Problem with wax in the pores of the wood

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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 10-20-2010 11:48 PM 2540 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2719 posts in 2851 days

10-20-2010 11:48 PM

I finished my 10 trays but ran into a problem I can’t seem to fix.
I have 2 open pored woods – a phillipine mahogany and some wenge.
I finished both with 2 coats of danish oil and 2 coats of wipe on poly… then 2 coats of wax.
It seems the wax gets into the pores and turns white.
Picture below (I hope):

I have tried using acetone to clean the pores without much success. Any ideas as to how I might do this?
I’m trying not to remove all the finish… just the wax.
Does anyone think wood floor wax remover would do it? Is there anything I can put over it to hide the wax (don’t suggest paint!!)


-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

9 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3312 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 12:57 AM

you could try heating it with a hair dryer and then use mineral spirits to remove it which shouldnt affect the finish

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Rick Dennington

5101 posts in 2613 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 01:05 AM

I think what happened is that you put the wax on too soon after the finish… the finish wasn’t cured out yet. I usually wait about 2-3 weeks before applying a coat or two of wax. I’ve found it best to give it at least this long.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

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13524 posts in 2760 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 01:18 AM

mineral spirits is all i ever heard

maybe with a tooth brush

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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15459 posts in 2425 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 01:49 AM


Im not sure as to how to fix the problem but for the future what i did when using danish oil and wax is after the first flooding of danish oil use a 320 grit sandpaper to wet sand the piece which will create a “slurry” of oil and sawdust. Then wipe it off against the grain, in turn filling the pores. Another 2 coats of oil and that should fill them.

Best of luck on the fix!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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robert triplett

1566 posts in 2524 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 01:58 AM

Ellen, this can be a problem that turners have. I have used the mineral spirits and high pressure air to blow it out. I used a buffing system and the wrong color polish on Purpleheart. Not pretty. I was able to get it out.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View ellen35's profile (online now)


2719 posts in 2851 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 12:43 PM

Thanks everyone… I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning… I’ll be getting some new toothbrushes ;-)
and some mineral spirits (although not from the dentist!).
This is what makes LJ so great… there is an answer for everything and someone knows it and is willing to share it!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2563 days

#7 posted 10-21-2010 04:30 PM

Another option is to use dark finish wax, especially useful on Walnut when you don’t want to fill the pores with dust/oil slurry or shellac as a sanding sealer.

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RS Woodworks

533 posts in 2671 days

#8 posted 10-21-2010 06:58 PM

chrisstef hit the nail on the head, you failed to fill the pores of the wood properly before applying the wax. I did the same thing on a beautiful bubinga table top, and had to sand down to bare wood again. Hopefully the mineral spirits and toothbrush works better for you.
I know a local turner who sells at a Farmers Market and ALL his turnings have wax visible in the grain. I find it very ugly and not very quality finishing, but he sells for big prices, so I guess maybe people don’t notice, or don’t care?


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View Altair's profile


3 posts in 2193 days

#9 posted 10-21-2010 07:37 PM

Great thread, had a similar issue! Thanks for the replies guys!

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