LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner


780 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  LesB
How long after the last coat of Poly should I wait before applying wax. In this case Howards Feed-N- Wax.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
I would take the cure time from the manufacturer of the finish and add another 50%...but most of my projects are for me…so I'm not often selling my work
It will vary with ambient temperature and humidity. For water based I usually wait 10 to 15 days. For solvent based 5 to 10 days should work.

So I have used water based in small boxes and every time I open the box for up to 6 months after I detect the odor from the finish.
IMO, Howards F&W is not the best option. A paste wax is better on furniture because it dries to a harder finish. Howards F&W is more for refreshing an old dry finish and the orange oil will just sit on the surface until it eventually dries or you wipe it off.

Frankly, wax is probably not necessary at all on poly. Most of the time, wax is used to protect a finish that does not offer much protection against water or to freshen one that has lost its sheen. Wax doesn't really add any extra protection to the the poly and may actually tone down the sheen of the poly too. If you do apply a paste wax, I would wait until what the label says you can put it into full serves when it is fully cured.
I treat polyurethane on furniture like fresh paint on car repair.
No wax on the finish for at least 30 days to let finish breath while completing the curing process.

+1 Wax on Poly is not needed and usually overkill, unless the furniture surfaces are used/touched daily.
Even when wax would offer some additional 'dirty hand' protection; I tell the owner of the newly finished furniture, DO NOT wax it for at least a month.

All of which means; I never wax poly finished furniture before it leaves shop.
Polyurethane is an impervious layer. Any finish over the top wont get into the wood and therefore wont last very long if its being handled.
My boxes are either wipe on poly, or wax, but both have a shellac base..
+1 on 30 days. It does give a better feel to poly, definitely love the feel of wax over lacquer, I go 30 days min over lacquer also.
Most water borne polyurethanes will have a 90% cure in less than 7 days. Some as little as 3 days. Most solvent base polyurethane will have 90% cure in about 30 days. I recommend that you find these cure rates for whatever product you are using and follow their stated cure times.
I agree with those who say poly doesn't need wax but I find I can get a better feel to the surface by applying the paste wax with a 3M white pad and hand buffing. It helps remove any dust particles. I have heard the human finger can detect 1/10,000 of an inch difference in a surface.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.