Waxing 101

How to Wax Furniture

October 11, 2012

Waxing Poetic

How to Wax Furniture


Okay… so you’re having trouble with wax, right?   Take a deep breath. No really, take a deep breath… cause I totally know you didn’t just take one.   The thing is, using furniture wax is as much about relaxing as it is about anything else. It’s about realizing that wax, while you can make a few mistakes, is part of your artistic vision. So there really isn’t any kind of HUGE mistake that can’t be undone. I’ve seen some things with wax that I didn’t like. But that doesn’t mean they were wrong. I don’t like nuts in my brownies either… but that’s just one girl’s taste buds. I guess what I’m saying is, wax… especially dark wax… is a matter of taste. You just have to please you. So take a deep breath. You’ll get there. I promise.


 How to Wax over Chalk Paint (4)




So let’s review the basics. When you’re using chalk paint, you can choose to wax or not to wax. No one is taking notes, and there are plenty of people who like a unwaxed look. But the reality is, that wax protects your furniture. It deepens the color of the paint, repels water, and it protects the finish. So most people choose to use it.


Ok, sure… but…


Q:  Is there a time when I should not use wax?

A:  Yes… if you’re doing outdoor furniture. Wax melts in the sun. Wax + sun = mess.


Q:  Can I use other protective finishes with chalk paint… like polyurethane or lacquer?

A:  Yes. I prefer wax with chalk paint because it’s easier to control the type of finish you want. But if you’re more comfortable, all protective finishes work on chalk paint.


Q:  Will wax protect as well as polyurethane?

A:  Yes. Wax will cure to a hard finish, repel water and protect the paint from chipping. And wax doesn’t yellow like polyurethane. If you use poly… go with a Polycrylic water based clear finish. You’ll thank me later.

How To Wax

So you’ve decided to go with clear wax… Now what?


Q:  Do I have to use the same brand of wax as the chalk paint I choose?

A:  No. Some brands claim to have waxes that are designed to work with their brand of paint. But I’ve used many brands of wax that have worked very well without any issues.

How to Wax

Q:  What brands of wax can I use with chalk paint?

A: Fat Wax, Cece Caldwell, Maison Blanche and Annie Sloan are boutique brands that work really well. But you can certainly use alternative brands. Briwax, Fides & Sons, Minwax, and Johnson’s Paste wax are just a few options that have been around for decades.


So you’ve painted your furniture with chalk paint, you’ve got your clear wax and you’re ready to wax your heart out. But you still have a few questions.


Q:  How long after I paint should I wait to wax?

A:  You can wax as soon as the paint is dry.


Q:  Do I sand first or wax first?

A:  Either. But sanding first can be messy, and you may naturally remove more paint as you wax anyway. So I prefer to wax first and see what happens. I can always sand more afterward. But waxing first also means less dust in the sanding process.


Q:  What if I don’t want any distressing. Should I still wax?

A:  Yes. If you don’t want any distressing wait for the paint to dry overnight before waxing. It gives the paint time to set, and less chance of natural rub off while waxing.


Q:  How should I apply the wax… with a rag, or a brush?

A:  Either. Many people swear by the brushes and I admit, they’re great for nooks and crannies. I use an inexpensive chip brush for those. But it’s an added expense for sure. If I had an endless supply of money, I’d probably buy a couple. But on a budget, a wax brush is a luxury I can do without.


Q:  How much wax should I use?

A:  I’ve heard lots of people say, “…the wax goes so far, you don’t need much at all.” But too often, in attempt to conserve, I’ve seen waxed pieces that are really streaky. If the paint has streaky color variations or looks patchy, you probably didn’t use enough. By the same token, if you can see the wax or it’s very tacky to the touch, you have used too much. The goal is to rub it in, letting the paint absorb the moisture of the wax, until the paint is one uniform color and the piece feels smooth to the touch. Rub until the wax is gone. You may need to get an extra rag. But keep at it. Waxing is the most time consuming part of refinishing your furniture. But it’s worth it.


Q:  What if the furniture feels tacky?

A:  There may be some slight tackiness. Just like if you put on body lotion, you may feel it. But that will go away within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, keep buffing until it does.


Q:  Should I let the wax sit a little while, or just wipe it off?

A:  Wax isn’t like a marinade. You don’t need to let it sit on the furniture to make it work, and it’s not really about wiping it on and wiping it off either. It’s really more about rubbing it in. It’s about making the wax part of the furniture. So apply the wax and rub it in until it disappears.


If you’re new to wax, you may want to get the hang of the clear wax before you go any further. Just like anything new, you’ll agonize over whether you’re doing it right the first few times, and then suddenly, it will all come together and you’ll be saying, “that’s right, yo!… I’m a waxing goddess.”  I promise.


But let’s face it, we creative types need to create. Pretty soon you’ll get bored with clear and you’ll want to move on with dark waxes, and crackle finishes, and stencils and quantum physics. If you get to quantum physics, you’ve gone too far and it’s time for a glass of wine.


But if you’ve conquered clear wax, you’re probably ready to give the dark wax a try. So what are you worried about? You’ve got this. Relax and dive in. Right?


Q:  Ok, but should I still use the clear wax if I’m using dark wax?

A:  If you’re using ASCP or Cece Caldwell waxes… then YES. I like to think of clear wax as a way of preparing the canvas. The first coat of wax, no matter the color, will soak into the pores of the paint. If dark wax is absorbed first, it will stain the furniture and make it impossible to manipulate the color and finish. The clear wax acts as a barrier to the paint so it’s easier to control the dark wax. I haven’t used Maison Blanche waxes yet, but I’m excited…. They have several colors that reportedly can be used first without a clear coat. So I’ll get back to you on that when I use them.


Q:  Can I apply the dark wax immediately after the clear wax?

A:  Wait for the wax to dry in between coats. But usually by the time I’ve finished an entire coat of clear and rubbing it in well… it’s dry enough. Waiting an hour wouldn’t hurt. But you don’t have to let it cure… just dry.


Q:  Is there any way to make the dark wax lighter?

A:  Yes. Mix clear wax with dark wax in a separate container to lighten the wax.

How to Wax over Chalk Paint (21)

Q:  How long should I leave the dark wax on?

A:  Work in small areas, applying the wax over a couple of square feet before you go back and adjust. You may want to add more and you may want to have less. Until it dries, you’ll be able to wipe a little away with the same rag you’re using to apply. If it’s too dry to rub off on its own, just apply a little clear wax. It will moisten the dark wax and let you adjust the look to suit your taste.


Q:  Should I let the dark wax sit overnight?

