March 24, 2012 2:29 PM   Subscribe

What would be a suitable protective coating for cabinets that were stripped and treated with a combination of orange oil and beeswax?

Furniture and cabinet refinishers, lend me your ears. We sanded and treated some kitchen cabinets with a couple coats of Howard Feed-n-Wax orange oil and beeswax. We're not entirely confident that this is providing enough protection for the wood; it appears to have sucked up the two coats, is slowly growing darker, has reverted to a dry appearance, and isn't well protected against stains. We'd like to apply a more definitive coating that will provide more protection, but we're not sure what can be applied over a beeswax/orange oil base. Advice?
posted by itstheclamsname to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think you are supposed to use oil and wax, it's always been an either/or. You may want to wash down the surfaces really well with mineral spirits and then re-wax until you feel it's well protected enough.
posted by xingcat at 2:47 PM on March 24, 2012

Ah, that's all one product! If it contains wax, I would suggest just more of the same, or if you're looking for more protection, go with just a wax.
posted by xingcat at 2:51 PM on March 24, 2012

Those types of products are actually not all that great for wood - let me refer you to my favourite article on furniture polishes.
posted by thylacinthine at 2:55 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Once you've hit it with wax, you don't have many other choices. Wax is the only thing that goes on wax without a complete strip. Wax is a pretty lousy protective coating, although it can be pretty. Just keep them waxed and try not to ding or wet them.
posted by introp at 3:06 PM on March 24, 2012

The wax pretty much precludes adding anything but more wax, because nothing much sticks to wax. So, you can add more wax. You can add a harder, more durable wax, i.e. something like carnuba. Or, you can strip off the wax with solvents, seal them with a wax-tolerant seal coat (e.g. shellac) and then apply some other finish.

But yeah, wax is not really an effective wood sealer at all.
posted by jon1270 at 3:16 PM on March 24, 2012

Also, unless you really dig the orange scent, any wax will do. The relative proportions of carnauba (hard at room temp) versus beeswax (softer at room temp) determines the protection level versus ease-of-buffing. If you want more protection and are willing to trade in some more elbow grease to get the same shine, switch to a wax with a relatively high proportion of carnauba or hard mineral wax.
posted by introp at 3:17 PM on March 24, 2012

Response by poster: We ended up coating the cabinets with Rubio Monocoat, which can be applied over wax finishes and has performed well so far.
posted by itstheclamsname at 3:11 PM on June 25, 2012

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