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Can someone give me advice on how to wax a desk?

(10 Posts)
DorcasthePuffin Tue 01-Nov-16 16:32:25

Which makes me sound a real idiot. But I've never actually done it before, so I thought I'd better check. I got second hand a little wooden desk - think it's French, old but not antique, I think it's pine but not an orangey pine. Somebody has started sanding it, so I'm thinking of finishing that off and then giving it a coat or something. So, quick questions:

- wax or matt varnish?
- if wax, does it have to be a special wax or any old wax?
- coloured wax to darken it a bit - good idea or dodgy?
- I just rub it in and polish it off, yes?
- do I have to rewax periodically?

I'd be hugely grateful for any advice before I get stuck in and do something wrong!

bookbook Tue 01-Nov-16 18:57:12

Just asked DH about this.
If it has been varnished/laquered before , use varnish/laquer.. If its been waxed, use wax.
If you want to wax it, it has to be sanded back to a good surface.
( Proviso from DH - if it has been laquered, its really , really hard to get to a surface that is good enough for waxing)
Briwax is the one to use - no problem if you want to darken it a bit, it doesn't darken that much.
Hope that helps ....!

70ontheinside Tue 01-Nov-16 19:02:42

Second the good sanding before waxing, otherwise you'll be left with a sticky desk or kitchen table

DorcasthePuffin Tue 01-Nov-16 19:14:32

Ah, I'm so glad I asked! The top is sanded though not completely, but the legs are still lacquered and the thought of getting ALL the lacquer off the fiddly bits round the legs is making me quail a bit.

Can I ask one further question, if anybody comes back: if I varnish it with some old varnish and some bits sanded off, is it going to come up patchy?

Am I better off just painting it?

DorcasthePuffin Tue 01-Nov-16 19:15:20

Oh, and huge thanks 70ontheinside, bookbook and Mr bookbook - you've just saved me a whole lot of grief!

bookbook Tue 01-Nov-16 19:29:43

Ah, the plot thickens smile
depends If it is old varnish ( used to be called french polish)
or new varnish - usually polyurethane based.
Most likely will go patchy.
If you can bear to try on an inconspicuous spot, meths on a cotton wool pad or soft cloth on the old varnish will let you know which it is- leave the cloth pressed against the wood. It should go sticky, or rub off . Nothing will happen if its new varnish.
If its old, then basically you need to rub it down, prime it, rub it down again, prime it again then paint , or try french polishing ( which is very tricky!)
If its new lacquer , just rub it down , clean with turps then paint or lacquer it, but it could look patchy on a top if you have left varnish on, best to get it all off if possible.

bookbook Tue 01-Nov-16 19:31:58

that was badly worded- sorry. If the varnish goes sticky with the meths, it is old varnish , which used to be called french polish

DorcasthePuffin Tue 01-Nov-16 20:22:10

Brilliant, many thanks. I have learned a lot today!

StealthPolarBear Tue 01-Nov-16 20:24:45

Add veet waxing strips, get it to bite down on a flannel and then rip them off in one quick movement.

DorcasthePuffin Tue 01-Nov-16 20:39:24

Boom-tish! grin

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