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   Restor-A-Finish Frequently Asked Questions
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Wax Depot

Restor-A-Finish Frequently Asked Questions from Wax Depot

  • Can I use Restor-A-Finish more than once?

    Yes!.....If you have deep white rings or watermarks that do not come out with the first application, then you may want to apply again. While Restor-A-Finish has a small amount of stain in it, it does not work like a stain. It simply tones and restores the existing finish, so additional applications will not darken it. Keep in mind that since Restor-A-Finish can penetrate through the finish, it can also "bloom" back out, so do not soak or leave it on for more than a couple of minutes. It is a simple a wipe-on, wipe-off process!
  • What color Restor-A-Finish should I use?

    Pick the Restor-A-Finish color that is as close to your finish color as possible. An exact match is not necessary. If it seems to be in-between colors, we recommend the lighter Restor-A-Finish color.
  • What is in Restor-A-Finish?

    Of course, that is a trade secret. The Restor-A-Finish is a unique formula in that it has just the right amount of solvent for cleaning and stain for penetrating through the existing finish to blend out scratches and blemishes as it restores the color and luster in one step. It will not remove or even soften the existing finish. If you have a safety question, please refer to our MSDS sheet on the home page.
  • I've used Restor-A-Finish but my finish still looks dull, what do I do?

    using our Restor-A-Shine products. Our Polishing Compound and Burnishing Cream utilize extremely fine polishing powders blended with Orange Oil to restore high shine finishes by polishing out fine scratches and blemishes (see the Restor-A-Shine page).
  • Can I put a clear coat finish on after I am done using Restor-A-Finish?

    No!.....Keep in mind that the purpose of Restor-A-Finish is to restore an EXISTING finish. If your goal is to improve the shine, we recommend following up with our Restor-A-Shine products. If you are looking for added protection, we recommend following up with our Citrus Shield Paste Wax products or Feed-N-Wax. However, if you have areas where the original finish is missing or you are simply intent on putting on a "clear coat finish" (ie. lacquer, shellac, or varnish) the Restor-A-Finish must be completely dried as any residue will interfere with the new topcoat. So if you know you will be applying a new finish, wipe Restor-A-Finish on and wipe off quickly. Do not let it soak. A polyurethane finish should NOT be used. Restor-A-Finish will not let this type of topcoat finish dry.
  • Can I use Restor-A-Finish on my kitchen cabinets?

    Yes!.....Restor-A-Finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets. It breaks down the grease and build-up around the handles. At the same time it restores the original color and luster. Typically, kitchen cabinets have a thin lacquer finish (especially in newer homes), so it is a good idea to protect and maintain the restored cabinets with Feed-N-Wax. As always, test in an inconspicuous spot and see if you like what it does. Then restore your cabinets.
  • How long does it take Restor-A-Finish to dry?

    Restor-A-Finish will not dry. You need to wipe it on, let it work, and then wipe it off. Some people confuse Restor-A-Finish with a danish or finishing oil. Restor-A-Finish does not contain tung oil, linseed oil, polyurethane, or any other type of finish. It works by restoring the existing finish. It is a simple wipe-on, wipe-off process.
  • Can I use Restor-A-Finish on lacquered pieces?

    Definitely! Restor-A-Finish can be used on lacquer, shellac, and varnish and all other clear coat finishes. Polyurethane is harder for Restor-A-Finish to penetrate into than other finishes like lacquer, but it will still clean the surface and make it look much better.
  • What should I use to clean with before using Restor-A-Finish?

    The cleaning agents in Restor-A-Finish are strong enough to clean most of the grime or dirt on the surface, especially when you apply it with (0000) steel wool (if you use steel wool be sure not to rub too hard). You only need to "pre-clean" if you have a heavy grease or grime build-up. In that case you can use our Clean-A-Finish Wood Soap first.
  • Do I use Feed-N-Wax or Orange Oil after Restor-A-Finish?

    Yes!.....After using Restor-A-Finish, we recommend following up with Feed-N-Wax or Citrus Shield Paste Wax. Both of these will provide added protection and shine to your newly restored finish. Use Howard Orange Oil for regular cleaning and dusting.
  • What's the difference between Feed-N-Wax and Citrus Shield Paste Wax?

    Feed-N-Wax is a blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and Orange Oil that is of a gel consistency. It is very easy to apply and buff off and is ideal for finishes that are dry, faded, cracking, or crazing. Citrus Shield Paste Wax contains much more of the harder carnauba wax (the hardest natural wax available). It provides a higher shine and greater protection. Citrus Shield is great for enhancing high gloss finishes and for unfinished woods - providing a natural hand rubbed finish. Both can be used on finished or unfinished woods.
  • How often do I use the Orange Oil?

    As often as you dust or clean your furniture. Orange Oil cleans with real Orange Oil, so it will not dry out your finish. We recommend at least once a month
  • Feed-N-Wax leaves wax, Orange Oil cleans wax build-up - are they compatible?

    Yes they are compatible. "Build-up" is a combination of dirt, grime, wax etc. and is usually caused by a lack of cleaning and not by over applying wax. Orange Oil helps break down this excess build-up, however it will not remove all of the wax like many wood "cleaners" do. Feed-N-Wax should be used every two months or so depending on how dry the wood is, the type of wood finish, climate, etc. - Orange Oil can be used every time you dust.
  • Can your products be used on painted or whitewashed finishes?

    We do not recommend our products for painted or whitewashed finishes.
  • My oak bathroom cabinets are faded and have white water marks from water splashing on them, what can I do?

    Use the Restor-A-Finish to eliminate the watermarks and then follow-up with the Feed-N-Wax. Feed-N-Wax is excellent for protecting oak and other woods exposed to moisture. Feed-N-Wax brings out the original wood color and enhances the wood grain while it leaves a coat of water-repelling carnauba wax and beeswax to help protect the wood from moisture and occasional splashing.
  • Can I use your products on my outdoor furniture?

    Restor-A-Finish was primarily designed for interior use only. We have just come out with a brand new product called SUNWAX. SUNWAX was specifically designed for outdoor wooden furniture, especially teak.
  • Can I use your products on my teak wood?

    We recommend using Orange Oil. Traditionally with teak and other oiled woods, waxes and other finishing oils are generally not used. Orange Oil brings out the wood grain and keep teak from drying.
  • What should I use on my wainscoting and oak cabinets?

    Feed-N-Wax, Feed-N-Wax, Feed-N-Wax...
  • How do I remove the lacquer coating from brass before I use Pine-Ola Copper & Brass Polish?

    Any acetone based lacquer/paint remover will take off the lacquer coating. Some products are even labeled Brass Lacquer Remover. Once you have exposed the raw brass, polish with Pine-Ola Copper & Brass Polish, using a soft towel.
    Restor-A-Finish Frequently Asked Questions

    Have questions or to place an order by phone.
    Call Customer Service 1-909-591-5500
    Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific Time