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Can You Wax Over Polyurethane? (Quick Answers)

A lot of people swear by using wax over polyurethane. There are also some people on the other end of the spectrum that dislike the idea of it. Having heard mixed opinions from people might be confusing therefore it is best if you just dig into it yourself and make a decision. 

Can you wax over polyurethane?

It is not required for you to give a final coat of wax over polyurethane. It does not require an extra coat of protection as it is perfectly fine on its own. Not only that, giving that extra coat of wax will make your floors very slippery which can cause accidents. 

There is not much of a reason for you to consider putting wax over any surfaces that have a finish of polyurethane except for the fact that it gives an amazing finish to the surface. 

It is recommended by most experts that you leave the polyurethane surface as it is because it does not require a protective finishing of wax. Besides that, if you still put the wax coat on top it will start to turn yellow over time.

Wax over polyurethane floor: 

Other than the fact that you would technically be wasting money, there is not much of a disadvantage of putting wax over polyurethane unless you are talking about flooring that has a polyurethane finish. 

In that case, you must avoid putting a wax coat over the polyurethane surface as it will make the floor excessively slippery. This can end up being very risky as it can cause a lot of accidents and you will always have to be on edge when walking on such floors. 

Wax over polyurethane furniture: 

You might be wondering if there are any drawbacks to putting a wax coat over polyurethane furniture. The only drawback is that you will have to strip and reapply the wax layer from time to time because it keeps turning yellow over time.

Even then many people still opt for the extra wax coating because it gives off a beautiful finish and makes the furniture pop. Many people adore that finish and find the furniture to be incomplete without it. 

If you have the budget to reapply the wax layer periodically then you can consider putting a wax coat over your polyurethane furniture.

Wax over water-based polyurethane: 

You should also avoid putting a wax coat on water-based polyurethane. A polyurethane finish itself is very durable and even resistant to scratches. 

Wax on the other hand is not only something that will wear and tear over time, it will also start getting dull and turn into an unwanted yellow color. In that case, you will have to be prepared to strip the layer of wax from time to time and reapply another coat. 

This process requires a lot of effort and time. 

Wax over oil-based polyurethane: 

Putting wax over oil-based polyurethane surfaces is not a great idea either. Especially in these cases, if your surface has a chance of being in contact with items of different temperatures such as warm or cold. 

With the additional wax coating on top, it will leave behind unwanted dark white or ashy marks on the surfaces. 

Can you put these waxes over polyurethane?

There are many different types of wax finishes out there in the market. You might be wondering which finish will likely be the best to put over your polyurethane finish. 

Lime wax over polyurethane: 

You should not put lime wax over polyurethane because these two will not bond well. It will not give you the finish that you might be looking for. If you are still keen on using it then you will have to use a sealing barrier in between. 

Dewaxed shellac is a good sealing barrier, but do keep in mind that the finish will be much softer than your regular hard polyurethane finish. Therefore, it is better if you opt for a different type of wax that works better with polyurethane finishes. 

Paste wax over polyurethane: 

Even though experts suggest not using any kind of wax over polyurethane finishes, if you are still keen on using one then paste wax will be your best option. Paste wax will bond well with polyurethane finishes and not cause any problems. 

Avoid putting it on polyurethane floors though because it will make them very slippery. 

If you put it on any other surfaces it will successfully fill in all scratches, voids and give it a very nice and polished finish, it will also prevent external scratches and water from getting in through any cracks. The only downside is you will have to strip the wax periodically as it will turn yellow. 

Dark wax over polyurethane: 

You should not apply any type of wax over a polyurethane finish. However, if you plan on applying then dark wax should be the last step. You can apply dark wax over polyurethane to give it a very nice and sophisticated finish. 

What happens if you wax over polyurethane?

Some types of wax do not bond well with polyurethane surfaces. There are also types of waxes present that will bond well with polyurethane surfaces and give a very lavish and polished finish to your surface. 

However, there are some disadvantages to it. Wax surfaces do not last long and get very easily ruined by heat. Wax surfaces are more sensitive and do not do well with water. 

Not only that, they start to turn yellow over time and you periodically will have to strip it which can be a very draining and long process costing a lot of money and energy. 

The biggest problem, however, is that if you put a coat of wax on polyurethane finished floors then the floor will become incredibly slippery and dangerous. 

Can you apply polyurethane over wax?

No, you should never apply polyurethane over wax. This is a very general and important rule that you cannot apply any type of coat whether it be polyurethane or something else over wax.

The waxing coat comes last. If you want to apply a layer of polyurethane over anything which has a waxing coat, you will have to remove the wax layer first before you can apply the polyurethane. 

Which wax is best for polyurethane?

Out of all the wax types, paste wax will be the best option to apply over polyurethane surfaces. Even though your polyurethane does not need it, paste wax will give an extra layer of protection against scratches. 

It is also easier to take care of and maintain overtime compared to all the wax types present out there. 

How long should polyurethane dry before waxing?

It depends on the type of polyurethane you are talking about. If the polyurethane coat is water-based then it has a faster curing time. It can dry well within six hours and then you are free to wax it. 

If you are talking about an oil-based polyurethane surface on the other hand then it takes a very long time to dry. In most cases, you will have to wait around an entire day for it to dry properly before you can add another coating of wax. 

Sometimes it can take even longer than that so ensure to check it thoroughly that it has dried before putting your wax coat on it. 

How to apply paste wax over polyurethane?

There are a few steps to follow when applying paste wax over polyurethane so that you can properly do it. 

Proper cleaning:

The first thing you will have to ensure is that your polyurethane surface has fully dried. When dried, go ahead and clean the surface properly with a damp piece of cloth. You can also use an oil-based soap if you are working on an old surface. 

Apply the wax:

Once your surface is ready, use a cloth to apply the paste wax on the surface. You need to do it with a light hand and with light pressure rub the wax in a circular motion in any direction you like as there are no restrictions. 

Applying correctly:

You must keep rubbing gently until there are no films left and if you notice ridges then be aware that you are using too much wax. After you are done, give the surface around twenty minutes to fully cure. 

After it has dried you must use an electric buffer to buff off the wax.

Apply again:

Let it cure again for at least ten hours and look at the final result. If it is not what you want then apply another coat and buff the wax again. Applying several coats and waiting eight hours in between will give a nicer polished finish. 

Final thoughts:

Even though it is not recommended to apply wax over a poly finish, many people still opt for it despite the effort it takes to strip and reapply the wax. This is because the extra coating of wax gives a very shiny and polished finish which many people adore.