Should I use a topcoat or a wax over my paint or stain finish?
The GF gang gets this question all the time.
The answer depends on your objective. Are you interested in the look of a finish or the performance of a finish or both? How will your project be used? Is it in a high use area such as on a table top or kitchen cabinets or in a low use situation such mirror frame? A wax finish is not a "forever" finish. They are lovely but typically show wear (fingerprints) and require semi-annual to annual maintenance. A topcoat that contains a resin will provide greater durability and protection over time. Although General Finishes offers a tintable Satin Finishing Wax, it is offered as a maintenance product for those that have already committed to a wax finish.
Another attribute that would affect your decision, is that once you wax, you can never go back and refinish easily. Even though there is internet chatter about removing wax with 3rd party products or mineral spirits, the risk of a failure in recoating over a wax finish is extremely high or difficult at best. Finally, think about your future business. If you wax a piece, and your customer comes back in 5 or 6 years for a new updated look, you will most likely have to strip the entire piece down to apply a new finish.
If your objective is the casual,...