Cleaning Wax off a Glossy Table Top Finish

Tips on how to remove wax before re-finishing. September 30, 2009

Question
I have a tabletop on a custom table that has a polyurethane gloss. Once it was waxed there were hazy spots and I am trying to repair it before my customer arrives this weekend. We typically use satin finishes and not gloss so I need to know the best way to remove the wax completely so that it can be refinished. Any tips on refinishing this would be helpful.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor M:
What is the finish schedule and products used? When did the haze appear?



From contributor G:
Wax will be adequately removed with sloshings of paint thinner, naptha, turps, or mineral spirits wiped with lots of rags or paper towels. Wash it off and soak it up.


From contributor N:
Sometimes using a thinner can dilute the wax/lacquer. This can lead to it being pulled down deeper into the material thus permanently staining. At least thatís how it works in the stone biz. I would gently sand it off.


From contributor L:
Once it's sealed, wax penetrating the wood should not be a problem. Wax comes off easily with the thinners listed above. If it was put on a wet finish there could be other problems, though.