Furniture polish on new finish


I just finished putting the last coat on finish on my daughters coffee table and she asked what type of furniture polish is good. It has a tung oil/linseed oil/varnish finish(Sam Maloof) it has ten coats of this finish on it now and has been drying 48 hours since the last one. It's also walnut wood. Thanks
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wrote:

Typical polishes are actually either bad for the finish, contain silicone, or marketing snake oil.
Dust is best removed with a lightly dampened cloth. Luster can be achieved with an occasional paste waxing.
Bob Flexner and Jeff Jewitt both discuss caring for finished finishes in their respective books on finishes.
Barry
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I'll second that. Damp rag. Then wipe dry.

Awesome book!!!
Supposedly if silicone oil gets into the pores of the wood it makes refinishing very difficult.
I made a table for my Mom an told her NO pledge! She use to drench our furniture with that crap as a kid.
--
Stoutman
http://www.garagewoodworks.com
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wrote:

Anything (almost). The difference between a "polish" and a "finish" is that your finishes really ought to seal the wood against exposure to any likely future polishes. The relative strengths of "seal" and "polish" could thus vary between different types of piece.
A "polish" is never (or shouldn't be) a finish. It shouldn't build up (the problem with the oil and vinegar "cleaner" formulations). Nor should it "protect against everyday spills" - that's what the finish was for. If you really are going to use this piece as a dog toy or a bar top, then finish it accordingly, don't expect the polish to do the work.
Really the most important thing a polish does is to act as a dust attractor while you wipe the piece over periodically. It's useful more as a cleaner than as an additive.
Most polishes have some waxy component and this does get left behind. This is a good effect - it shouldn't build up too much (the fresh polish removes a lot onto your rag as it applies the new). It does however add patina (basically a hand-rubbed wax polish layer) over time. This effect is more pronounced on old bare wood finishes though. On french polish, or on modern finishes, then you just don't need anything like so much of it - the finish is giving you finished effect as it is.
I polish my medieval oak repro stuff with a soft beeswax polish on an electric drill and a rotating nylon brush. Yes, every time I dust the stuff that hasn't sold yet. There's no finish on the timber at all and this is all it's ever had. This is a polish that really builds patina, and needs to. OTOH, I never polish my lacquered work at all, just wipe it over lightly with a soft cloth.
For something like a Maloof oil finish then I'd use that same soft beeswax polish on a cloth. Maloof designs are also nice for not having sharp internal corners where polish can build up.
I wouldn't use an aerosol wax. Too much packaging. It's really only useful for post-war '50s-modernist design stuff, big wide flat areas with hard lacquers on them. For anything older or more complex in shape, the polishing time is so much more complex and longer than the application time that spraying is no quicker than wiping from a tin.
As to silicones, then they're no problem in a polish at all. A nightmare in finishes, but they're OK when applied separately afterwards. Again they're not a great deal of benefit outside the Jetsons' school of design, but they don't actually hurt. They would hust refinishing, but that's a long way off and you can cope with that in time if you ever needed too. Silicones on a piece are more easily removed and disposed of than silicones wafting around a workshop and onto your saw tables. For a coffee table than a deliberate application of a silicone-loaded paste wax might even be worth doing.

Then don't even think about polishing it for a month. Maybe longer in a cold climate. Oils take a _long_ time to cure properly, and a couple of years to get close to fully cured - even that's no more than 90%.
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