A:  No. Waxing should be done in one sitting. It will begin to dry quickly so don’t apply a thick, sticky mess, and just expect to buff it off the next morning. It will be much too stiff to work with.


Q:  What if applied too much and the next morning I hate it. Is there anything I can do?

A:  Yes. Put some mineral spirits into a small container. Then slowly dip a clean rag into the mineral spirits and wipe away the wax. Warning: You should only try this if you put a clear coat of wax on first. Mineral spirits are strong and will remove the paint if clear wax is not underneath. And in spite of this picture, remember to wear gloves.

How to Wax over Chalk Paint (19)

How to Wax over Chalk Paint (18)How to Wax over Chalk Paint (17)How to Wax over Chalk Paint (16)How to Wax over Chalk Paint (15)How to Wax over Chalk Paint (14)How to Wax over Chalk Paint (13)

Q:  It goes on too thickly for me. Is there anything I can do?

A:  Any wax will become softer when left in the sun for a few minutes. You may find it easier to apply the wax when it’s softer.


Q:  What if the wax melts?

A:  All wax will melt in heat. Put it in a cool place and it will return to its original form.


Q:  Is there any other way to use dark wax?

A:  Yes. In a glass jar, mix a couple tablespoons of dark wax with a couple tablespoons of mineral spirits. Add either item until you get a consistency you want to work with. If you add a lot more mineral spirits, you’ll have a glaze of dark wax


So that’s it. You’ve learned how to wax with clear wax and dark wax. So you should be all set. Right? No? Ok… here are a few technique tips.


Q:  Should I apply the wax in circles or back and forth with the grain?

A:  A little of both is probably best. It isn’t easy to get wax everywhere you want just by going back and forth with the grain. But you don’t want to leave circle streaks behind either. Rub it in uniformly however you can. But at the end, go over it along with the grain, which will give you the best look.


Q:  What if I want the final look to be shinier.

A:  Buff it. A few hours after waxing, or the next day, you’ll probably want to buff it a little just to make sure you’ve got it nice and smooth. The more you buff, the shinier it will get.


Q:  How many coats of wax should I apply?

A:  On most pieces I do one. But on a kitchen table or an area that will get lots of use, a second coat will make it that much stronger. Just remember to let one coat dry before applying another.


In the end… no one learns anything by hearing about it… you have to do it. So be fearless. Grab a glass of wine, put on some music, and go have fun! I can’t wait to see your projects!

Waxing 101




  • Donna C · Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:09 am · Link · Reply

    Wonderful tips – going to tackle a lacquered pine buffet and jam cupboard in my kitchen. Feel armed and ready now to wax. In definite agreement on the wine and music part. Can’t cook without those either!

    • DivaSha · Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:15 am · Link · Reply

      Donna that will be so cool..please share when you are done.

  • Ginger · Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:12 am · Link · Reply

    This is really good info. (And yes, I pinned it!)

    • DivaSha · Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:16 am · Link · Reply

      Ginger you are so sweet..thanks for pinning us :)

  • Liz D. · Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:59 am · Link · Reply

    Hey Diva Sha,

    Thanks for the great post and the fabulous info. The only things I would add are to buy the “odorless” mineral spirits and also to definitely stay away from quantum physics!! Love what you gals do to furniture! Always inspiring!

    Gypsy Queen of Junktion Alley

    • DivaSha · Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:59 am · Link · Reply

      Thanks so much! We are working on a product list. Any suggestions would be great. I believe BioShield carries an odorless mineral spirits. Hard to find the healthy stuff locally!

  • Bonnie · Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:27 am · Link · Reply

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!

    • DivaSha · Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm · Link · Reply

      You’re Welcome You’re Welcome! So glad that we are able to help.

  • Teri · Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:33 pm · Link · Reply

    Great tips! I know what you mean about waxing in circles; I have a table that I wish I had waxed in more up and down motions to avoid the blotchiness. My circles are showing :) Live and learn!

    • DivaSha · Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm · Link · Reply

      Teri we have all been there. I have also used a 220 grit sand paper and then applied another coat and that worked like an eraser.

  • Lynne · Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm · Link · Reply

    This was just what I needed…Thanks

  • Donna C · Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm · Link · Reply

    Just wondering if you can tell me which of the waxes (other than Annie Sloan) don’t have a harsh smell? thanks

  • Jan · Posted March 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm · Link · Reply

    I have just found out about chalk paint and loved the effects on the items in the store. Bought the paint and painted my outside bench and now what do I put on it because it looks unfinished since I was told not to wax it. I think it needs to have some kind of finish on it for protection. Please advise

    • DivaAly · Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:48 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Jan,

      I know the rule of thumb is not to wax things for outside… although I’ve certainly done it. So here are a few things to take into consideration. Do you live in a climate with extremes? Is the bench outside in the garden and constantly exposed to the elements, or is it on a sunporch? The thing is… I’m not a big fan of rules, and it’s not like a piece of furniture is going to self combust if it’s out in the sun. The problem is the fear that wax won’t cure outside, and worse yet that it may melt in extreme heat. So if it’s March in St. Louis and your bench is sitting under a covered patio… I say, wax until your heart’s content. On the other hand, wax is not the best protective coating by any stretch of the imagination. So if you’re looking for protection, I’m a huge fan of Varathane for floors. It’s designed for high traffic areas and dries to a nice hard finish… and it works great on furniture over chalk paint. It comes in a water based formula as well as oil and you can get it in a satin finish. So that might be a better way for you to go. Good luck and let us know what happens. hugs, Diva Ally

      • Jan · Posted March 7, 2013 at 1:46 am · Link · Reply

        Diva Aly, Thank you so much for your response. My bench is outside in the elements and it does get kinda hot in the summer time here in the valley,although it is not in the extreme sun where it is, but it will be hot. I will use the Varithane as you suggested.

        Thanks a bunch!

  • Anna S · Posted March 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm · Link · Reply

    Do you ladies know if once ASCP has cured with wax….can you sell outside in the sun at say a flea market or art sale? Will the hot sun melt the wax on the product you are trying to sell? Worried and need an answer. Thanks!

    • DivaAly · Posted March 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi there, You’ll be fine. Long term use in the sun isn’t recommended. But once the paint has cured it really becomes part of the paint. In fact, I’ve got waxed things outside of my house, in Arkansas, that I’ve had outside long term and I haven’t had any problems. So just to sell for a day or two… you should be fine! Good luck!

