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How to polish wood?

Posted by darkeyes1955 (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 23, 11 at 16:37

I saw on Antique Roadshow where one of the experts stated to never use oil on wood because the oil will eventually turn black. If true, what is the proper product to polish wood?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to polish wood?

I did not see this but see the following article that talks about the old time polish of linseed oil, vinegar and turpentine. BAD BAD BAD.

Opinions on polish are all over the place from avoid to go ahead and Pledge it.

Personally, I use Guardsman, an oil-water emulsion polish as it does some light cleaning and leaves a little shine that does not build up when used correctly.

While I respect Don Williams, I realize that he's working with rare antiques and there are a number of experts that disagree with him on this issue. But this article does explain the "blackening" issue quite well.

Here is a link that might be useful: article on polishes.

RE: How to polish wood?

Here here!

I generally prefer natural orange and lemon oils (which have no cleaning properties whatsoever). The thought being that the natural oil molecules are small enough to actually penetrate most finishes and help stabilize natural wood oils. Hence... theoretically, helping to prevent checking and the like, but there are several different "camps" when it comes to issues like this.

It may just be a personal issue, but I'm a die hard anti Pledge guy. Not that it seems to do any real harm to wood items, but I personally really hate the build up.

I would say though that it does seem to help and conceal every day wear and tear. To each his own?

RE: How to polish wood?

I'm a shellac and paste wax kind of guy. Keep away from the Pledge unless it's a new piece. "Behold" is okay because there's no silicones in it (or didn't used to be). It think the same goes for Scott's aerosol dusting spray.
A very slightly damp microfiber is all that's really necessary to remove dust and buff. Smudges will usually rub out that way too, but paste wax yearly has always worked for me. I use a woolen for the first buffing, cotton for the final buff. Wool fibers "cut" the wax, remove the excess like cotton cannot do.

RE: How to polish wood?

What about Old English lemon oil?? Share your thoughts on it. I love to use that stuff on my older pieces, making sure I rub off all excess. I even use it on newer furniture that has a modern finish, just to eliminate build-up.

I actually used the one recommended for dark furniture on an old sewing machine cabinet a few days OK and it REALLY enhanced the depth of the color. Now, I know it is just a slight amount of stain in the lemon oil, but I could really tell the difference.


RE: How to polish wood?

I know a lot of folks use it and seem to be happy with it. It's readily available in just about any local store and is fairly inexpensive.

Like many "natural" lemon oil products on the market though, Old English is actually mineral oil (petroleum dissilate) with lemon fragrance added. No wax or silicons, so certainly better than some others on the market.

Personally, I prefer natural oils. They aren't all that cheap though and it's getting harder and harder to find suppliers.

I still have a personal cache of Hopes lemongrass seed oil that I use at home, but I've used Peter & Bailey's for awhile now too and have been pretty happy with it.

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