What's the difference?

Polish or Shine?

White Glove uses the word “polish” when a paste or paste-like wax product is used to actually shine and protect a wood finish. We use the word “shine” to mean a temporary shine from spray products that only provide a temporary shine without protection. Here’s the skinny:


POLISH: Professional wood workers and restorers almost unanimously agree that optimum protection and long-lasting durability of wood surfaces are achieved only with paste wax. Waxing gives a thin, hard, lasting finish that does not smear and attract dust and dirt for 3-5 years. The beautiful finish can be kept clean using only a damp microfiber cloth.


SHINE: Spray-on polish and oils give a quick temporary shine without the protection that a paste wax give. These are preferred by many consumers because they save time while providing a nice shine but not for long, and virtually no protection.


Unfortunately, many spray polishes (spray “shiners,” really) contain silicone and petroleum distillates that causes harm to a finish over the years. The result is a wet, shiny look that actually attracts dust and dirt, and smears easily.





Wood is not alive, and it doesn’t need to “breathe” or be “fed.” The finish on wood seals the wood with protection from moisture, spills, stains, and surface abrasions. At the same time, it enhances the beauty of the wood grain. No polish, oil or wax is going to get through the finish to the wood. So it cannot be “nourished” with oily polishes.


Why then use a paste wax? Because the wax protects the finish, and the finish protects the wood.


QUESTION: Why does the finish on so many kitchen and bathroom wood cabinets disintegrate, peel, crack, and discolor? That’s because of an inexpensive lacquer finish that breaks down with exposure to water. That’s why the disintegration of the finish can be seen especially around the sink and basins.


In such instances, you could refinish the wood or simply restore it with a quality wood restorer. Instead of stripping the finish, sanding, and refinishing, you may want to consider a good refinish product.


So, what does White Glove use for polishing wood surfaces?


For service-to-service spray shining, we use Endust because (1) it shines nicely without leaving residue or buildup while also helping to remove dust and dirt, and (2) it is safe for wood because does not contain waxes, silicone, alcohol, ammonia, or acetone.


For our furniture and cabinet polishing, we use Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish and conditioner that is a unique blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and orange oil. It does a very good job and lasts for months. If cabinets are in need of restoring their finish, we recommend applying Restor-A-Finish first, then using Feed-N-Wax every occasionally to maintain a brilliant appearance while enhancing the durability of the finish.