  • Lori Ann @ Lori Ann's Food & Fam · Posted April 12, 2013 at 6:23 am · Link · Reply

    Wonderful info. I just started using Annie Sloan products…you answered all my questions about waxing. I’ve been trying to get the waxing figured out…it’s been a little tricky for me. Thank you!

    • DivaAly · Posted April 15, 2013 at 5:12 pm · Link · Reply

      Thanks Lori Ann! So glad you found the tutorial helpful. I struggled with wax at first too.. you’re not alone! Feel free to get back in touch with any questions! Best of luck! Ally

  • Emily · Posted April 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm · Link · Reply

    A friend just told me about chalk paint and I have a question. I’ve had my bedroom set since the 80′s, it’s country french, and a dark hard wood. I have a head board, triple dresser, armoire, and 2 night stands, and I would like to paint it an off white. Will 1 coat cover? How many cans of paint will I need and where do I buy it? Also I didn’t see anything about cost.

    • DivaAly · Posted April 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm · Link · Reply

      Hey there Emily… my apologies for the delay in responding. One of these days we’ll get caught up around here ;) I’m so glad your friend told you about chalk paint. I have been painting furniture for years and am thankful for the ease of use. But there are a couple of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you decide if you want to use it for such a big project. The most important one is… “what kind of finish do you want?” If you’re looking for a warm, distressed finish, I think you’ll love chalk paint. If you’re looking for a high gloss modern sleek finish, chalk paint is probably not for you (at least not this time around). The second thing you’ll want to consider is… “are you set on white?” All of the light colors will require more than one coat, and in many cases they require 3 coats. That’s something that a lot of people won’t tell you.

      From your description I’m guessing you’ll need 3 quarts of paint. Of course, the size of the pieces matter. But that’s my best guess without seeing them. Most chalk paints cost between $32 and $38 a quart and can be found in boutiques and on line. If you send me your zip code and a brand you’re interested in, I’ll be happy to help you locate a dealer in your area.

      Read some of our tutorials and then let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck on your project. Ally

  • Laura · Posted April 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm · Link · Reply

    Now THIS was a helpful post on waxing! Not just more of the same info, but the nitty-gritty. Thanks! I am working on my first chalk paint piece now and ready to wax. Fingers crossed :)

    • DivaAly · Posted April 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm · Link · Reply

      Hey there Laura… thanks so much for the kind feedback! That makes my night! Let us know how it goes and post pictures. We love to see what people are doing! Hugs, Ally

  • Barbara · Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm · Link · Reply

    I’m painting a night stand and I want the top Chalk Board writeable to leave written reminders for the morning. I know this question sounds silly but do I use wax or just leave it with the chalk paint? It’s my first attempt so any help would be greatly appreciated. Love all the tips above. ;)

    • DivaAly · Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Barbara, this is one of those tough ones. The answer is no, you wouldn’t use the wax if you want to write on the top of it. BUT… the problem is it won’t be very durable as an actual nightstand if you don’t wax. So for instance, you wouldn’t want to put a drink on it or anything else that may scratch the top. Of course you can give it a fresh coat of paint every month or so to take care of that problem. But just be prepared for that issue. Good luck, and let us know how it goes! Ally

  • Barbara · Posted May 2, 2013 at 6:43 am · Link · Reply

    Thanks Ally…I that makes sense! I so appreciate your help! I’m looking forward to your future posts! ;)

  • Rocco · Posted May 2, 2013 at 10:54 pm · Link · Reply

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be
    subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

    • DivaAly · Posted May 3, 2013 at 10:55 am · Link · Reply

      Thanks for the kind feedback Rocco and for subscribing!

  • Debbie · Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:21 am · Link · Reply

    I just painted bathroom cabinets with slate blue chalk paint. What do you suggest… clear wax or poly for a kids bathroom?


    • DivaAly · Posted May 3, 2013 at 11:31 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Debbie,

      I’d definitely go with poly. I love the look of wax and the variations you can get with it. But in terms of durability, it just doesn’t do the trick. My personal favorite for finishing an area like yours is Varathane for floors (high traffic formula). I get it in the satin finish and am thrilled with the durability and the lack of yellowing. Of course, I’ve got 5 kids, so I’ve given up on their bathroom entirely. Instead, I’ve just resorted to putting yellow crime scene tape across the bathroom door… lol. Best of luck! Ally

  • Anna · Posted May 15, 2013 at 6:30 am · Link · Reply

    chalk paint diva’s

    So…after reading your posts about wax…I am officially out of Annie Sloan and want to try another wax. I have heard that Johnson’s paste wax yellows and briwax is pretty good. Do ya’ll have a favorite? If so, what brand and where can I purchase.


    • DivaAly · Posted May 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm · Link · Reply

      Gosh Anna… I hope I haven’t destroyed your drive to work on your projects! Sometimes detailed information can be overwhelming.:( On another note. My partner Shannon, (the other diva) had a bad reaction to ASCP wax last year and so began her quest for a different kind of wax. After diligent research and lots of trial and error, she has developed a great product called VAX. It’s a unique product and they’re nothing like it on the market. First, it’s completely non-toxic, with no VOC’s and made in the US. So that’s a great thing. But on top of that, it’s really easy to use. You just squirt it on and rub it in. It’s dries in a few seconds to a complete finish. The top of any surface becomes much more durable than wax alone, and we love it! In fact… Diva Sha only uses VAX now… you can see it in action here: and it will be available for purchase Friday on line at

      Best of luck! Ally

  • Linda Charlton · Posted May 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm · Link · Reply

    Can I wax over latex paint?

    • DivaAly · Posted May 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Linda,

      You sure can. just make sure you’ve given the latex plenty of time to cure before you wax.

      Best of luck,

  • cindy the cottage chick · Posted May 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm · Link · Reply

    Great post….I am still struggling with waxing. Seems Annie Sloan’s wax is the most finicky of those I”ve tried, and I hate having to wipe it on, then wipe it off. Seems a waste, and then when I wait the recommended 24 hours to buff, it won’t shine up because I must’ve put it on in different thicknesses. Drives me crazy.

    I also tried JOhnsons, Miss Mustard Seeds (my favorite, but PRICEY), and Maison Blanche (which seemed easier than AS, but it buffs to a matte, and I like some stuff kinda shiney or with a ‘glow’).

    I do use a waxing brush, and I try not to put too much on, but I’ve not been happy with the last 5 pieces I’ve done. I even took a class at an ASCP stockist, but I just couldn’t get the ‘feel’.

