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Wax Dried Cloudy and White on Walnut

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Forum topic by PapiZoo posted 12-15-2020 12:24 PM 489 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PapiZoo

3 posts in 107 days


12-15-2020 12:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing box wax walnut question

Hi Everyone – This is my first real post after lurking for a while but I’m at my wits end with finishing this box.

I sanded to 220 grit then applied 2 coats of waterlox tung oil sealer and then 2 coats of General Finishes semi-gloss oil based finish. That all looked beautiful and brought out tons of chatoyance in the walnut and made the sycamore top look stunning.

That all changed when I took my final step of applying Black Bison Wax Polish. I followed the instructions – wipe on with a clean cloth, let sit for 20 minutes, then buff off.

However, you’ll see that it dried white and cloudy all over the box. It is borderline ruined at this point and I’m not sure how to salvage it. I’m brand new to woodworking and this was to be a Christmas gift for my wife.

I would appreciate ANY tips on how I might be able to revive this project. Surely this odd wax finish can be repaired. I’d also be interested in what caused this? I was following the finishing steps from this project – https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/the-pennsylvania-spice-box-project-with-kyle-meyer

Thank you everyone! I hope you can help me.

-David


10 replies so far

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

501 posts in 2750 days


#1 posted 12-15-2020 02:12 PM

How long did you let the Waterlox and GF dry before putting on the wax? Oil based finishes take a while to fully cure.

I’ve never done this before, but I think mineral spirits will remove the wax. If the finish underneath is mostly cured, the mineral spirits may not affect that.

This is all guessing. I’ve never actually dealt with anything like this before. I’m hoping someone more experienced comes in with advice.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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PBWilson1970

186 posts in 409 days


#2 posted 12-15-2020 02:24 PM

Mineral spirits like Tony1212 said, is the best approach. I’m hopeful that this will do the trick but sanding back may be the backup plan. Nice box and nice figure. Good luck!

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

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Robert

4456 posts in 2496 days


#3 posted 12-15-2020 02:40 PM

Try buffing with some fine steel wood first.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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SMP

3460 posts in 921 days


#4 posted 12-15-2020 02:59 PM

My guess is the oil based finish didn’t dry long enough before applying the wax. How long did you let it dry before applying the wax?

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splintergroup

4718 posts in 2238 days


#5 posted 12-15-2020 03:27 PM

Most all finishing wax uses a simple solvent like mineral spirits as a carrier and thus can be re-softened or removed with the same. Since walnut is an open pore type wood, any pores not fully filled can collect thicker areas of wax If that wax is colored lighter than the wood, it can highlight the pores.

From your photos, I’d give it a wipe down with MS and then a scuffing with #0000 steel wool if needed.

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PapiZoo

3 posts in 107 days


#6 posted 12-15-2020 03:34 PM

Thank you so much everyone! I’m going to wipe it down with mineral spirits and evaluate from there, I think. The oil based Waterlox had about a week but the GF only had about 24hours, maybe less. It sounds like I needed to have let that sit for a while. Lesson learned! I’ll let you know how it goes.

Best,
David

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Rich

6609 posts in 1605 days


#7 posted 12-15-2020 04:05 PM

Instead of mineral spirits, I’d recommend paint thinner, naphtha or turpentine. Most mineral spirits these days are “low odor” or even worse, “green.” They accomplish that by removing the most effective of the solvents. It would probably still be enough to deal with the wax, but not as efficiently.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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PapiZoo

3 posts in 107 days


#8 posted 12-15-2020 04:29 PM

I actually was going to use the Liberon wax and polish remover. It seems like the best reviewed product out there – or I’m totally off base and should just buy some naphtha from Lowe’s haha

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Rich

6609 posts in 1605 days


#9 posted 12-15-2020 04:45 PM


I actually was going to use the Liberon wax and polish remover. It seems like the best reviewed product out there – or I m totally off base and should just buy some naphtha from Lowe s haha

- PapiZoo

Nah, use what you’ve got. No need to buy something else.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View LesB's profile

LesB

2882 posts in 4458 days


#10 posted 12-15-2020 06:40 PM

I’m wondering if the “wax dried cloudy” or if the solvent in the it damaged the GF finish. You may have to remove the GF too.

Good luck

-- Les B, Oregon

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