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Waxing Furniture

Martha Stewart Living, April 2006

Many modern wooden furniture pieces come with a protective polyurethane coating, but for older items, nothing beats wax to protect against dust and moisture. Choose paste wax, the solid kind sold in tins. Natural (clear) wax works on any wood, but dark wood may benefit from tinted wax (it will mask tiny scratches). Begin by cleaning with a mild solvent, such as mineral spirits (test first in a hidden spot).Then cover the piece with a thin, even layer of wax using a cotton rag or cheesecloth. Let dry ten to twenty-five minutes; buff vigorously.


Comments (7)

  • Puddin_Pop 14 Apr, 2008

    I just oiled my piano wood. It had some of the varnish worn off, but other than that, it looked good. We had some furniture oil and it made it shine so pretty. I then, started noticing little black colored marks and realized that the unsealed spots on the wood soaked up the oil and made dark spots. I should have used paste wax. Maybe it will dry lighter, I hope.

  • cowboyz23 6 Apr, 2008

    You know, I would stick with the pro on this one. Unless it is something you care to experiment on. I have an antique old fashion Square Piano and is made of dark cherry wood---I wouldn't take a chance to mess it up. It was once up for offer to Liberace but he missed out because he was out of the country.

  • beebaby 6 Apr, 2008

    MIneral Spirits? Won't that disolve some finishes? How about cleaning with a mild solution of Murphy's Oil Soap and drying thoroughly?

  • Parlena 5 Apr, 2008

    How do you get the scratches out of the polyurethane?

  • JennBun 5 Apr, 2008

    I use lemon oil - it works beautifully and smells wonderful.

  • vickiannh 5 Apr, 2008

    I use Liquid Gold and it seems to help.

  • dianamurphy 5 Apr, 2008

    I have my great grandfathers mahogany chair (carved hibiscus and ball and claw feet) I recently had it restored and was told it was drying out and shouldn't be used regularly. Is there a method to restore the moisture to the wood??