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    After reading everything I can on wood finishing I'm still unclear on what types of varnish I can put paste wax on to get that really deep shine. Any advice would be great.
    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    I'm surprised you've found anyone who recommends putting any king of paste wax on varnished surfaces.


    • #3
      Well to be honest no one has but I still am wondering how you get that really deep shine on wood. As you can tell I'm really new at this woodworking stuff.
      Thanks tim


      • #4
        I don't claim to be an expert, but I'd guess you either go with a good urethane with several coats, with light sanding (220 grit paper) in between, or something like tung oil, well buffed and several coats, or real varnish. The last takes a good touch to get a good finish. In none of these cases is a subsequent coat of paste wax recommended.


        • #5
          RGad, I don't know why you're surprised.

          Waxing furniture is older than the hills, as is varnish. But, it won't particularly make it shinier. It makes it feel a little nicer, and dust cloths slide better, which hopefully will keep folks from using evil "stuff" like Pledge. If you want to wax, give the varnish (any kind available on Earth, by the way) a couple or more weeks to cure.

          For that deep shine, you need to "finish the finish", a process of sanding and polishing the finish. Long descriptions required, check out any reputable finishing book from the library. "Reputable", in this context, can be taken to mean authored by Jewitt, Dredsner, Flexner, Charron. Possibly others I cannot vouch for.



          • #6
            I'm no expert and haven't read any books but here is my 2 cents. I think the shine will ultimately depend on the species of wood. Maybe someone with more knowledge could chime in here. Also, you will need to sand very smooth, maybe all the way to 600 (would this be overkill?). I have gotten some good results, in my opinion, with polyurethane really thinned down to the consistency of water. Three or four coats with fine steel wool in between.

            Best regards,



            • #7
              Dave: I am not now, and probably never will be, skilled or patient enough to do a real varnish job myself. My only experience is on the boat, where the brightwork is done by the yard. The topside brightwork is done in high gloss, and all we do is rinse it off with fresh water once the hook is down and then gently dry it with a terry-cloth towel. It is re-varnished each year.

              Belowdecks, the bulkheads (walls) and sole (floor) are done in a semi-gloss. Besides cleaning up any spills quickly, what we do is wash the surface a couple of times with a terry-cloth towel and warm water, then dry it with another towel, then buff it with a third towel. This is re-coated about every 3 or 4 years.

              I wouldn't think of putting wax or polish on it.


              • #8
                "I am not now, and probably never will be, skilled or patient enough to do a real varnish job myself"

                If you are skilled or patient enough to build a "fine woodworking" project, a varnish job is easily within your reach. Stories of it being hard to do are rather overrated. French polish, now there's a taxing finish job...

                My knowledge of boat-finishing is zilch. Everything is different there.

                [add]After having written this, it occurs to me. As a boat guy, when you see "varnish", are you translating to "spar varnish", like is used on boats? That's only one category of varnish, and one that is not often recommended for ordinary indoor furniture use.


                [ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: Dave Arbuckle ]


                • #9
                  I just finished a magazine rack, 24h x 12w x 14l in oak. Sanded, sanded and sanded some more 600gr. Minwax golden oak stain, recoated with stain to get coloe as wanted and then..minwax 8 coats and you can see yourself. Looks deep to me, my wif and mother-in law who will be using it. I am among the ones who can not apply poly or varnish either.. keep on sanding until you think that there is no more energy left. that is my 2 cents worth...dd