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Walnut WAX? contamination. Help!!

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Forum topic by joeyinsouthaustin posted 07-24-2014 02:28 PM 1075 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


07-24-2014 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question walnut finishing refurbishing sanding veneering traditional wax wax removal contamination removal help

I have a set of walnut living room cabinets. They are solid walnut, and veneered walnut ply construction. They were stored, while masons finished a fireplace. For protection the builder threw a large brown canvas tarp over the units. They were uncovered today, and have some type of oily streaks that have soaked into the Face frames and ply wood end panels. I need help in removing what ever this is:

what I think I know: 1. I am assuming this to be some kind of petroleum based wax? That is what I have seen mentioned the most as treatments on modern tarps. Any one know more?

2. Have tried with limited success: wiping with lacquer thinner, and applying sawdust to wick out what ever is there. (seems to be working a little) I am assuming I will have to re-sand after removal, but with veneers involved I am trying to sand as little as possible.

3. Likely to be a dark stain, then top coat for final finish, by others. But a simple clear coat has not been eliminated.

Do you know anything better, faster, and what other unexpected things are coming my way from this deal.

Thanks in advance for help on this. I have never experienced this type of contamination before.

-- Who is John Galt?


18 replies so far

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BurlyBob

3646 posts in 1725 days


#1 posted 07-24-2014 02:41 PM

Man that really sucks. You might try acetone on those streaks, I’ve had some luck with it for minor oily residue issues I’ve found on oak. Best of luck solving this problem.

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Redoak49

1936 posts in 1448 days


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

What did the contractor have to say? I think that he has some liability in this.

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rrww

263 posts in 1573 days


#3 posted 07-24-2014 02:56 PM

Is it on the surface or soaked in? Auto body places sell a wax & grease remover you can pickup & try. Apply enough to get to the bottoms of the pores. I have used it before in a similar situation. Lightly using a scraper might help if its not soaked in

I would make sure to tell the finishers about this so they can be prepared & prep properly. Depending on the finish they might be able to blend the stain in with sealcoat and toners. If its a clear coat someone may have just bought a set of new cabinets.

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#4 posted 07-24-2014 03:00 PM

I’ve used mineral spirits to get wax off. I experimented
with the “waxlit” trick on the last guitar I built.

It may be paraffin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waxed_cotton

Removal:
http://community.woodmagazine.com/t5/General-Woodworking/Removing-Paraffin/td-p/264836/page/3

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#5 posted 07-24-2014 03:02 PM



What did the contractor have to say? I think that he has some liability in this.

- Redoak49

That is a separate issue, and will have to be dealt with. I am currently working on being the hero, before we get into the discussion of responsibility.

rrww It is soaked in. It was covered for about a week and a half, and the tarp had never been unpacked before.

-- Who is John Galt?

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Loren

8294 posts in 3107 days


#6 posted 07-24-2014 03:10 PM

I think wax can sometimes be got out by laying clean rags
over it and heating. This is sometimes done with an iron but
you might want to start with hot lamps or a heat gun.
After the bulk of the wax is removed, you do the best
you can go with solvents to try to reduce the stain.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#7 posted 07-24-2014 03:29 PM

Will try. Everyone please be aware I am still under the ‘assumption’ it is a wax. Loren has provided some evidence it may be paraffin, but I am thinking it may also be some more modern product. If you are that “Tarp” expert feel free to chime in. What ever it is, it has soaked in quite a bit in the areas affected.

-- Who is John Galt?

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#8 posted 07-24-2014 03:30 PM

I was also thinking about using thinner and diatomaceaous earth to draw it out? Worried if the DT could stain the wood.

-- Who is John Galt?

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GrandpaLen

1643 posts in 1732 days


#9 posted 07-24-2014 03:46 PM

Have you tried a little Murphy’s Oil Soap? I have had good results with removing wax build up on older furniture and it’s not as aggressive as some of the experiments mentioned above.

...just an inexpensive thought.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#10 posted 07-24-2014 03:48 PM

Update: We tried a heat gun and clean rag. No apparent transfer to the rag?? This may no be a Wax?? I think I have some Murphy’s on hand. and I have the top of the cab to do experiments on, so that will be next.

-- Who is John Galt?

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#11 posted 07-24-2014 03:58 PM

Ive got a bit of a hunch that its a silicone that was used to coat the tarp to act as a waterproofing agent.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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JayT

4772 posts in 1670 days


#12 posted 07-24-2014 04:00 PM

That sucks.

Any way you could find out what brand the tarp was? Manufacturers use different products to waterproof canvas tarps, so if it’s not wax, it could be a silicone based product or something else. Canvak is one popular waterproofing agent brand, and uses mineral spirits as the carrier.

Just thinking that if you could track down what it was, you might have a better chance of figuring out how to remove it.

Good luck

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#13 posted 07-24-2014 04:11 PM


Just thinking that if you could track down what it was, you might have a better chance of figuring out how to remove it.

Good luck

- JayT

Working on that angle now, Thanks for the idea.

-- Who is John Galt?

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joeyinsouthaustin

1294 posts in 1532 days


#14 posted 07-28-2014 06:26 PM

UPDATE: We wanted to remove as much as possible, before resanding. Nothing worked, none of the suggestions. I couldn’t find the tarp manufacturer. SOOO.. we finally just did some test sanding. It worked, and the stains didn’t reappear. A test shows it does not appear to be affecting a stain or top coat after sanding. It seems to have not penetrated as deep as it appeared. As to what it was??? May not ever know, but some kinda paraffiny, siliconey, petroleum waxy, secret tarp treatment gunk.

Thanks for the responses, and the help.

-- Who is John Galt?

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JayT

4772 posts in 1670 days


#15 posted 07-28-2014 06:54 PM

Good to hear, joey. Very glad you didn’t have to rebuild those cabinets.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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