unlike this forum. :)


The table comes finished, Virginiamommy07 does not need to finish it. The table is white oak with a polished wax finish. The manufacturer recommends polishing it with beeswax from time to time to maintain the finish. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of a waxed finish, it's already done. V-mom made a mistake in her first post when she used the term wax paste, instead of paste wax or what the manufacturer specifically states, beeswax. They also say that the customer should expect that the wood will split, stain and, essentially, develop character. It's the intended style and look for this table.
http://www.crateandbarrel.com/big-sur-natural-65-dining-table/s450898
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks all! I checked with a supervisor over at C&B. It is supposed to be unfinished, unless it's a floor sample--which I have no idea if it is. So, I'm going to try the water test. If it's not waxed, I think I will try one of the varnish + oil combos. I will poke around first to see if there's a local woodworker who can do this at my house. If not, then I'll DIY it.

Thank you again for your thoughtful anwers. I will post a pic when I'm done.
 
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