    I may be just hopeless and should stick with polys. Or my beloved latex that always holds up. Chalk paint fans talk of the no prep/sand/prime on the front side, but the waxing and buffing on the back side is a bummer, and it’s a huge learning curve. I’d almost rather do the prep at the beginning so I don’t have to freak out at the end that I’ll ruin all the beautiful paint I just put on!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      I think you’ll find that you’re not alone in your assessment. It’s great not to have a lot of prep work. But there does seem to be considerably more finishing work. Shannon and I have tried every brand on the market and each brand has it’s own pluses and minuses. Sometimes it’s a matter of picking and choosing. But… keep watching Chalk Paint Divas! An announcement is on the horizon. shhhh! All the best :)

  • Angie · Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:05 am · Link · Reply

    I think I have gotten dust in my coat of wax…..it looks like it has thumbprints all in it…not shiny. What can I do to fix this? Does it just need more buffing or if my wax brush had dust in it, or the wax got dust in it, can I remove with some mineral spirits without destroying my paint and start over? Thanks!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Angie,

      Apologies for the delay in responding. We’ve been very busy with big new plans that we’re getting ready to announce. And unfortunately, we haven’t been on top of things. My guess is that you’ve already fixed your issue. But if you haven’t you’ve pretty much got two options. The easiest is to buff heavily and see what happens. I have an attachment for my drill that is for waxing cars and it does a great job buffing. That’s what I would do if I had a dull finish with finger prints. If that doesn’t work and you think there was actually something in the wax, you can absolutely use some mineral spirits to take it down to the paint. In fact, what I’d do is put a little bit of wax into a small container and mix in some mineral spirits until it’s a batter like consistency, and rub that over whatever you have. The mineral spirits will help lift the top layer of whatever is there but the extra wax will prevent the paint from being completely removed. I think you’ll at least be able to work with what you have without damaging the underneath. All the best and let us know how it goes. Ally

  • Dolly · Posted June 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm · Link · Reply

    Thanks for the great wax advice. I am doing my first chalk paint project right now and this makes me feel more confident. :O)

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi there Dolly! Thanks so much for the kind words! Please let us know if we can help as you move forward and all your chalk painting projects. We’re here to help and we wish you all the best! You can do it!! hugs, Ally

  • Susan Abbott · Posted June 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm · Link · Reply

    Oh my gosh…this blog post came just in time! I have researched endlessly on this topic as I have just tackled my first chalkpaint project. I had so many questions about waxing and this post covered EVERYTHING I needed to know so…thanks!!!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm · Link · Reply

      Hey there Susan… You really made my day! I love to paint, but my passion is writing. You have no idea how happy it makes me feel if anything I’ve written is worth someone taking the time to read it! A million thanks for the support and please feel free to email either one of us with questions as you continue on your painting projects! All the best and thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment! Hugs, Ally

  • Clare · Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:28 am · Link · Reply

    So glad I stumbled across all your great advise/tips.
    I have been painting furniture & waxing for a couple of years now and still learning different techniques!!
    Still scared of the dark wax but after reading this I’m going off to get a glass of wine, turn on the radio and go for it!!
    Thank you.
    Clare x

    ps – one other question….. rags? is there a specific material that works best? I use cotton but just wondered what other people use. x

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Clare… thanks so much for posting and for your sweet comments! It means so much to hear feedback from people. I’ve tried lots of different fabrics when waxing, usually whatever I have lying around. But for keeping a project lint free, I don’t think you can beat white cotton t-shirts. My kids have started to hide theirs, so now I’m buying them buy the bag full at the big box stores. Good luck with your dark waxing. All the best! Ally

  • Jennifer Watkins · Posted June 8, 2013 at 9:10 am · Link · Reply

    Hello! I am using Cece Caldwell’s chalk paint, and am a newbie. I’ve painted my dresser and am applying the Minwax finishing paste product with bad results–streaking! I had to let the piece sit for a couple weeks, and now I’m trying again. I keep rubbing and rubbing more wax but I can’t get the streaks to go away. I’ve taken it into the sun now to try and get the wax to melt so it will blend better. Yikes! Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      If the wax is streaky, it may be that it just needs to be buffed in really well. Sometimes if you use too much wax on a piece it’s hard to buff it all out… sort of like if you clean a window and you don’t rub all the windex off well enough it can streak. But if you go back with another paper towel and really rub well, you can get the streaks to go away.

      However, every once in a while you’ll get a color that doesn’t react well to a particular wax for whatever reason. If that’s the case, I would suggest a couple of things. You can put some wax into a separate container and then add some mineral spirits. When you add the mineral spirits it helps thin the wax and makes it easier to use. It might also help cut down on the wax that’s already on the piece. The other trick would be to put the container of wax into a pan of hot water (not letting the water get into the wax). The hot water will soften the wax and let you rub it in more easily. If none of those suggestions work, I would put a fresh top coat of paint over the piece and work with a different wax. Let us know what happens. We wish you all the best. Ally

  • Lee · Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:58 am · Link · Reply

    I recently learned Van Gogh wax WILL NOT work with any other “chalk” paints. I did 3 projects with Cece Caldwell vintage white and used the Van Gogh only to have it remain tacky forever. When I contacted the VG owner she replied they are incompatible due to drying times in the paint. This sounds odd as does nto all paint dry but whatever the issue it remeins tacky and I have no idea how to resolve this on any of the porjects, perhaps I will try the mineral spirits

    • DivaAly · Posted June 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm · Link · Reply

      Oh… gosh! I’m so sorry! I have not heard of that. Usually all waxes are compatible with all paints. At least that’s been my previous experience. I would suggest using mineral spirits just like you thought. I know it’s a pain. But hopefully you’ll see some results fairly quickly. Let us know how it goes!! Good luck! Ally

  • Christine from Decorated Life · Posted June 17, 2013 at 3:55 am · Link · Reply

    Thanks for the great post. Just wondering, can you wax with different colors? I did a dresser in blue with a white wax on top which really softened it but wondering what would happen if I put a black or even yellow wax on top?


    • DivaAly · Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:29 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Christine,

      Colored waxes are great and add different dimension to pieces. A black wax gives a really nice aged finish, but I’ve never tried a yellow wax. I would imagine you’d get sort of a funky look. But I’d try painting a scrap piece of wood and then playing with your waxes to see what you like. We’d love to see pictures when you do. Have fun painting! Ally

  • Wendy · Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm · Link · Reply

    Love it- I’m going to tackle my recently chalk painted buffet this weekend and was feeling intimidated by the waxing but now I’m ready to conquer!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Wendy,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post. It makes me so happy to hear that you’re ready to take on the challenges of waxing. Please post pictures when you’re finished. We’d love to see how you did! Best of luck!! Ally

  • Pat · Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm · Link · Reply

    Thanks for all the great help!
    I have a question, I put 1 thin coat of clear wax on a small hall table and then a coat of dark wax…but the dark doesn’t seem to penetrate. I see hardly any difference, it seemed to all wipe off. I used Trewax (Mahogany)
    Just wondering if you ever used this brand or what I did wrong.
    Thank you!

