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How to Restore a Pine Table That Was Waxed

Updated April 17, 2017

Pine is a soft wood that needs special care when trying to remove the wax. Wax can build up over time, causing the table to look old and worn. For this reason, it is a good idea to use wax cleaners sparingly. Restoring the table takes a little work, but you can bring the lustre back to almost new. Of course, scratches in the wood and little marks beneath the wax hold stories and give your table that antique look. These you may want to keep just for the memories.

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  1. Pour some white spirit on the wood to dissolve the wax, making it easier to remove. Do only a small section at a time.

  2. Scrub the wax off the tabletop with a green scrubbing pad or steel wool, which should be gentle enough to abrade or roughen the wax from the wood and not scratch the wood underneath. Always rub with the grain of the wood, never against it or in circles.

  3. Wipe the wood with clean rags to remove all the solvent.

  4. Wait until the wood is dry. With a hand disc sander or a piece of sandpaper in your hand, lightly sand the wood. Use 150-grit sandpaper first to sand the entire wood surface. Then switch to 220-grit sandpaper and sand again. This will even out any imperfections in your table.

  5. Wipe or use a shop vac over the wood. Remove any dust particles left from sanding.

  6. Apply an oil/varnish mixture over the surface with a clean soft rag. If you do not want oil/varnish, try a poly finish.

  7. Tip

    Change rags frequently or the wax will be only redistributed, not removed. Do not use a putty knife or scraper to remove the wax as this could damage the wood.


    Work in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective goggles for your eyes and a mask to cover your mouth and nose.

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Things You'll Need

  • White spirit
  • Steel wool pads or green scrubbing pads
  • Hand disc sander
  • 150- and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Shop vacuum

About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.

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