I have a 10 year old hardwood (red gum) table that has had a hard life. It was originally finished with bee's wax but I did not really keep up maintenance.

What is the best way clean up this table? Is it just a matter of running a belt sander over the top then reapplying the wax?


Belt sander to remove old finish, and all the dents and dings. Hand sander with medium grit paper, followed by light grit paper. Then the table should be ready for whatever finish you want to apply.

I know most people don't have a workshop like Norm, but...

If you have access to a large planer (and can remove the legs and what-not), you could run it through the planer and remove a very thin layer. Then use a hand sander to get it nice and smooth, then apply finish.

  • been a long time since I've seen a piece of furniture finished in bee's wax. Actually.......never. lol – shirlock homes Jan 11 '11 at 20:27
  • @shirlock - It's just that nobody told you they used it, because it's "NONE OF YOUR BEE'S WAX!" – Tester101 Jan 11 '11 at 21:31
  • Thanks guys. My workshop is under my house, so limited by a tiny door. As a matter of interest, what could I use instead of bee's wax? Also: Is it enough just to take off the surface on the top of the table, or should I do the sides as well? I assume if the sides and top are both waxed, I just need to do the top. – dave Jan 11 '11 at 22:23
  • @dave - what do you mean by "the sides"? – Tester101 Jan 12 '11 at 13:06
  • @Tester - The vertical faces of the table top. – dave Jan 13 '11 at 4:47

If you can scrape the wax off first (handscraper, etc..) I believe that will add some life to your belt.

  • This is a valuable comment. I wish someone had mentioned it when I asked a related question (diy.stackexchange.com/q/94379/38937) to warn me how many sanding belts I'd be going through just to take off the wax/grease. And that was just (in an attempt) to refinish a wooden cutting block. – Calaf Mar 7 '17 at 2:09

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