I am assuming that you have a table with the finish still intact. Start
by cleaning and then apply a paste wax meant for furniture.
Clean the piece by first using soap water. Add a capful of dishwashing
liquid like Dawn to a gallon of water. Dampen a clean cloth with it. The
idea is to dampen the cloth, not make it into something that is dripping.
Go over the table and immediately wipe it down with a clean dry cloth.
Clean with clear water and wipe it off immediately. Finally, clean it with
mineral spirits and wipe the piece down with lots of clean cloths. The idea
is to remove the dirt and wax, not just spread it around.
To wax the piece, put a lump of furniture paste wax in the center of a
clean cloth. Twist the cloth around the lump such that you have a small
ball containing the wax with no wrinkles on the bottom of the ball. Rub the
ball on the table. The wax will begin to liquefy and just enough will pass
through the cloth to leave a thin film on the table. Once the film has
dried, you will see it get hazy, buff it really well. You may wish to apply
a second coat of wax to make it really shine.
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