best sealant for durable limed wax finish kitchen cabinets

jellojugglerSeptember 20, 2013

I have embarked on refinishing kitchen cabinets with a limed or cerused finish... I have solid oak cabinets that I stripped, then used shellac and Briwax liming wax to create the look I want. Now, how do I make it durable for a daily used/abused kitchen? I have a micro-crystalline wax polish that I can use, but I am worried that it will not stand the test of time. Wax would give a more satiny, softer, and natural finish but there would be no point to its beauty if it is not durable. Should I use a polyurethane on top? can I? Also, I read that the polyurethane should be water-based, why is that? Are there other options?

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Using the wax has precluded using a durable finish, as none will adhere to the waxed surface.

The wax will need to be completely removed in order to finish.

Water based poly is less odorous and has fewer VOC's than oil based poly.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:30PM
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As reccomend on the wax container,use Briwax Origional Clear for a more durable finish than afforded by liming wax.
You just learn a valuable lesson about planning the job start to finish before starting.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:49PM
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>You just learn a valuable lesson about planning the job start to finish before starting.


The first rule of finishing is to run a trial, start-to-finish, on a piece of "scrap" before you touch the final project. Avoid the "ready, fire, aim" approach, AKA, "What do I do now?"

Polyurethane has its own set of adhesion issues, exacerbated by a foundation of wax. It will peel off like a bad sunburn. Oil-based poly is going to significantly yellow or amber your look, even if it did stick. Waterborne poly, which is mostly acrylic with poly thrown in for marketing purposes, will give a cooler, sometimes bluish, tint that would not affect the white liming as much. But it won't stick either.

In addition, a wax finish is about as close to no finish at as as you can get. Virtually no resistance to water, soiling, cleanability, etc. -- most of the things you apply finish for in the first place (the remaining one being beautification, the one thing you did achieve.).

You might have achieved the same look by using a white-wash / pickled oak / etc. (names dependent upon mfr.) stain followed by a KCMA certified, low-gloss w/b acrylic. I add this in case anyone in the future reads this.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Thanks for the info! I went ahead and finished the cabinets with shellac and wax, i will have to polish them with wax on a regular basis. Maybe i'll repost a assessment of how they hold up later. If they get messed up right away I'll maybe try the white-wash or pickled oak stain. I'm new to home ownership! I'll do better planning in the future, thanks

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:06AM
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