Should i wax? Modge podge? Clclear coat?


This table top was painted by an old friend Over 25 years ago- she roughed it up and sealed it with somthing- i love it- but the surface (black paint) started to look cloudy and blotchy- i just took it out side and sanded the snot out of it- smoothed it out and cleaned it up but it is still cloudy...any advice on what to seal it with to get a smooth And clear finish?

q should i wax modge podge clclear coat
q should i wax modge podge clclear coat
  24 answers
  • Janice Janice on Nov 08, 2020

    I would coat it with a clear non-yellowing polyacrylic spray in the finish of your choice (flat,(satin or shiny). It will make the colors pop and also provide the surface protection from scratches, etc.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Nov 08, 2020

    I'm thinking polyvine. This article might help you deside.

  • Sascha Sascha on Nov 08, 2020

    I think that the surface may be cloudy because it was waxed in the past.

    When a waxed surface is exposed to moisture (even just a lot of atmospheric moisture over time) it can cloud. That is how cloudy coffee cup rings happen too (moisture becoming trapped in the wax topcoat).

    I would try a test spot of turpentine to see if You can remove the layer of wax before top coating with anything else, since if it is old wax, the wax will inhibit a good bond of any other top coat.

    Be careful though, I don't know what kind of paint was used for the beautiful design on it, You want to make sure that the turpentine is only removing the wax and not the paint.

    I would gently use soft clean cloths that can collect the dirt and wax, and dispose of the cloths carefully because the combo of wax and turpentine will mean that they are quite flammable.

    Once the wax is removed, then You can decide what top coat to use. (I would use a semigloss varnish instead of a water base clear coat because water base products are often slightly cloudy with a somewhat blue hue).

    If it is wax residue, and it is not removed first, You run the risk of just sealing the cloudiness under your top coat instead of getting rid of the cloudiness... and also risk having a clear topcoat that does not properly bond to the surface.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 08, 2020

    The polyacrylic would be a good choice, non-yellowing of course. I would paint it on rather than spray. If you do spray, do light coats to avoid runs.

    What a beautiful piece of furniture!

  • William William on Nov 08, 2020

    Mod Podge, water based polyurethane, clear spray glaze or paint

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 08, 2020

    Hello you might test if polyacrlic sealer might solve your issues. If it persists-it may need to flood the black background with new black paints.

    I’ve used poly acrylic on my corn hole boards that are decoratively painted and it has not yellowed and maintained a nice finished despite the corn bag abuses.

  • Because it's cloudy, I tend to think it's a wax finish. I would try some fine steel wool to see if it comes off. If it is wax, poly will not stick to it. Here's a link for testing you can do to determine the type of finish:

  • Simple Nature Decor Simple Nature Decor on Nov 08, 2020

    Maybe try to Modge podge, to hide some of the imperfections. Its a pretty design.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Nov 08, 2020

    Hi! When the sanding gives you that swirly look, it's often wax buildup. Try cleaning it. Go gently with the floral part. Something I did when I redid my kitchen sink that has a beautiful ivy pattern, was to protect the design before working on the rest of it. I used painter's tape successfully to protect the design . It wasn't an easy project in that respect, but, it totally worked in spite of the sanding and chemicals I used. If it is wax, once it's cleaned up, you can seal it as is. Or you can leave the tape on, refinish the top, and then seal it. Click on the picture next to this reply and it will take you to my projects if you would like to see the pictures of my sink project. Good luck! It's a lovely piece.

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 08, 2020

    Lacquer might be the best answer.

    There are three different types of lacquer that you might want to consider. The first is an acrylic lacquer. This specific type is known for its resistance to color change that you can sometimes find with other types of wood finishes, including oil-based polyurethane. Instead of creating an amber color on the wood, it remains clear. It is not brittle and is more flexible, making it resistant to both wear and scratches.

    Similar to polyurethane, you could also opt for a water-based lacquer. This option is less toxic and is virtually odorless, making it a great option for individuals who don’t have a large and well-ventilated workspace. Water-based lacquers offer extra durability compared to oil-based finishes.

    Last but not least, there are nitrocellulose lacquers. This type of finish was originally used to finish cars but has since been adapted for use on furniture and other projects. It has an evaporative property that is unique among the other types of lacquers. Unlike acrylic lacquer, nitrocellulose does enhance the color of your wood, allowing it to be used on both light and dark pieces. It provides a highly durable surface that makes it super resistant to wear and tear. However, you must be careful to apply this in a well-ventilated area. Keep in mind that it is highly flammable.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 09, 2020

    Hello Marie,

    Lovely table. If it were mine, I would use a sponge brush and try to blotch out the black

    with more paint. Then when satisfied with the results, I would use a clear Satin Varnish to seal it.

  • K. Rupp K. Rupp on Nov 09, 2020

    polycrylic sealer should work.

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Nov 09, 2020

    You can use any of those, it depends on where you're putting it and what's going to be placed on top of it. I would recommend clear coat probably the most... stands up well, and you don't have to worry about re-doing it

  • Dee Dee on Nov 09, 2020

    I would use a spray lacquer on it. This comes in 3 finishes, semi gloss, eggshell and high gloss. Spray light coats and let dry thoroughly before spraying another coat. Lacquer is a very hard finish good for tables.

  • Debbra Debbra on Nov 09, 2020

    I had a similar problem with a wax finish going cloudy and I used a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine to clean off the wax. Try on a small spot first and if wax buildup is your problem, this will clean it up. I would not use this on the design part and would seal with your choice of top coats

  • I'd do a layer (or several layers) of polyurethane, which causes the shiniest and glass-like appearance on the wood finish.

  • Betsy Betsy on Nov 10, 2020

    Hi Marie: I think a clear coat would work well. Just make sure it's not one that will yellow over time. Do a little spot, the clear coat may bring the colours back up for you. Good luck

  • Gayle Dawson Gayle Dawson on Nov 13, 2020

    Use Minwax water based clear coat. It does not yellow. I would do 2-3 coats with lots of drying time between coats.

  • Annie Annie on Nov 14, 2020

    I would clear coat. I have used this product and its GREAT.

  • Maura White Maura White on Nov 14, 2020

    If you use a clear coat - avoid polyurethane - because that can yellow over time. I learned the hard way.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Nov 30, 2020

    i would use polyruthene

  • Em Em on Mar 07, 2021

    Looks like wax. If you've already sanded it try a matte or semi gloss poly in one spot to see if it brings it back to like.