Best way to remove old furniture wax?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by MrRock posted 08-27-2010 07:59 PM 3176 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRock's profile


14 posts in 3812 days

08-27-2010 07:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wax refinishing stripping removing refurbishing tip question trick finishing

I am in the middle of refinishing an old rocking chair for our new nursery. It has a fairly thick layer of wax built up on it, and I know that it has to be removed before painting. I’ve used mineral spirits, steel wool and some elbow grease, but I’m feeling lazy and am looking for a quicker way. Short of sanding down to bare wood, does anyone have some tips for removing the wax?

-- The Dude abides...

3 replies so far

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 08:04 PM


-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View rwyoung's profile


409 posts in 3465 days

#2 posted 08-27-2010 08:58 PM

If you are going to re-wax it, wax removes wax. Just keep applying fresh wax until the solvents clear out the old gunky stuff.

Oh, wait, you said you were going to paint it.

Otherwise mineral spirits work. More aggressive solvents would work but watch out for the ventilation.

Sanding could be a mess as the wax and gunk will just clog the paper. A card scraper can remove the bulk of material though.

Also, consider putting down a coat of shellac after you are done stripping it. I believe most paints will also bond with shellac. Worth a test on some scrap first. The shellac will seal in any left-over wax you may have missed.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4118 days

#3 posted 08-27-2010 10:52 PM

I’m with shopguryl: I’d think denatured alcohol would be a better solvent for wax than mineral spirits.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics