Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Revitalize dried up furniture wax polish

How to restore dried up wax-based furniture polish to new. Mine was Antiquax but this tip should work on others, too.
Disclaimer: At your own risk

WD-40 Works like a dream

I bought a kitchen table made from pine a couple of months ago and wanted to give it a good wax polishing before it got used too much. I knew I had a tin of Antiquax somewhere in the house - brand new but practically unused.

When I tracked it down, I found it had dried up and shrunk to about a third of its original size. A quick search online to find out how to revitalize it didn't turn anything up, so I emailed the company.

A swift reply (thanks, Mark) basically said that it wasn't possible I was either stuck with it - I would still be able to use it but it would be a lot more difficult - or I could by a new tin.

This much elbow grease? No thanks!

Mark was right, it was too much like hard work - I just didn't have that much elbow grease in me! My muscles were aching after just a few minutes - there had to be a better way or, like Mark said, buy a new tin.

Saving CO2 emissions

Well, buying a new tin would mean wasting the CO2 used in the manufacture of the old tin and contents - remember the phrase, reuse before recycling? That fits really well with the Scots mentality I have :)

So rather than throwing it out, I thought I'd give something else a try first - WD-40, and it worked like a dream!

On with the tip

What you'll need:
  • masking tape (to seal the tin)
  • a can of WD-40 penetrating spray
  • a couple of days waiting time
Ok, here we go...

  1. Open the tin of hardened wax polish and, if you can, break it into pieces to speed up the softening process
    If you can't don't worry
  2. Step outside so you don't get the smell of the WD-40 in the house
  3. If you've still got the plastic straw that came with the spray, insert it into the nozzle
  4. Angle the spray can down at around 45 degrees and confidently spray into the tin until you've got around two tablespoons in there
  5. Put the lid back on and seal the join between the two halves to prevent spillage and evaporation
  6. Vigorously shake the tin of polish to bash it about and help the liquid penetrate the hardened wax
    You'll hear it rattling and sloshing around.

Over the next day or so, give it another good shaking, until you don't hear any more rattling. At that point a lot of the wax will have been reduced to a usable paste.

Remove the masking tape and carefully open the tin and you'll see something like this
After a couple of days the WD-40 will have softened some of the wax and reduced it to a paste
If you're ready to do some waxing of your furniture, then wax away! If not, repeat the above process to reduce more of the hardened wax.

To give yourself confidence, I'd recommend trying it out first on a small area out of normal view.

I've been using it for a couple of weeks so far and my table is not only looking great but it's getting the protection from the waxing too!


Thornhill Louis said...

A Paste Wax finish is ideal for furniture such as oak or pine. Paste Wax can be used over French polish, varnish, lacquer and oil finishes to create an extra barrier against damage from water, heat, and alcohol.
remove scratches

Melissa said...
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