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Wax Over Poly - How Long

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Forum topic by Redoak49 posted 11-27-2018 12:28 AM 825 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Redoak49

4045 posts in 2409 days


11-27-2018 12:28 AM

I have searched and read a lot of posts on using wax over Poly. There are a lot of opinions about how long to wait before putting wax over Poly.

I have read of people suggesting times as long as 30 days and most in the 7-10 day range.

I have a project that has several coats of Teak Oil and then allowed to thoroughly dry. I followed this with multiple thin coats of wipe on Poly with light 0000 steel wool between. I have allowed time between each coat and it is now dry.

I wrote to Minwax and asked them how long between the Poly and wax. I was a bit surprised that they said 72 hours – 3 days. This seems very short compared to what I have read on the forum. Does this shorter time frame seem OK? Does anyone have any experience with putting wax on too early and having problems.

I am going to use 2000 grit to smooth the surface and then a thin coat of a hard wax like Butcher’s Wax unless someone has a better suggestion for a wax.


12 replies so far

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

80 posts in 280 days


#1 posted 11-27-2018 01:20 AM

Red oak, I have to ask, Why wax it? I just completed a restoration of an old mahogany drop leaf table using Minwax wipe on poly. I finished the last coat with 1500 grit wet-dry automotive paper, sanding wet with mineral spirits, followed by buffing with Behlen “Buffer’s Polish”. My customer was extremely pleased…
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith.

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

524 posts in 2152 days


#2 posted 11-27-2018 03:18 PM

I’m impressed that you are sanding to 2000 grit. Are you making a musical instrument or something similar? What grits do you go through on your way to 2000. I normally stop at 220 or 320 occasionally—maybe I’m missing out.

I use Johnson’s paste wax. I also have some wax called Renaissance wax (good stuff)—but I only use that on tools (e.g. table saw, hand planes, etc.)

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2883 posts in 2768 days


#3 posted 11-27-2018 03:29 PM

I always wait a couple days for the poly to cure. When I’m sure the poly is cured I lightly wet sand with 2000 grit to get any dust nubs off, apply wax and hand rub it to a nice sheen. It makes a really nice finish.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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ArtMann

1398 posts in 1236 days


#4 posted 11-27-2018 04:41 PM

The cure rate of polyurethane is highly dependent on the environment in which it cures. If the temperature is constantly above 70 and the humidity is below 50%, then two days is probably good, especially since you have been using wipe-on. If the temperature is a lot colder or the humidity is high then it might take a week or more. I use Johnson’s Paste Wax because it is readily available and does what I want it to. It provides a soft luster and makes the wood feel silky smooth. Some people say that polyurethane by itself looks “plasticey”. Instead of using fine sandpaper, I use a piece of brown paper bag to remove the sanding nibs. It sounds ridiculous but it works.

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LesB

2126 posts in 3863 days


#5 posted 11-27-2018 05:19 PM

For water base poly I wait a minimum of 3 days depending on the number of coats and the ambient temperature. For oil based 48 hours is usually long enough.
I apply a carnauba base wax (available at Woodcraft) with a white 3M pad and buff by hand. I usually apply two coats of wax.

-- Les B, Oregon

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Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#6 posted 11-28-2018 05:37 AM


—“Good enough” is just an excuse. Good workmanship needs no excuses.

- KYtoolsmith

This must be some sort of joke. So, when do you stop? Is it ever good enough?

If you’re so particular, why not post some projects to document your fine work? Without that, it’s all just hot air.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#7 posted 11-28-2018 05:41 AM


Does anyone have any experience with putting wax on too early and having problems.

- Redoak49

Do I have experience rushing the finish and having to start over? Yeah, for sure.

If the topcoat has cured you can wet sand and apply wax.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

80 posts in 280 days


#8 posted 11-29-2018 07:11 PM

Rich,
No, my “Good enough…” tag is not a joke, and no, I’m never satisfied, always trying to make each effort better. We had a long discussion of this earlier in the Skills forum, started by HammerSmith; “Better than good enough is bad for the job.”
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

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Rich

4564 posts in 1009 days


#9 posted 11-29-2018 07:38 PM


Rich,
No, my “Good enough…” tag is not a joke, and no, I m never satisfied, always trying to make each effort better. We had a long discussion of this earlier in the Skills forum, started by HammerSmith; “Better than good enough is bad for the job.”
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith

- KYtoolsmith

I recall the thread. It was pretty ambiguous since everyone has their own interpretation of what “good enough” means. For me, it means it’s time to stop. I make money off my work, and if the customer is happy, that’s what counts. Time spent going beyond that is time and money down the drain. Trust me, it took me a long time to accept it, but that’s how business goes.

Go take a look at your car. If it’s not hand made like a Bentley, it’s “good enough.” Same is true for pretty much everything else you buy, unless you’ve got millions to spend on perfection.

I don’t doubt that you strive to excel. Why not post some photos and show off your skills, particularly if you want to imply that your work is superior since it’s never “good enough.”

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

80 posts in 280 days


#10 posted 11-29-2018 10:33 PM

Rich, definitely understand your interpretation of “good enough”. I don’t mean to imply that my work is superior. Quite the opposite. I haven’t posted any of my projects as all others have posted work that put my work to shame. I suppose the root of my tag line comes from having people working for me that excused their poor craftsmanship with with ” good enough ” or “nobody’s gonna notice”.
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith.

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4045 posts in 2409 days


#11 posted 11-30-2018 12:17 AM

Wax on..Wax Off

The subject was about wax over Polyurethane not “good enough”. So the info I have gotten is useful and I thank those who have helped.

View becikeja's profile

becikeja

1003 posts in 3233 days


#12 posted 11-30-2018 12:24 PM


Rich,
No, my “Good enough…” tag is not a joke, and no, I m never satisfied, always trying to make each effort better. We had a long discussion of this earlier in the Skills forum, started by HammerSmith; “Better than good enough is bad for the job.”
Regards, The Kentucky Toolsmith

- KYtoolsmith

I recall the thread. It was pretty ambiguous since everyone has their own interpretation of what “good enough” means. For me, it means it s time to stop. I make money off my work, and if the customer is happy, that s what counts. Time spent going beyond that is time and money down the drain. Trust me, it took me a long time to accept it, but that s how business goes.

Go take a look at your car. If it s not hand made like a Bentley, it s “good enough.” Same is true for pretty much everything else you buy, unless you ve got millions to spend on perfection.

I don t doubt that you strive to excel. Why not post some photos and show off your skills, particularly if you want to imply that your work is superior since it s never “good enough.”

- Rich

And this is why I could never quit my day job and do woodworking for a living. You are 100% correct, but I just don’t have it in me to execute my projects this way. And that is why its a hobby, I would probably earn less than a $1 per hour…...

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

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