Some of you may remember that my wonderful husband, Steve, made me a new sewing table this summer. The top is smooth, the front edges rounded and also smooth. He sanded it, painted it, sanded it, polyurethaned it, and buffed it with steel wool. It felt perfectly smooth.
Until I tried to sew on it. The fabric did not glide across the surface of the table. This is not a good thing when you are trying to sew. And I knew it was going to be particularly awful for machine quilting.
I remembered hearing about silicone spray. You spray it on your surface to make it slippery. But 1) I couldn’t find any and 2) everything I read about it said the vapors were bad for the environment. And it’s not cheap. I procrastinated until I really had to do something (which was sew my chair cushions, see below).
I went to Lowe’s in search of silicone spray and thankfully I couldn’t find it. I asked a man working at the paint counter and he said, no don’t use that… use floor wax!
He took me to the SC Johnson Paste Wax, said that’s what they used in the military (and on the counters at Lowe’s), and it would work for me. He knew more about it than I did so I bought a can and waxed my table. Darned if he wasn’t exactly right!
I have no memory of waxing furniture or floors. I do have memories of commercials going on about the scourge of cloudy wax build up so this is not a product that I ever would have considered. But I’m here to tell you, if you find yourself with a not-so-slippery sewing surface, keep the paste wax in mind.
Thirty five years ago, when I was young and evidently had nothing better to do, I waxed my hardwood floors. Slippery to the point of dangerous! But this is a great solution.
How great is that!! I love the sewing-table, I have talked DH into making one for me should we ever move out of this apartment!!>The wax doesn’t rub off on the fabrics? Maybe that’s a silly question, but I have never used wax…
No, the wax doesn’t rub off onto the fabric. There is some sort of solvent in the wax mixture. It’s more like a rub-on furniture finish than it is like a car wax.
I’m having flashbacks of my Mom on her knees going over and over the wood floors with this stuff, then buffing. We loved hitting the floor with socks on until we were black and blue from falling!
I know this is an old post, but did you sand off all the varnish before putting the wax on. I’m starting with an unfinished butcher block surface.
No, I just waxed the tabletop.
If you never plan to stain or add polyurethane to the wood, I think it would be fine to wax it. However, if you do plan to ever add a finish, do that first. Otherwise I think the wax will clog the pores in the wood and cause a headache.
thank you so very much! this was very helpful for me because I wanted to make one of my old tables slippery!