Removing paste wax from cheap table top


We bought a nice looking kitchen table set (made in China type) .... the top (and chair seats) are some sort of "Cherry - looking" wood and was fairly glossy. We attempted to wax the table top with Johnson's wood paste wax. After applying the wax and waiting a bit for it to haze, we attempted to polish it.... but for some reason, the wax won't polish, nor wipe off. Instead we have this ugly haze of dried wax that can't seem to get removed. We've tried warm soap and water with a lot of scrubbing, too. Even after 6 months of use, its still there.
Anyone explain what is going on? I'd hate to have to sand the table top.... we'd probably ruin whatever stain and coating it had, and never be able to match the chair seats if we tried sanding.
Ed
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Are you sure that it's dried wax? Sounds more like the solvents in the wax attacked the finish. More wax will dissolve what is there. Try putting some wax on a small area and immediately wiping it off. Naphtha will dissolve wax. Try some in a small, preferably concealed area. See what that does. Sure sounds like your finish is toast though.

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No, I am not sure that the "haze" I see is dried wax. I think your assessment is correct. I tried your suggestion on a 6" corner of the table.... applied some Johnson wood paste wax, rubbed it on briefly, then immediately wiped if off with a clean cloth... after a fair amount of polishing action the surface of that part of the table surface appears uniform, without the smudgy haze, but the gloss is gone and the finish now appears like a satin finish, although it is a nice uniform surface with not damage to the wood or the stain/color. The wife says this is a satisfactory appearance so I guess I will complete the table surface.
I plan on getting some Naptha, or Mineral Spirits as another person here has suggested and completing the table surface with that instead of wax. Does that sound reasonable? Does it now sound like the original finish truly is "toast" as you put it?
Ed
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Any of the following will usually remove wax: paint thinner, mineral spirits, turpentine, & naphtha. Naphtha is highly volatile and may evaporate before you get the wax off. The usual precautions apply.
If the finish is still hazy once you get the wax off then the problem may be that it absorbed moisture during your hot water cleaning attempts. You could try the methods here http://www.builderszone.com/articles/wood01.htm [scroll down to "White Haze" almost to the bottom]
Art

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I will check out that web site in a moment, but wanted to reply with a description of what I now have. The mineral spirits took the old, smudgy, wax off and left the table top with a nice even satin sheen. The wood grain and color appear just fine. Its not the fairly high gloss that the table came with, but does still have a "satin"-like gloss and appears perfectly nice to us.
This only leaves one more question.... having rubbed the table top with MS, should I again try to put some protectorant on it, or leave it like it is? Since it does have a bit of sheen, does this indicate there is still some bit of the original finish on the table?
My extreme thanks to all, as I am NOT a wood worker!
Ed
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Try wiping a small area with solvent. A wee bit on a soft rag. Pay attention to the 'finish' after about 10 minutes. Wax is usually petroleum based and will melt away with that stuff. For inside the house use, get the odorless kind and you wife won't slitt your throat in the night.
Pete
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snipped-for-privacy@mts.net wrote in

I did... it worked great, Pete. Thanks.
Ed
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