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Finishing a bookcase - Paste Wax?

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Forum topic by notdan posted 08-13-2014 01:17 AM 635 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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notdan

22 posts in 131 days


08-13-2014 01:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: paste wax bookshelf bookcase

I built a pine bookcase for a baby/kid’s room (will have books, toys, baskets, etc on it). I’m going to finish it with General Finishes Java Gel stain but I’d like to give it a bit of shine once it is done. Was planning on using the General Finishes Arm-r-seal over the stain but thought I might be able to take a shortcut and just paste wax it instead (instead of the arm-r-seal).

Good idea or bad idea?


13 replies so far

View Pezking7p's profile

Pezking7p

1483 posts in 400 days


#1 posted 08-13-2014 01:18 AM

Bad idea. Use the arm r seal.

-- -Dan

View Loren's profile

Loren

7823 posts in 2396 days


#2 posted 08-13-2014 01:45 AM

well, paste wax isn’t a very durable finish but it works.

It depends how much wear the piece is going to get
and how attached you are to the idea of it looking
new-ish for several years.

Wax helps deflect damage.

Considering the hassle factor of getting a nice brushed
poly finish I don’t think wax is such an awful idea.

I use shellac and wax a lot. It holds up well enough
for many furniture finishes. Shellac is easier to work
with, imo, than varnishes like poly.

I’ll note however that I have a big can of MinWax
Oil-modified waterborne poly and it dries real
quick, can be padded on like shellac, cleans up
with water (I use foam brushes too) and can be
cut back easily with stearated sandpaper.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Pezking7p

1483 posts in 400 days


#3 posted 08-13-2014 02:08 AM

^^^arm r seal is a wipe on poly and a breeze to apply. Shellac would also be fantastic. And wax would go well over either finish. I only wanted to say that just using wax is not a good plan in my opinion.

-- -Dan

View NoVaDave's profile

NoVaDave

33 posts in 481 days


#4 posted 08-13-2014 02:47 AM

Keep in mind that I’m a novice woodworker. I use General Finishes water based stains followed by several coats of their water based clear poly. This seems to give great protection. I thin the clear poly with water and use a foam brush. After the poly dries I buff with a nylon pad between coats. This knocks down any ridges that the foam brush leaves. Two or three coats of a good paste wax on top of the poly gives it a great finished look.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

-- NoVaDave

View notdan's profile

notdan

22 posts in 131 days


#5 posted 08-13-2014 03:41 AM

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the help. I’ll probably do the arm-r-seal. This is only my second woodworking project and the first one was painted, so I’m excited to see how it goes.

Here it is currently:

View NoVaDave's profile

NoVaDave

33 posts in 481 days


#6 posted 08-13-2014 11:13 AM

Great job dan! Very crisp lines and flawless joinery. Please post a pic after finishing.

-- NoVaDave

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1593 posts in 1118 days


#7 posted 08-13-2014 12:26 PM

My in-laws bought an unfinished high chair for my daughter. I used GF Candelite Gel Stain, followed by 4 coats of Arm-R-Seal wiped on with a blue shop paper towel, and lightly sanded w/ 400 after 2 coats. Then rubbed it out with 0000 steel wool dipped in Johnson’s paste wax, and buffed with a rag. The Arm-R-Seal followed by steelwool/wax has been my default finish now for a couple years because it looks great and is stupid simple. I agree with the others who have said the wax is likely not enough. The arm-r-seal is the easiest finish I’ve ever applied. Rubbing the wax in with the steel wool gets rid of any dust nibs and gives the piece a nice feel to the hand. Additionally, it makes it a breeze to clean after a 2 year old drops 90% of her dinner on it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View ShawnSpencer's profile

ShawnSpencer

42 posts in 290 days


#8 posted 08-13-2014 12:35 PM

I just finished a project in GF gel stain, arm r seal, and Johnson’s wax. Don’t skip the arm r seal. The gel feels and looks like you could just wax over it. I did some test boards and thought about skiping. The oil blend really brings out the depth in the wood. Not to mention the extra protection.

-- I know you know...

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1024 posts in 1439 days


#9 posted 08-13-2014 01:06 PM

Arm-R-Seal, then wax!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2749 posts in 1099 days


#10 posted 08-13-2014 01:09 PM

Don’t skip the Arm R Seal. Wax is not a durable finish by itself.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View patrad's profile

patrad

45 posts in 1059 days


#11 posted 08-13-2014 01:33 PM

If you are familiar with the gel stain, I really like using gel poly on large furniture items as it is so dang easy to apply. I’ve only used Old Masters Gel Poly, but I see GF has a “Gel Oil-Base Urethane Topcoat” which I bet is very similar.

As for wax on top of poly. . . why?

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1593 posts in 1118 days


#12 posted 08-13-2014 02:25 PM

I think the wax on top of poly gives it a nice soft feel. I also think it makes things easier to clean, dust, etc.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View patrad's profile

patrad

45 posts in 1059 days


#13 posted 08-15-2014 02:11 AM

Good to know, thanks!

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