    • DivaAly · Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Pat,

      I haven’t used this brand before so I’m not sure. There may be something I’m not aware of. But sometimes when dark wax doesn’t show up it’s because the clear wax is too thick a coat. Other times, the clear wax hasn’t had enough of a chance to dry. But if you change those two things and still don’t see a difference I would choose a different brand. Best of luck and let us know what happens. Hugs… Diva Ally

  • Chalk Paint Furniture Makeover | Dawn Nicole · Posted June 28, 2013 at 6:06 am · Link · Reply

    [...] t-shirt to apply the wax. This step was much easier than I’d feared and I found this post on How to Wax Furniture really helpful. I allowed the wax to dry about 24 [...]

    • DivaAly · Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm · Link · Reply

      Thanks for linking the post to your blog Dawn Nicole! Hugs from the divas!

  • Felecia · Posted June 30, 2013 at 11:18 pm · Link · Reply

    A couple of weeks ago I repainted my kitchen cabinets with chalk paint. I used a dark wax on them but am finding that they are easily marred with grease or other cooking items. I used a damp rag to wipe off one of the cabinets & it started taking off the finish. What should I do? Should I add a layer of clear wax? Can I follow up with the polycrylic? Please advise.

    • DivaAly · Posted July 1, 2013 at 10:25 am · Link · Reply

      That sounds horrible! I’m so sorry that happened to you Felicia. This is one of those questions that’s hard to answer without seeing it. But there are a couple of things I want to mention. Sometimes with heat and steam from cooking in a kitchen it might take longer than normal to completely cure. I have a desk that gets pencil marks on it all the time and I’ve even used a spray cleaner without the finish coming off. So You may want to give them another couple of weeks before you do anything and see if that makes the difference. But ultimately I think you’ll be better off using a protective finish over the cabinets… poly, varnish… I used Varathane high traffic for floors. But in my experience, cabinets are not the best place for a wax only finish. And on a completely separate note, if you can’t make it work with what you have, you may want to try ShabbyPaints.com. That’s the paint that the divas are selling now and it has incredible adhesion. You really couldn’t wipe it off with a damp cloth even a couple hours after painting. Good luck and let us know what happens. Diva Ally

  • Darlene · Posted July 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm · Link · Reply

    Great tips for waxing. I have never tried it and now I am ready to tackle the job.

    • DivaAly · Posted July 3, 2013 at 12:43 am · Link · Reply

      Thanks Darlene! Keep us up to date with how you do on that first piece! All the best! Ally

  • Katie · Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm · Link · Reply

    I applied 3 coats of chalk paint, and then 1 coat of Briwax. The wax acted like paint removed and caused the paint bubble up and peel off. What could have caused this?

    • DivaAly · Posted July 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Katie,
      I know it has taken over two weeks for me to respond to this post. I have to tell you… you’ve got me stumped. It’s obviously a chemical reaction. But to what? I’ve never seen this or heard of it while using Briwax over chalk paint. I can tell you that original Briwax contains toluene which is similar to mineral spirits, (although it’s stronger), in that is helps clean and protect wood. I guess it’s possible that the toluene bubbled the paint. Although, I admit this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this happening with chalk paint. Briwax 2000 is free of toluene and might be a better bet if you’re going to take another stab at it. At Shabby Paints we sell Vax, which is a combination wax and varnish. It’s 100% safe and is non-toxic. You may want to give it a shot if you’re going to be working on a similar project in the future. If you find out an answer to what happened, please post. We’d love to know. Best of luck on future projects… I’m sure this was a huge disappointment! Sending a virtual hug to you. Ally

  • Kari · Posted July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm · Link · Reply

    I need help! I tinted my wax for a dresser and let it sit for too long, my son needed me and got distracted. Now I hate the color and feel like its ruined. Its laminate and my base is chalk paint. Advice?

    • DivaAly · Posted July 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm · Link · Reply

      Hey Kari,

      I hope you didn’t pull out your hair yet… or banish your son. lol I’ve got 5 kids… someone always needs something don’t they? Anyway… I’m so sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I’m guessing that you probably solved the problem already. But if it’s just sitting in your garage and you’re still hating it… don’t despair. It’s really easy to remove too much wax from a piece. Just put a little mineral spirits on a rag and gently start rubbing it off. It really will come off. I promise. If you’re nervous about doing too much, I sometimes mix mineral spirits with clear wax and I rub it over the surface and it becomes easier to manipulate the wax underneath. One of our wax posts shows pictures of me doing the exact same thing. We’d love to see some before and afters of your project. Happy Painting and thanks for visiting Paint Divas… Ally

  • Pam · Posted July 20, 2013 at 11:57 am · Link · Reply

    Can you wax over an oak stained cupboard to make it darker?

    • DivaAly · Posted July 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Pam,

      It won’t hurt anything. But I don’t think this will give you the effect you’re looking for. A stained cupboard or cabinet will be sealed and won’t soak in the darkness of the wax. If you want to keep the wood finish look, you’re best bet is to sand and re-stain. All the best. Ally

  • [...] How To Wax Furniture – Chalk Paint Divas – Paint Like a Diva [...]

  • Rebekah · Posted July 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm · Link · Reply

    Thanks for this very helpful advice. I just painted a desk today with Annie Sloan chalk paint and was trying to decide if I should wax or not. You gave great info, and I will be attempting to wax it tomorrow. Thanks for a great post!!

    • DivaAly · Posted July 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm · Link · Reply

      Thanks so much for the nice comment Rebekah! We hope it goes well! We’d love to see pictures when you’re finished. Feel free to post so we can share! All the best, Ally

  • lauren · Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:04 pm · Link · Reply

    Hello Ladies, I am getting ready to chalk paint for the first time and bought plain old Johnsons Paste wax for waxing. It was the only wax at Lowes or Home Depot. Is this OK to use or do I need to go in search of specifically clear wax?

    • DivaAly · Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Lauren,

      I’ve never had a problem with Johnson’s, although I do think there are some waxes that are easier to use, like Fiddes, and Cece Caldwell’s also had a great non-toxic wax too. If you’re going to use the Johnson’s, I would leave it in the sun for a few minutes to soften it a little. That should help you with the application. Also… Shabby Paints, (which is the company the Divas started) sells a brand new product we just invented, called Vax. It’s a varnish – wax combination. It squeezes out and gets brushed on and requires no rubbing or buffing. Good luck on your project. Happy painting from the Divas!

