Paste wax is best used as a polish over an existing finish such as lacquer, varnish, shellac, polyurethane or even oil finishes. As mentioned, it will give you a little extra protection against scratches, but most modern finishes like polyurethane and newer lacquers and varnishes are very hard to begin with and usually the finish alone is abrasion resistant enough. Thus, using paste wax to maintain and regularly care for your furniture is by far the best reason to use paste wax today. A paste wax will add shine to a surface by filling in small scratches or voids in a finish. The finish will appear shiner and deeper because the light that was getting trapped in those scratches and voids before the wax was applied, is now reflecting off the surface. On darker pieces of furniture it’s best to use a dark colored paste wax. This will not only polish the piece but also hide some minor scuffs and scratches.


Many people believe that pure beeswax is the best choice for use among paste waxes. This is not true. True, in the past beeswax was often used, but that was because it was the only wax available. Today, paste wax manufactures blend natural waxes like beeswax and harder carnuba wax with synthetic waxes. The waxes are selected for cost, color, slip resistance and hardness. This blend of waxes makes a paste wax that is harder and in many other ways superior to pure beeswax, which is also very expensive in pure form. Waxes like carnuba are much harder than bees wax, but are too hard to be used alone without blending with other softer waxes.


All waxes are originally solid. They are made into a paste by being dissolved into a solvent. Years ago, turpentine was used as the solvent, but today petroleum distillate solvents such as mineral spirits, and toluene are generally used to dissolve the waxes.


Most commercially made paste waxes are very similar in their quality and the sheen they produce. In fact, you can take the ten top brand waxes, apply them side by side to a finished surface and not see any significant difference in gloss or sheen. About the most significant difference in these waxes is in the amount of time you need to wait before wiping off the excess and buffing out the wax. Certain waxes like Briwax use a quicker evaporating solvent like toluene. Because these solvents evaporate quicker, the wax turns back to solid quicker, (becoming hazy) and once the wax hazes over, it’s time to wipe off the excess and buff it out. Other waxes with slower evaporating solvents like mineral spirits will take longer to turn back to solid and haze over. For more info on furniture wax check out next weeks post, or if you would like a quote from Exceptional Cleaning give us a call and have the house cleaning experts clean it for you. www.atlantaexceptionalcleaning.com


About Meagan Farley

Megan Farley is the owner and founder of Exceptional Cleaning. Megan lives in East Cobb.