It's an art to apply wax to wood furniture, says a renown, 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. According to Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, the following ways to wax wood furniture is highly recommended.
1. Wipe wood surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. If a piece is especially dirty, use a mild solvent like mineral spirits or odorless paint thinner.
Test an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn't damage the finish. If the finish is unchanged, dampen a soft cloth with the solvent- use it straight, but sparingly- and rub it over the wood.
2. Apply a paste wax, such as Butcher's Wax, which is available in hardware stores and supermarkets, with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Paste wax, which is solid and comes in a tin, contains a blend of waxes (often carnauba and beeswax) and a mild solvent ( like mineral spirits or turpentine) to soften the wax. Natural, clear, wax can be used on any wood, but dark woods may benefit from a tinted wax: it will mask tiny scratches. Apply a thin, even coat to a few square feet at a time, covering every inch of wood.
3. If the piece has carved or detailed molding, apply the wax to those areas with an old toothbrush, using circular motions.
4. Allow the wax to dry for ten to twenty-five minutes. If you don't wait long enough, you'll wipe the wax right off. If you wait too long, it will be difficult to buff out. In that case, simply add more wax to soften the existing coat.
5. Buff with a clean cloth, turning it frequently, and try to remove all the wax. When the rag slides easily rather than drags, you're all done.
Waxing and Buffing your furniture will ensure that the finish lasts for years to come, says a renown 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il.