Waxy Coating?

CEFreemanAugust 3, 2012

I have a large, triptych made of monkey wood.

I admit I have no idea what that is, but it's out of Indonesia.

The carving has a white wax on it.

I was wondering if there were a way to safely remove this wax without ruining the carving underneath?

I appreciate the help!



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I don't know if this is what you have, but there is a treatment called "dusty wax" that tends to work like a glaze. It's a mixture of wax(es), pumice and solvent to make it liquid. I've had to remove some of it and it's not fun.

Using mineral spirits or naphtha on a clean rag will remove a lot of it. Keep the rag on a clean surface or use paper towels. You may need to use a soft brush like an old toothbrush to get into the crevices.

However, it's very difficult to remove it all. Once the MS flashes off, you can buff with a dry cloth.

At this point, I normally pull out a can of dark colored wax and apply it, then buff with a soft horse-hair brush like a shoe brush. That will conceal what's left on a dark wood.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Looks like that's what I'm going to have to do.
I really like this carving, but the white wax actually makes it look pink.

And we just can't have that.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Bobsmyuncle, I just went to look at it and discovered the wax is so thick that some places I can scrape it off with my fingernail. The crevices are end grain and it's way soaked in.
I think I have a huge project ahead of me.
I'm wondering if I could warm it somehow and work in a darker wax. Actually, in this 100degree+ heat, I could just take them outside.

Something to think about.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:09PM
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Not that it makes any difference, but I mis-typed. Dusty wax has rottenstone, not pumice, in it.

Most waxes liquify about 150F.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 5:44PM
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A heat gun should boil the wax right out of the pores, and perhaps vaporize it. But wipe away what you can; then, finally, scrub with a toothbrush and solvent (mineral spirits, naphtha) and it should be de-waxed.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Casey, is a heat gun one of those torches?
or can it be as simple as a blow dryer?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Heat guns are the 'big brothers' of hair dryers.

Some models can get over 1,000 F.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 4:14PM
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