Wax over Waterlox on kitchen cabinets?

saydeFebruary 26, 2011

We are using Waterlox on our gumwood kitchen cabinets. We put three coats of original and one coat of satin. We may add another satin. I love the look of a waxed finish and was wondering if we can use wax over the Waterlox, and if so, which kind of wax would be best? How long should we let the Waterlox cure before waxing?

Would appreciate having guidance. . . .

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Yes, you can wax Waterlox. Anything with a mineral spirits solvent would work fine. That excludes Briwax that is a toluene solvent base.

I would wait at least three weeks under normal temperature and air-flow conditions.

And the proper way to do wax is buff off as much as you possibly can. Reapply every 2-3 years.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 5:58PM
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When you say you like the look of a wax finish, I don't think you can achieve this look by waxing the waterlox. It will if anything make the waterlox shinier. A wax finish is silky, matte/satin, and is applied right on bare wood or over a penetrating stain. Wax finish does not have any surface build. If you wanted to de-gloss the waterlox, if you knew what you were doing, you could use pumice and oil (old school) or a 3-M pad and get a silky finish which could then be waxed. You will not change the appearance of the waterlox in any substantial way by waxing it, just make it perhaps a little more shiny.
If you wanted a real wax finish, that boat has sailed. If you wanted a oiled but totally matte finish with good water protection, you could have used 100% pure tung oil, which looks like no finish at all once cured; that would have responded nicely IMO to steel wool+wax treatment.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:41AM
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Thanks Bob and Casey. Not sure what, if anything we will do but perhaps we will try the pumice and oil once the Waterlox has had time to cure.

Incidentally, we "solved" the problem we had (written up in a former post) with the new gumwood not matching the old. We got another old gumwood door at one of the local salvage shops and made thin veneer panels for the rails, stiles and drawer fronts (out of the center panel on the door) to cover all of the new gumwood. It set us back several weeks but the wood all looks pretty uniform now. Still surprised to see how the Waterlox heightened the contrast in the grain pattern even on the old wood. Feeling relieved to have exited this chapter of the project. Thanks again for your guidance!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:18PM
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Distinction between a wax finish and waxed finish.

Wax by itself is a poor finish as far as protection goes. Flexner describes it as the closest thing to no finish at all. But wax, applied to another finish as a sort of "polish" is a different animal.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:05PM
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