  • Shaina · Posted August 5, 2013 at 9:02 pm · Link · Reply

    I bought some Minwax Paste Finishing Wax to go over my table that I just painted grey. I just saw that it is “natural for lighter woods” is that okay to use? Or am I going to change the color?

    • DivaAly · Posted August 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Shaina,
      It’s always best to do a test patch on an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no weird reaction. But the natural is just Minwax’s version of clear or sheer wax. They have a darker tinted wax for dark wood. Minwax isn’t really taking painter’s into consideration, so they say Natural for light woods just so you don’t put dark wax on your light wood finish. But for your purposes, you’ve got the right thing, and it shouldn’t effect the color of your paint.

      Best of luck,

  • Nadine · Posted August 7, 2013 at 11:55 am · Link · Reply

    Super helpful, thank you!

  • denise · Posted August 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm · Link · Reply

    I am a novice at chalk painting.The first piece I did,when applying the first coat of wax,the color was coming off on the rag–is that normal? If not,what am I doing wrong?

    • DivaAly · Posted August 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Denise… That is very common in a few different brands. And I understand the frustration that comes with that. Some brands, like ASCP, are designed for easy distressing and the piece sort of does what it wants to do. So if you paint and then wax right away you’ll see that the paint sort of rubs off naturally. In fact, some people don’t distress with sandpaper, they just take a damp rag and rub the piece in places where they want the paint to look worn. That’s a great look for some people. But not for everyone. I’ve got a lot of clients who don’t want as much distressing on their furniture, and I found it frustrating that the paint came off so easily in places. So we created a paint of our own. It’s called Shabby Paints. It has excellent adhesion and it only comes off where you purposely distress it. It’s all natural, zero VOC’s and it’s also much less expensive than some other brands. If you’re interested, you can buy it at With that said, you don’t have to switch brands. If you want to stick with the brand that you currently use, I would just let the paint dry for a couple of days before you put the wax on… and that should make a huge difference! Happy Painting!! hugs, Ally

  • Betsy · Posted August 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm · Link · Reply

    Hi Divas! I am going to be distressing a dresser and mirror for my daughter’s college dorm room. They are both natural wood in a pickled white finish. I plan to paint them a beachy blue. I am making my own chalk paint from latex paint, plaster of Paris , and water. All the others cost a bit too much for me. I haven’t done this before, but I’m kind of crafty, so we”ll see what happens. I was REALLY excited to hear about VAX! I was trying to decide which wax to use and that made my mind up. I know you really can’t tell if my homemade chalk paint will rub off with the VAX, but if you had a guess, would you think yes or no? Have y’all ever put a bit of brown stain at the corners and other distressed parts of a piece to simulate darker wood coming through? My daughter goes to school on the Gulf Coast and they have a shop that carries VAX. I am driving down this weekend to see her and she’ll have a bottle waiting for me!! I have been reading every blog I can get my hands on about distressing furniture, and yours is by far the best! Thanks for the awesome blog!!

    • DivaAly · Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Betsy,

      Well first of all… thank you so much for such a nice compliment!! It means the world to us to hear that you’re enjoying the blog! The Vax should work fine on your project. I wouldn’t use wax on it and then Vax. But if you just brush it on over the paint and let it dry and you should be in good shape. As far as the stain goes, I would sand the edges that you want to stain and then do the staining first. Let them dry and then paint over them, so when you distress the stained edges should show through. Many people also put a little bit of vaseline on the edges where they plan to distress. The Vaseline will keep the paint from adhering to the stained edges, so they’ll show through. So much depends on whether or not the wood will accept the darker stain though. If not… try a darker color paint on the edges for the same effect. On another note, ShabbyPaints.com carries chalk-paint in several sizes. The 8 oz. size is $9 and the 16 oz. size is $17. That might be an option rather then making your own. If you do make your own… PLEASE wear a mask. The POP can get into your lungs when it’s dry and it’s toxic. We want all our divas to be safe!:) Best of luck and Happy Painting to you and your daughter!! Hugs, Ally

  • Margaret Traylor · Posted August 15, 2013 at 11:11 am · Link · Reply

    Thanks so much. I’m ready and looking forward to this!

    • DivaAly · Posted August 17, 2013 at 12:06 am · Link · Reply

      Thanks Margaret! Best of luck and thanks for visiting the Divas!

  • marcia · Posted August 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm · Link · Reply

    I have a question…I want to redo white kitchen cabinets. I want to paint them white but want them to have a distressed look. I have been “distressing furniture” using clear wax first over chalk paint and then the dark wax to finish the distressed look. But the furniture turns out beige. Which I like on the pieces I’ve done but I want my cabinets to be white, not beige….please help! Thanks !!

    • DivaAly · Posted August 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Marcia,

      Do a test cabinet first. But the best thing to do would be to add some dark stain or dark paint to the edges of the cabinets first. Once that’s dry, paint them white and when you distress with a little sandpaper you’ll expose the dark color underneath without turning the white color beige. Happy Painting. Diva Ally

  • jessica · Posted August 26, 2013 at 9:19 am · Link · Reply

    Hi, I’m new to c halk paint and wax. I painted a picture frame with an emerald cece chalk paint, let it dry, and clear waxed it with one coat. Well, the wax went on well, darkenened the paint perfectly but as it was drying I noticed it was splotchy. My friend noticed the splotches and said i needed to buff it more before the wax dried (I think she meant rub it in more but I panicked and started buffing away). Anyway, I wanted a more modern satin finish on the frame (I’ve been over the distressed look since the old days of “French Country”) but now it looks splotchy, shiny and distressed. So, my question is can I remedy this by letting the wax warm up and rubbing it in more OR should I just start over? Please help, I have more frames in need of wax but now i’m suffering from wax paralysis :)

    • DivaAly · Posted August 27, 2013 at 5:43 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m so sorry it happened this way… what a drag. To be honest… I think you should start over. I hate to have to tell you that. But it could be a whole bunch of things. You could be having some bleed through from the wood, the paint might not have been dry enough, you could have put on too much wax or not enough. I’d have to see it to make a guess. But let me ask you this…Have you tried Vax? After getting really tired of the effort that goes into waxing, we invented Vax which is like a liquid wax, varnish combination. It’s more durable than wax, is easy to use and if you decide you don’t want to distress your piece, the Vax will just put a beautiful finish coat on whatever treatment you have. Best of luck on finishing your frame projects. :) Diva Ally

  • Renee · Posted August 27, 2013 at 7:54 am · Link · Reply

    How do I clean a Victorian spoon carved shelf????

