How to Clean and Wax a Wooden Table

You know, few things warm up a room better than wooden furniture and really nice wooden furniture like this table, for example, need to be properly taken care of. For a lot of folks, that means putting on oils and sprays. But I have a different way of taking care of furniture like this.  It's a technique that I learned from a conservator of one of the nation's leading furniture museums and I'd like to share it with you. Now if you have been putting oils and sprays on your table, one of the first things you'll want to do is clean off that residue. Here's how. Mineral spirits, sometimes called paint thinner is a solvent that can be used to safely clean just about all types of wooden furniture. The way to use it is to take a piece of soft cloth, fold it into a pad like this, pour some mineral spirits on it.

Now the key here is to use long straight strokes going the full length of the table. And as you can see, you can pick up quite a bit of dirt. Give your furniture several minutes to dry and then you can do the clean test.  If you run your finger over the surface, it should sound like this. [SCRATCHING SOUND] Now once your table's clean, you'll want to keep it looking nice and protected and for that, I recommend paste wax. Apply the paste wax with long even strokes. A thin coat is all you need. Now I prefer paste wax over sprays and oils because it dries and doesn't attract dust and you don't have to do it very often. Give the wax a few minutes to dry and then buff it out with a soft, clean cloth. It's really a lot easier than you might imagine.  For carved surfaces, buff them out with a shoe brush.

Paste wax protection, try it and your furniture will look like it belongs in a museum.