Clouding Problem with Wax on Fresh Polyurethane

A finisher gets help figuring out why a freshly polyurethaned and waxed piece has turned cloudy. March 29, 2006

I recently applied a hand brushed Minwax semi-gloss polyurethane finish to a red oak veneer dining room table top that had been previously finished with a gloss lacquer finish. The top was thoroughly sanded with a 400 grit paper and cleaned off with turp. After 2 coats of polyurethane I rubbed down the top with a 0000 steel wool pad and then applied a coat of Minwax finishing wax. After about an hour or so, the top clouded up in some areas creating a very blotchy, uneven finish. Please advise what I did wrong and what can I do to correct the problem, outside of completely stripping the top.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor A:
That wax you put on is paste wax, isn't it? It sounds to me like you got too much on those areas that clouded up. They can show up after it is polished out.

From contributor B:
If you plan to rub the surface and add a coat of wax you should let the poly cure at least 7-10 days first. How old was the semigloss poly? You should stir well prior to finishing and then periodically during finishing to keep the flatting agents mixed in. They may settle out, or if this was an old can, they may have not been mixed well. In an attempt to save the job you might try removing the wax with mineral spirits and let the poly cure then reapply. Of course it is always best to test your methods on a sample piece of like wood prior to going final.