Top Tips On Wax Polishing And Its Application

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Wax polishing is one of the oldest and simplest ways to finish wood, leather and other items. A very adaptable material, the waxes are often derived from a number of sources in nature and the oil industry. Many people will argue on the merits of a wax finish and whether they are truly worthwhile any…

Hello Mark
This is a great article on polishing for many different applications.
Many years ago I made a mantelpiece for my Lounge but as I have a wood-burner I realised the importance of sealing it. I managed to obtain a good piece of Devonshire Elm and set to work. After I had got the bare wood to a really smooth finish I applied no less than 6 coats of polyurethane varnish (light sanding between each coat) to a high gloss. I then polished it using Beeswax with 000 grade wire wool. This has been in place now for 15 years and still has the original finish and no warping from the heat. The other advantage is that it is so smooth it is easy to keep clean (keeps the wife happy).
Keep up the good work - always interesting.

A wax finish is usually always good, provided it’s applied correctly. There is a school of thought which maintains that wax can be applied to a bare wood surface, but I was advised many, many moons ago by my mentor that all this will achieve is to draw dirt and grime into the grain. To prevent this from happening, the surface should be sealed before the wax is applied and especially so if an open grained timber like oak is used.
It’s also a very dubious practice to use 0000 grade wire wool on oak, as minute particles of steel may break off and react with the tannin in the oak, causing the finished surface to break out into tiny black spots or blotches. It’s much better to use a grey Webrax (910344) pad which will also cut back the sealer at the same time.