Wax for a table top finish

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Forum topic by Tommy posted 02-24-2014 03:57 AM 1238 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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138 posts in 3004 days

02-24-2014 03:57 AM

Finishing is a topic I struggle with. I just built a dining table for a friend and I want the top to look as nice as it can. I watched Tommy Mac on Rough Cut and he demonstrated a three step process with linseed oil, then shellac, then wax. The first two steps are going great but I don’t know what kind of wax to purchase or supply and I don’t have a specialty wood store in my town so I’m stuck with what lowes or Home Depot may have. Help? What wax can I use and any tips are appreciated. Thanks in advance to anyone who may reply! Tommy

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.

4 replies so far

View Finisherman's profile


227 posts in 2025 days

#1 posted 02-24-2014 06:12 AM

If I were you, I’d skip the wax and apply more layers of shellac, or better yet, a top coat of varnish, lacquer or waterborne finish. The reason being that wax just won’t provide very much extra protection. I could see a wax finish working on a surface which won’t see much abuse, but not on a tabletop. Wax used to be utilized by cabinetmakers simply because they had nothing better. Today, we have a plethora of finishes to chose from which are infinitely more durable than a wax finish. Don’t be intimidated by finishing. I suggest that you get a copy of Charles Neil’s new book called Finishing Simply Put. Lastly, if you insist on using a wax finish, try to find a wax sold for floors or butcher blocks. You may have to order it online.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5784 posts in 2989 days

#2 posted 02-24-2014 07:47 AM

I use Howard’s Walnut wax applied with #0000 fine steel wool. It is a great wax to rub out a finish for a nice smooth feel. Make sure to only rub with the grain.
The big box stores sell the white paste wax, but I like the darker waxes because they don’t leave white residue in the wood pores. For light colored projects, the white wax would work fine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Heavy's profile


118 posts in 2764 days

#3 posted 02-24-2014 08:07 AM

I use wax only on boxes, jewelry and small stuff that doesn’t get abused. Waxing was used by carpenters long time ago since a good finish costed a lot or they didn’t have access to it. If you want the table to be more durable I suggest you apply more coats of shellac.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2537 days

#4 posted 02-24-2014 04:03 PM

All you need is waterborne poly. The rest is doo-doo. Read my blog.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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