How to Revive Old Furniture
Reviving Your Furniture
It is no secret that a lot of DIY projects represent hard work, but wax polishing furniture is not one of them. It’s a rewarding job, and one that is so easy to accomplish that even complete beginners are able to achieve excellent results. A wax polish will preserve and maintain another finish, or can be used as a finish itself.
Polishing new wood
If you want to wax-polish a new piece of furniture or a piece you have stripped back to bare wood, seal it first with one coat of clear(or French polish on fine furniture). This will stop the wax polish being absorbed too deeply into the wood and provides a slightly more durable finish.
A good polish should be a blend of beeswax and a hard polishing wax such as carnauba. Some contain silicones to make it easier to achieve a high gloss. Polishes range from practically colourless to various shades of brown, which are used to darken the wood.
You can buy flat tins of polish with a thick paste-like consistency. Alternatively, use a liquid wax polish which you can brush onto the wood.
Although it is very attractive, wax polish is not a hard-wearing finish and should be used indoors only.
Cleaning off old polish
Before waxing old furniture, clean it first to remove deposits of dirt and possibly an old wax dressing. Dip very fine wire wool into white spirit and rub in the direction of the grain. Don’t press too hard — as you want only to remove wax and dirt, without damaging the finish below. Wipe the cleaned surface with a cloth dampened with white spirit, and leave to dry before repolishing.
Applying the polish
Apply one coat of paste wax polish with a soft-cloth pad. About 15 minutes later, use a ball of very fine wire wool to apply another coat, rubbing in the direction of the grain. After about four or five coats, leave the wax to harden overnight before burnishing with a duster.
If you prefer to use liquid wax, brush on an initial sealer coat; then an hour later pour more polish onto a cloth pad and rub it in with a circular motion. Follow up by rubbing parallel with the wood grain. Add a third coat if required. Leave the polish to harden overnight, then bring to a high gloss by burnishing vigorously with a soft duster.