    • DivaAly · Posted August 27, 2013 at 3:57 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Renee, Can you send a picture? We’re not really a cleaning site… but we’ll sure give you any tips we can if you’d like to show us what the issues are? Thanks. Ally

  • Cindy · Posted August 29, 2013 at 11:57 am · Link · Reply

    WOOO HOOO…. waxing now and coming out BEAUTIFUL! So much better than plastic painted on top. Thank you ladies for your wonderful tips… will also be decoupaging French inspired paper inside drawers and looking at the stencil site you used on your buffet <3 IT!

    • DivaAly · Posted August 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm · Link · Reply

      Send pictures when you’re finished Cindy! We’d love to see. Hugs from the Divas!

  • monique · Posted September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm · Link · Reply

    Great article! So much information. One question though, if I don’t wax will there be a fine dust that happens ever? Sort of like a white piece of chalk that you would use to write on a chalkboard but not as dusty?

    Thank you so much!

    • DivaAly · Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Monique,

      Ummm… I haven’t had that experience. But honestly I tend to use a protective finish because I like how it brings out the color of the paint. I think the bigger concern will be protecting your finish rather than a layer of dust. Let us know if you find out something different. It’s always great to gain information from other people’s experience. Happy Painting… Ally

  • Nelda Johnson · Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm · Link · Reply

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this wonderful article. I put some wax on too thickly and searched the net for solutions. Your article was the best one out there and I was able to fix the problem using a brush and the mineral spirits/glaze technique to remove just the right amount. THANK YOU!!!

    • DivaAly · Posted September 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm · Link · Reply

      Awww… thanks Nelda! That means so much! Happy Painting! Ally

  • Love2CP · Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm · Link · Reply

    I have recently discovered ASCP and I am in love. I really would like to paint the brick on my fireplace. My fireplace has an wood insert.
    Do you think Chalk Paint will cover my outdated tan colored bricks?
    Should I use a lacquer and seal it?
    If I do not seal it, do you think the color will hold up with those bricks closest to the insert box where the brick may be a little warmer when a fire is going?
    Thanks for your help.

    • DivaAly · Posted September 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi there,

      If you’re considering using ASCP on the fireplace, I would contact them directly for specifics. We love to answer general questions about painting and specifically a chalk finish, but we’re not affiliated with ASCP and are not able to give the best information about a specific use for their paint, like on masonry. But there are other important things to consider as well. You’ll want to spend a lot of time cleaning your brick before painting, and use a roll designed for masonry or very thick surfaces. You’ll want to find a paint that is heat resistant if your exterior put out a lot of heat. You also MUST use a fireproof paint inside the firebox where the paint will be exposed to open flame, or leave it unpainted. Once you take care of all those things, I can say that I personally wouldn’t use ASCP or any other chalk finish without sealing it around a fireplace. Ash and soot will deposit around those bricks and cleaning them won’t be an option without a strong sealer ahead of time. For more information about painting fireplaces go to: and always put safety first when painting an area that will be close to an open flame. Happy Painting. Diva Ally

  • Rebecca Steury · Posted September 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm · Link · Reply

    I can’t find an answer to my question. Can you please help me?i need to redo a piece of furniture I did for a neighbor and I need to know if. I can remove the wax so I can repaint it or if I can paint over the wax.Please help me. I have finished several pieces that I am very proud of but this one is a disaster. I started chalk painting at age 72 and have loved doing it. Please help with my question. Thank you ever so much

    • DivaAly · Posted September 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi there Rebecca,

      I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with a redo. I just hate that. :( But we all understand what you’re going through because there isn’t a single one of us out there who hasn’t had to start from scratch from time to time. The good news is that you can absolutely paint over the wax with a chalk finish. Don’t paint over it with latex. But chalk will work fine. There are several brands to choose from. At paint divas we came up with our own line of paints, Shabby Paints. With ours you can definitely paint over the problem. But there are other brands to choose from as well. For more information about buying Shabby Paints go to: Happy Painting, Diva Ally

  • kayleigh · Posted October 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm · Link · Reply

    Hey there! I’m in need of some expert advice pls. I’ve chalk painted my furniture, chose not to wax after a frustrating failed attempt, started sanding it and the paint is turning yellow! (I painted it ivory). The furnitue was a dark red brown… I’m assuming its doing this because of the previous finish that was on it. Is there ANY way to fix this?!!!

    • DivaAly · Posted October 26, 2013 at 12:31 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Kayleigh,

      I know how frustrating that can be. It has happened to me before too. But you’ll be happy to know that there is a quick fix. I use a quick spray of lacquer spray if I’m afraid they’ll be any bleed through. You typically won’t find that on the darker colors, but on some of the lighter colors the red stains will bleed through after it’s painted and can turn the new paint either yellow or sometimes pink. If you give a fine spray of lacquer over the piece and then repaint it will seal in the stain. In the future, you might try it as a precaution before painting over anything that has a deep red or deep brown stain. You might also think about trying Shabby Paints. We started selling Shabby Paints back in June and have very few if any bleed through issues. :) You can find us at Best of luck in all your future projects and Happy Painting! Diva Ally

    • DivaAly · Posted October 26, 2013 at 12:35 am · Link · Reply

      Kayleigh… I also forgot to mention that waxing can sometimes be frustrating, which is why we came up with VAX, our liquid wax with a varnish component that just brushes on with no rubbing or buffing. However, if you want to give wax another shot… try soaking the can in some hot water first to soften it, you may find that it goes on a little easier! All the best, Ally

  • Liz · Posted November 15, 2013 at 6:43 am · Link · Reply

    Thanks for your info…so good to know I dont have to buy the expensive wax brush….going to give my little pine wash stand that I just chalk painted a go…great tip on the wine and music too…cheers!

