What removes furniture wax...

... from a surface in anticipation of re-varnishing?
I've tried:
Sanding, Lacquer thinner, Mineral spirits, and Alcohol
with little or no success.
Thanks.
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HeyBub wrote:

Both the lacquer thinner and mineral spirits should have. Try naptha...that's what I used to get off a year's wort of weekly waxing. My wife was more into housework in those days :(
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I agree naptha should work. Lacquer thinner will just move it around. Automotive wax and grease remover used before painting is the best, but I have always heard it is just a form of naptha.
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I have a gallon of that stuff right here.
The ingredient list says it contains: Xylene, VM&P Naphtha, Isopropanol.
Proportions not given on label.
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Lundmark Wax Remover ive used on floors many times with a buffer, but its water base so if this is furniture you have to be carefull and test an area. Paint remover should work great and be safe, are you sure its just wax and not a bunch of modern polymer chemicals added to the wax. Why do you think its still in the wood,, is it sticky? Mineral spirits and laquer thinner are strong enough, and a good Methelene Chloride paint remover should be even better.
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ransley wrote:

Well, yeah, it's sticky. I only THINK it's wax inasmuch as lacquer thinner removed SOME of it.
I'd rather not use paint remover 'cause that would attack the underlying stain. I was hoping to get the finish (wax?) off so I could re-varnish the table, but if I have to go down to the bare wood, well, so be it.
I've already spent the better parts of three weeks on HALF the goddamn table top. What's another lifetime?
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On 2/23/2011 2:53 PM, HeyBub wrote:

If it's really wax, ammonia is the old standard for removing built up wax on floors.
Not sure what process you should use, I did a quick google to double check on ammonia and there are lots of tips on how to use it to remove wax.
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Sometimes polymer varnishes will turn into a gummy residue.
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jamesgangnc wrote:

Could be! I'm on my third application of MEK and the table is resisting, though not completely, my insistence that it yield to my ministrations.
Propane torch is next on my list.
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Xylene is the common solvent for carnauba wax and similar. Used make Simonize smell funny in the old days before California found out it causes acne. If nothing else works and you need to get to bare wood use any bodied methylene chloride paint remover. Still the best.
joe
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A few thoughts and questions:
1) You stared that the finish / topcoat was sticky. This may be due to more than just wax. It could be from the oil in hands slowly deteriorating the finish. Wax removers alone will not get all of this but a good cleaning with both water and solvent based cleaners should.
2) Are you using lots of cleaning cloths or paper towels when you wipe away the wax? You do not want to spread the wax / silicone around. Keep using a new face of the cleaning cloth / paper towel each time you make a swipe.
3) You stated that you are getting bubbles when you lay down the finish. Typically, residual wax / silicone creates fish eyes / craters. If you really are getting bubbles, it suggests that either the technique you are using to lay down the finish is not sufficient (unlikely given what you say you have tried) or the temperature of your shop is such that it is warming as you go making any trapped air come to the surface. It could also be due to a naturally oily wood as someone else suggested.
Good Luck.
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Baron wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm convinced the bubbles came from the underlying fininsh, wax, grime, or the territorial markings of the star-faced mole. After taking everything down to where the screws were showing, I was able to lay down a superb finish.
Except for one or two spots the tablecloth should cover.
I think the previous owner sprayed it with Sani-Flush instead of Pledge.
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