Final Finishing Alternative to Wax?

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I'm near my last coat for a kitchen table refinishing job. I'm using semi-gloss polycrylic (water-based minwax product) and of course I want a nice clear smooth finish. SWMBO doesn't want anything remotely "toxic" on the table top (like wax) because she's doesn't want it coming off on our food. Being I don't want to use a wax product for the final stage, is it better not to sand at all or is there a way I can do a super fine sand and somehow buff out to a wax-like final shine? If so, what kind of sand paper, steel wool, or wet/dry paper should I use for best results. I think I saw a 1500 wet/dry paper somewhere.... And what do I use to buff-out at the end, if that becomes necessary.
Thanks for the advice.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

of a case of "waxed table syndrome", so I think your wife's concern is way overblown. :) Seriously.
Dave
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I agree - I know it will be hard to convince your wife of this, but wax isn't toxic to begin with, and after it hardens (if it's carnuba wax or something else that hardens) there isn't anything at all coming off. In fact, carnuba wax is used to make the shiny coating on apples, it is an ingredient of lipstick, and it is used to coat pills in the pharmaceutical industry. Personally, I'd rather eat off a wax-coated table than a polycrylic table. If it is a carnuba-based wax, it came from a palm tree, rather than a synthetic chemical lab somewhere. Good luck and let us know what you decide, Andy
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But wax will mark instantly with every wet glass placed on it.
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Just use 0000 steel wool lightly. It would be better with wax. If she is worried about the solvents in commercial wax you can get just plain wax vs furniture wax which usually contains Naptha.
Try http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyidu0
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Plates.
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On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 17:54:50 GMT, the blithe spirit B a r r y

And knives, sporks, foons, placemats, or tablecloth.
MDP, try Waterlox on the table after thoroughly cleaning it with a good set of solvents. 6 or 7 rubbed-on coats should do it nicely. I used Watco on my a dining table in '98 and AFAIK, it's still going strong. Mom sold it after Dad died and she moved to NorCal 2 years ago. No, I didn't fill the pores and didn't wet-sand at all. Waterlox would have worked even better and the varnish + tung oil seal it nice and watertight. ------------------------------- Iguana: The other green meat! ------------------------------- http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I admit the wax concern is a little over-sensitive, but there's the MBO part.. (she doesn't like the wax on the apples either) and we do have a todler so that can make for over reacting.
I'll check out Watrlox and some of the other wax suggestions. You'd think they make some kind of 100% non-toxic furniture wax. Isn't there some way to buff out a shine without wax or is that just not possible?
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I guess I missed something. Why didn't you use gloss if you wanted a shine?
Jois
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The finish is semi-gloss. It's not so much that I want shine but that I don't want it too look dull and scuffed. I guess I could just not do anything to the final coat and hope their aren't any brush marks.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Of course it's possible, done all the time. One rubs out by hand with a felt pad, abrasives such as rottenstone and a lubricant. You can use auto body rubbing compound too. You can also use a wool pad on a drill to do the polishing but it is easy to cut through.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Okay, maybe I'll do some experimenting.
Thanks for the help.
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I hope you didn't find the responses here too depressing! These guys may complain that they like the woodworking but not the finishing and then go in for the most elaborate, fancy, or classic, or difficult finishes (well, some of them) and just plain old polycrylic or polyurethane works perfectly. I use both/either and dumb old white china bristle brushes and Minwax brand in the lowest gloss I can find. I like three coats on surface that get a lot of hard use, never wax, and follow most of the directions on the cans. I've done stairs, table tops, kitchen island tops, toys, benches, and most of my arms and legs this way, looks great.
Put on the third coat and let the table rest for a week and then use it.
Josie
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Jois wrote:

correctly? You must be waaay better at wielding a brush than I am. Color me an HVLP guy. :)
Dave
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David wrote:

I would agree with Josie, I do pretty much the same and get very good results. I use the foam brushes most of the time with the poly and get a really fine finish. The method to my maddness is to keep a very wet edge and then let it site for the required time between dry coats, sanding in between. I have not been able to get as good of a finish when doing coats after a couple hours of drying. Always find areas that are too tacky. It takes me several days to reach a good finish allowing a complete drying between coats.
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vdubbs wrote:

benefits of spraying lacquer or waterborne polys and lacquers. I can recoat in less than 40 minutes. Sometimes I've recoated in 20-25 minutes. I live in a reasonably dry climate--Calif. I'm sure my woodworking brethren in Vegas or Phoenix can beat my recoat times quite handily. Another advantage to what I use for finishes is that I never see dust in the finish like I do with slower drying stuff like solvent based poly. I DO recognize that poly is tough.
dave
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I live in VA (often humid) and I'm always thinking *this* will be *the* time the polyurethane will never ever dry. Like vdubbs I keep a wet edge, work carefully and let the finish dry, could be a couple of days. I don't have brush marks. Nor do I have a paint/varnish room - I often do finishing in the kitchen and then set things to dry in the dining room which has a door to keep away dust, poodles, and Shelties. I don't think I'll ever have a space for a spray set up. I often use wipe on poly for surfaces perpendicular to the floor cause I'm concerned about drips and runs.
Josie
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Jois wrote:

There's very little over spray with a properly setup HVLP. I turn the pressure down a bit from max, keep the width to an appropriate setting and spray away. I've recently stopped draping all my equipment with sheets, because there really isn't any appreciable overspray. The downside is that the HVLP stuff cost more than a grand. But hey, it's "just" money! :)
Dave
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On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 21:51:16 -0400, Jois wrote:

I just tip things over.
--
"Let's stand him on his head! Look, it's morning!"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
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On Thu, 08 Sep 2005 23:21:59 -0500, the blithe spirit Australopithecus

Somebody show her how to snip her messages. (83 lines quoted for a 2-line reply. <tsk tsk tsk> )

<g>
"Uldithia. Uldithia!" "Osiris, my friend, what has happened to your nose?"
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