Davluri: The wax only smokes when it's wax left on the iron from last waxing and the new wax is colder and subsequentially I'm using a hotter iron. Yes, greyish. Perhaps I don't know what a dry base even looks like because I started waxing on bases that were not p-tex, and I've never let my alpine's go without waxing (which are my only p-tex base skis).
I can scrape the grey area off with my finger nail, and it's glossy underneath it like the rest of the base. Glossy meaning if I put my fingers up to it I can see their mirror image.
SkiMangoJazz: Yes, I do overheat my skis at times, with an 8" strip of molten wax behind the iron. I've been trying to not overheat them lately.
Luckly I'm not going to be using these as a major ski after this year since they are mushy under my feet. Looking for something stiff with a tight turning radius (these are 14.9m).
I'm going to wax them now and see if they accept wax.