Finishing Wax

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Review by pjones46 posted 03-05-2013 03:00 AM 5735 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Finishing Wax No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For years I have been using a wax as the last coat over my finish and never really thought about brand until I made some tests. First let me say I have used just about every over-the-counter paste wax known to the retail marrket: Johnson Paste Wax, Butcher’s, Minwax, Liberon, Renaissance, BriWax, etc, etc.

All seemed to do the job but while finishing a project for my wife, I decided to do a little test to see which one gave the highest sheen after steel wooling the finished varnish. I went to my local True Value and checked the brands that they carried and found that they carried one I had never used, Staples Clear which I could remember using years ago but then could not find it.

I looked them up on the web and found out a few other things: Staples Wax is one of the oldest, uses imported premium grades of carnauba wax derived from Brazilian palm leaves, and contains no synthetics, silicones, or soft beeswax (their sales pitch, not mine). Anyway, purchased a can and made some tests on samples of the finished cutoffs from the project and hands down Staples clear gave the best sheen over the finish I was using.

It went on easily, and seemed to flow a wet edge as it was rubbed on to the surface and in a short time dried with a haze as many others do. However, it took a little elbow grease to buff it to a shine/sheen. Once it was buffed out the depth of the sheen was much deeper, didn’t have overlap lines visible with some of the waxes used, and in general gave me the impression it was a much harder finish than the others which was based on my old car polishing days.

Besides the clear, they also make available two different colors an orange, and a brown for I assume darker woods.

Also, because it didn’t contain synthetics, silicones, or beeswax I tried it on the cast Iron tops of my table saw, router table, band saw and the fences of all of the three; it cut the drag way down so the wood slid through like it was greased. How long that will last we will see, but it sure made it allot easier.

I rated it five stars due to the wet edge during application, the lack of synthetics, silicones, or beeswax and the end result of the sheen.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2361 days

4 comments so far

View Ripthorn's profile


1434 posts in 2703 days

#1 posted 03-05-2013 01:30 PM

I have a can that I got from Craft Supplies USA when I lived down the road from them in college. I think it works great and agree with what you said, though I have not used all those waxes listed.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

View dan81's profile


48 posts in 1705 days

#2 posted 03-05-2013 10:21 PM

Thanks for the thorough review. Do you think it would be okay to use over shellac?

-- Glue-up is still the stage when everything that was perfect in dry-fit goes horribly wrong, but I'm working on it.

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2361 days

#3 posted 03-05-2013 11:38 PM

To answer your question directly, I do not know. I have never used shellac as a finish material, have used wax with Poly, varnish, and lacquer and it works fine with those. Looking back over time I would suspect that it would work, as before the common use of Poly, both shellac, and varnish were the only finishes used and wax was a major player.

Do you use a wax now; that may be the telling factor? I would suggest you make up a sample for testing and apply the wax to see what happens.

You could also email them to see if they have any info.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View TDSpade's profile


95 posts in 2134 days

#4 posted 03-10-2013 07:24 PM

I use it over shellac and really like it. I use blo, shellac, and staples clear paste wax for finishing my small projects.

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

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