Wax on Wax off

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  • #639224
    5ivestring
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I thought I’d try just using wax as a finish, no lacquer or varnish or other. I have Johnson and Johnson paste wax. I was told by a musical instrument maker it is very good for wood finishes.

    So, simple question. I have 2 applications of wax on now, dark walnut. It looks nice and I like it. The question is more or not needed. I seem to recall Paul saying you can get wax build-up. I saw else where on waxing instructions that wax won’t build up, it just blends in with the first coat and the excess wipes off.

    So have any of you finishers out there had experience with wax only as a finish? Good idea or bad? Hints? Will more coats build up a deeper shine?

    Thanks in advance. Gary

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    #649541
    Bill Epstein
    Participant

    I believe too much is made of how various different finishes affect the ‘look’ of a completed project. All finishes make the grain ‘pop’ when first applied.

    Because finish is applied in the first place to protect the wood from dirt and abrasion, the #1 consideration should be how the project is going to be used. How it looks should be a secondary concern.

    A box is generally meant to be handled and wax alone offers little protection against abrasion, skin oils, and the environment. At a minimum, shellac or oil, Linseed or Tung, would be best for your box. followed by wax. The wax helps level the varnish and imparts a wonderful tactile feel. My preference would be Shellac chosen for it’s color tone to suit the wood then classic varnish. Amber Shellac and the additional amber tone of varnish would give your project a warmer look imparting a slightly red’er tone to the wood . I pad on the shellac , 2 or 3 coats within an hour of each other each followed by a light sanding with 220 Garnet Paper on a hard wood block just to level. The final coat, lightly applied and not sanded. Then I use a foam brush, carefully dipped then pushed against the side of the can to remove excess for the varnish. Some may scoff at using a foam brush but with a little practice it leaves a thin film with few if any ridges. I let that cure for at least a week then wax with a bit of 0000 steel wool that I first dip in Mineral Spirits, pressing out the excess and apply with the grain. Buff with a microfiber cloth.

    IMG_4421a

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    #649545
    5ivestring
    Participant

    Thank you Bill for your detailed explanation. That helps a lot.

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