Poly applied over waxed table top. HELP!

poohla19June 13, 2013

I painted poly on a table top that had a waxed finish and the poly looks great but it comes right up. The wax must be the problem. What do you think I should do at this point? I am thinking I should first remove the poly by lightly sanding it and blowing the sanding dust off with compressed air. Then clean the wax off with either a 20/80 mixture of ammonia/water OR TSP and water. Do any of you have an opinion? Thanks for letting me know.

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bobismyuncle

Poly has poor adhesion and the wax has made it worse. The best way to remove (most of) the wax is with mineral spirits and a cloth or blue shop towel, turned frequently. But you've passed that point.

You're going to have to remove the poly first. Sanding is a possibility, but you're looking for trouble down the road. I'd recommend stripping with a methylene chloride stripper (most of them are this).

Seal in any residual wax with a couple of coats of Zinsser's SealCoat (100% dewaxed shellac), that will stick to the previously waxed surface.

Then apply the poly. But in LIGHT coats. Your description of "painting" on implies to me that you put it on pretty heavy. Put on as little as possible to ensure complete coverage and lightly sand between coats to remove defects and provide a mechanical bite for the next coat. P400 sandpaper and/or maroon or light gray ScotchBrite pads for the sanding.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 3:49PM
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klem1

Bob's advise is good. May I add. If you owned the table since new and have access to wax containers that have been used,read the label to see if it contains silicon. If no,count yourself lucky and follow Bob's instructions. If any wax used on the table over ist's life contained silicone,you must A. Discard or clean any tool used during the refinish you will use here. B. Once you have done everything to the table like sanding that you plan before appling new coat(s) of finish,wipe the table off with a cleaner desighned to remove silicon in preperation for paint.
And that probably covers about 10% of what you need to know in order to do a creditable job. The upside is the learning process. If and when you have piece you are thinking of redoing, before starting,tell us;
What it is,what it's worth,why you are redoing,how well you want it to turn out,is it solid wood or veneer,is it stained,and any thing else you can think of. That will result in some questions directed to you. After some back and forth,a plan will be formulated and your hand will be held all the way to completion.
Now that you won't think I'm brushing you aside,here is a truth about refinishing furniture. True artisians of woodworking turn down more pieces than they take on. A few reasons are,it will cost more than the piece is worth,the factory finish is one that is impossiable to repair, they offer the owner an easier solution than reinishing and the one we wish was the reason he/she refuses to refinish our piece,it is so valuable as is that refinishing will ruin it.
My kids say I take the all fun out of it with my fussing. I hope I didn't for you.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 2:24AM
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bobismyuncle

Shellac (e.g., SealCoat) will seal in silicone and provide a barrier coat. I use it if there's ever any question about prior Pledge use. I can usually tell based on the way the stripper flows on.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 9:15PM
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