How to use paint thinner to remove wax from furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Wax build-up on furniture can make the piece look dingy and older than it really is. Wax is difficult to remove without a powerful solvent such as paint thinner or white spirit. Furniture owners can easily remove wax from their wood pieces with a mixture of linseed oil and paint thinners such as turpentine. The solvent removes the wax build-up and dirt, while the linseed oil polishes the wood.

Put on protective gloves and a breathing mask so you don't inhale the fumes from paint thinner.

Add 1 gallon of hot water to a large bucket. Mix in 2 tbsp of paint thinner such as turpentine and 4 tbsp of linseed oil.

Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and wipe down the wood furniture. Re-dip the cloth whenever it gets dry and wring out excess moisture before you begin washing the wood. This formula works best if the mixture is hot enough to require rubber gloves, according to Utah State University.

Wipe down the piece with another dry cloth. Go back over the furniture with the same dry cloth, moving in circular motions over the entire piece to buff it.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective mask
  • Protective gloves
  • Bucket
  • 1 gallon hot water
  • 2 tbsp paint thinner
  • 4 tbsp linseed oil
  • 2 soft cloths
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About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.