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What am I doing wrong?

My problem is that I have a new table that the guy who built it told me to wax. I've wax a few times with Antiquax. This is a kitchen table (in a lot of use) and it is continually getting marks in the finish and every glass or cup leaves a ring... it seems like a surface ring that is in the finish, not in the wood. So I think I'm not waxing correctly. Maybe not buffing enough? I'm looking for pointers on how to apply wax the "right way".

Answer:

There may be several things that are contributing to your scratching problem. First no finish is bullet proof. Heavy ware will show its effects on any finish. The type of wood and finish also determines how fast a finish will ware. If you have a soft wood like pine, it will dent and mar easily no mater how good the finish is. It could be that the type of finish used has a low ware factor and little or no moisture resistance.

Paste wax helps protect the finish from normal ware and spills but will not guard against heavy ware or abuse. Wax is best applied in several thin coats rather then one thick coat. Let each coat dry thoroughly (3-6 hours) before the next application. If you don't let each coat dry first, or apply another heavy coat of wax, the solvents in the wax that make it soft will act as a de-waxer softening the previous coat. I found it is a little easier to apply paste wax using a damp lent free soft cotton rag, in a ball about the size of a tennis ball. Clean the finish surface, if necessary, to remove any dust, grease or oils before waxing. Work the wax onto the surface thoroughly with a circular motion and do small areas at a time (2 square feet). Let the wax dry well before buffing (read label directions). If the wax job looks streaky it is one of two things. There was to much wax applied and/or it is not buffed out enough. Or there are dull, "dry" spots because there was not enough wax applied or applied unevenly.

For the usage you describe, you should wax the table top at least once a month. Your table top should "bead" water just like a freshly waxed car after a rain. If not, the wax has worn off and needs to be reapplied to provide protection.

White rings or foggy marks in the finish are caused by moisture penetrating then being trapped in the finish. For this to happen either the wax has worn off or water has been left on the table an extended period of time or both. Wipe up spills when they occur Do not let water or other liquids stand on any finish for hours.

I am not familiar with the product "Antiquax". I recommend using a paste wax, not a cream wax or a polish.