Our stunning solid wood furniture requires special care to keep it beautiful - but the good news is, it's easy to do! Please remember - this is not mass-produced, chemically-treated furniture - every inch is real wood, the way furniture used to be made...
Cleaning and Care Instructions:
The furniture should NOT be washed or cleaned with a wet cloth! Sparingly, a damp cloth can be used to clean table tops. Waxing the furniture with readily available waxes such as Briwax, Fiddes, or other furniture or bees wax is advisable occasionally.
Alcohol or other paint thinners/removers should NEVER be brought in contact with the furniture! Please do not use grocery-store dust products like Endust or Pledge.
Since the furniture is made from solid wood it should be kept away from direct sunlight. It should also be kept away from sources of heat or extreme cold, such as air conditioners or heaters.
If you leave Arizona for the summer, it is important that you turn your air conditioning on even slightly (85F) - this will keep your wood furniture from drying out, as well as protect the other components of your home (cabinets, countertops, grout, etc) from the extreme heat.
With a little love, your furniture can become a family heirloom!
Here are some Q and A's from Briwax's website regarding care and maintenance of real wood furniture:
Response: What you describe is in fact the way a wax finish is.
There is nothing you can use over the wax finish, except to refinish in a poly or lacquer or cover with plate glass, which just will not have the real look and feel of wax, nor the reparability of the wax finish as condensation rings and other minor damages are trapped in the wax to be later wiped away by a maintenance waxing.
I would recommend using the Sheradale (http://www.briwax-online.com/sherdale.html) wax for maintenance waxing as required and as needed. On a wax finish you should not use anything except a dry or very dry damp cloth to clean. There is no need to use oils or other household cleaners, none.
If this is not acceptable then the only solution is to cover it or change the finish type.
When wax finishes were the finish of the day, in the past, before the modern day age of plastics, everyone new and understood how to use and be around their fine furnishings which were waxed out. Now people do not understand that but still want all that wax has to offer, but not understanding what makes the wax finish so long lasting and so beautiful, is also some of the reason why poly and hard lacquers came in to being in the first place. These modern day answers addressed what are often seen as the negatives of a wax finish.
Thus it is a trade off. If living with a wax finish is a hassle, then you need a good "plastic" finished table top, and there is nothing wrong with that, but understand you can't have a natural wax finish and have it withstand the abuse that space age chemistry has address in the finish industry through advanced plastic polymers and finishes like lacquer.
If you need something stronger, maybe a dense bowling alley finish, plate glass etc. , if you see what I am getting at.
There are a number of poly finishes out there claiming all the great attributes of a good wax finish. You can try that. My opinion is: plastic is plastic , wax is wax. One is not the other, no matter how much advertising hype.
Also, another thought is : has a high quality wax like Briwax or Sheradale been used ? Briwax and Sheradale are very hard finishing waxes, and in the wax business are the best I am aware of, by far.
Hopefully this gives you the info you need to make a proper decision, and I do hope we can be of service. The link to the Sheradale is above. This is an excellent wax for the maintenance type waxings and the up keep that is needed for fine wax finished furniture. More like an easy around the house type polish to be used in place of the times one wants to use a spray or something to pick the finish up or wipe out a white water ring.
Response: Some of the problems you describe are part of the issues with using wax. On an actively used table, it sometime is not worth it, which is why poly, and varnish may make the best option.
But, much of what you describe is too too much wax. This is particularly true when print marks occur. Wax does not go away. Of all finishes it is the longest lasting, nearly of all substances on earth. It will pick up condensation etc. .
As to breaking in to a sweat that again is part of excess wax.
What you want is the thinnest possible film on the table that can be applied, buffed and burnished to a high hard luster. If you can run your finger across the surface and feel any drag , you have excess wax.
Take steel wool, extra fine (0000), unroll it to a cloth so to speak, and lightly go over the surface. If the wool drags at all, it is dragging on excess wax. Lightly go over the surface "cuffing off" all the excess wax till you see a slight luster. Move on. Follow this by burnishing and buffing with a cotton cloth, like a tee shirt. Cotton will create heat and will set the wax.
If there is any streaking, or any dragging by the cotton, take the steel wool and cuff off the excess wax. This is quick and easy to do, not much work at all, but the key is removing the excess wax so it is thin right off. Otherwise you will work like crazy trying to buff it - this will not work, except it will make you work.
One optimally applied "most" thin film is the key. That is the best you can do. This should stop the printing and cut down on some of your problems. It will not eliminate them, but for a casual use dining table should be ok.
Wax finishes are easily repaired and are more often used to protect that which lies below by trapping the damage that would occur to the finish below. So it is a catch 22 situation.
But I am quite confident most of what you refer too is just too good a coat of wax, when you want a very, very thin film, not a nice coat.
Response: You could sand and reapply the Briwax. I would suggest a reapplication of the Briwax, but in using it for damage like you have, the idea is to utilize the solvent in the fresh Briwax to work at the problem areas. Use Extra Fine steel wool (0000) and work at the areas where there are problems, vigorously. Keep the steel wool loaded with fresh Briwax, it is the solvent in the fresh Briwax which is doing the work as well as the wool. This should remove or work through the problem areas and then apply or use the Briwax as you would normally applying a thin film and let the solvent evaporate off, and then buff to a luster.
If you are wanting to remove the damage and wax as well to apply a different finish, wash down with mineral spirits or sand off.