    • DivaAly · Posted November 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm · Link · Reply

      Thanks so much Liz! Happy painting! hugs, Ally

  • donna carr · Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:53 am · Link · Reply

    Hi~just stumbled upon your fabulous website! wish all this info was around (or the internet, for that matter!) when i was distressing furniture 20 years ago and didnt really know what i was doing, or that it had a name. Anyway, i was wondering if you have tried Johnson’s paste wax over Bin Zinsser Primer 123 PLUS. I am IN LOVE with that primer and won’t do a project without it. In case you are unaware what the ‘plus’ means, it means that the Zinsser people discovered a bug from somewhere in a land far, far away that secretes something that allows oil to mix with water. So, the primer is thus…oil-based AND water-based. I also LOVE the shellac-based one by Zinsser (or Bin…I can’t figure it out!) but you have to clean up with ammonia which I’m not too fond of putting on my skin. SOOO, back to my question, will Johnson’s Paste Wax work on my WHITE dining room table? I love the flatness of the primer and it is the final look I’m after but I was told by BIN that after time, it could get chalky and/or yellowish. So, I need to wax it with something. Minwax told me that I shouldn’t use their wax over paint. A call to Johnson’s is on my to-do list for today but thought i’d share my thoughts with you girls. HELP!!!! and thanks so much!!!

    • DivaAly · Posted November 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Donna,

      I have tried Johnson’s Paste wax and it’s not my favorite on furniture. Don’t get me wrong… it works. But, in my opinion, it doesn’t have the ease of use that some others have. I prefer Daddy Van’s wax. However, I wouldn’t use either product on a dining table because of the limited durability. The best case scenario will put you in a position to wax again in a few months and in the worst case you’ll begin to see scratches after a while and the paint will begin to get dirty and will be difficult to clean. I would recommend a finish coat of Varnish. If you want to go with poly, make sure it’s water, rather than oil-based for the least chance of yellowing… or (at the risk of being self-serving) you may want to check out our Shabby Paints Varnish. It’s no Voc’s, 100% safe and non-toxic. It cleans up easily with soap and water and has a low satin sheen. I think it’s the best product on the market for durability without changing the appearance of the paint underneath. Best of luck on your table, Diva Ally

  • McKenna Behrens · Posted November 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm · Link · Reply

    Hello! Your tutorial was so helpful! But I am still unsure about this: Is chalk paint (Annie Sloan) and wax (Annie Sloan) okay for a baby crib? I don’t want this to be toxic for my first baby! And I have heard different things – you all seem to know this well!

    Thanks for the posts! If it is bad, would you let me know of another way I could achieve the same look? THanks!

    • DivaAly · Posted January 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi McKenna,

      I would check with Annie Sloan to get up to date information on their paints and toxicity of their products. We always want to make it clear that we’re not affiliated with ASCP, so we don’t speak for them. I can tell you that ASCP has always been a low-VOC product… but not a “no-VOC” product, and their wax formula does have toxic ingredients. Once cured it’s possible that their wax would be ok on a crib. But if it were me, I would be more apt to choose products that were completely non-toxic and 100% VOC-free. Cece Caldwell makes a paint that has no VOC’s and the Divas make a line of products called Shabby Paints that are also family and baby safe. Our products are 100% non-toxic, family safe and zero-VOC’s. You can find them at ShabbbyPaints.com
      Send us pictures when you’re finished. We’d love to see how the crib comes out and best of luck with the baby! :) Happy Painting. Ally

  • P. B · Posted November 23, 2013 at 9:45 am · Link · Reply

    Thank you. Very good information!

  • Kathy C. · Posted December 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm · Link · Reply

    I live in Florida, and I am prepping a piece to put in a very sunny back room….what temp is considered warm enough to make he wax a bad idea? Our house can get hot at times.
    Can I use hemp oil over chalk paint instead?

    • DivaAly · Posted January 5, 2014 at 11:12 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Kathy,

      I don’t really know anything about Hemp Oil… but Vax sounds like it would be the perfect thing for you. ( Vax has the low level luster of wax but the durability of varnish and it doesn’t melt in the sun or heat. The other great thing is that it doesn’t have to be reapplied down the road and it’s completely non-toxic. You paint it on with a brush just like a layer of paint and there’s no rubbing or buffing. I’m not sure what temperature would be too hot for wax… but I would think if you got much above 90 degrees F you’d be unhappy with the results. Best of luck and happy painting! Diva Ally

  • LINDA HENRY · Posted January 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm · Link · Reply


    • DivaAly · Posted January 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Yes, absolutely. A chalk finish is a great choice for your cabinets. Make sure that you thoroughly wash them down before painting… or…even though you don’t have to sand, I always do a light sanding on kitchen cabinetry because there is sometimes a build up from grease or other food particles that are easier to sand off than wash off. When you’re finished painting, you can use wax on your cabinetry, but be prepared to re-wax down the line. I’ve used wax in the past, but I’m a bigger fan of a non-toxic varnish for cabinetry. It’s great for durability and gives a nice smooth finish. happy painting… Ally

  • Deb · Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm · Link · Reply

    I first used a water based stain, then did a chalk paint dry brush technique over top of that. Now I plan on waxing it. Have you ever done this type of finish before. Love the look of the piece so far, just want to protect it with the wax.

    • DivaAly · Posted January 25, 2014 at 12:03 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Deb,

      I haven’t done that before. But I wouldn’t be afraid to try it. I don’t think you’ll have any problem. Post a picture when you’re finished. We’d love to see it. :) Happy Creating!! Ally

  • Jean Cameron · Posted January 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm · Link · Reply

    Who else makes dark wax? Can I make AS’s clear wax dark with???

    • DivaAly · Posted February 7, 2014 at 4:39 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Jean,

      Many, many companies make dark paste waxes. Fiddes and Minwax are two popular brands that you don’t have to buy at specialty shops. But they are, by no means, the only brands out there. Now that we make our own brand of paints at ShabbyPaints.com I use our hazelnut Vax (a wax and varnish combination) to age and darken my projects. But it’s easy enough to darken a clear wax by adding dark wax to it. We don’t represent ASCP at all and we always want to make that clear to people… so any specialty questions regarding their products should be directed to them. With that said, I can say from my personal experience that I have mixed dark wax with several brands of clear waxes (including ASCP) in order to create a medium brown and it has always worked really well. I also like to add a small amount of mineral spirits to make the paste softer and easier to apply. Best of luck! Ally

  • corey · Posted February 6, 2014 at 9:38 pm · Link · Reply

    Love your site. Tons of info!

    I have a question about waxing. I can only find minwax paste wax and it’s not really a clear wax. Can I still use it over white chalk paint? Will it yellow?

    • DivaAly · Posted February 7, 2014 at 4:51 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Corey,

      Thanks for the kind words! Even though Minwax doesn’t appear clear in the can, their wax does dry clear and it doesn’t give the yellowing that you see with some poly finishes. With that said, I find that wax always darkens a piece, just by virtue of the fact that it’s soaking into the paint. So while I don’t considering it yellowing, you might not feel that your white looks quite as bright as when you started, after applying any brand of wax. If you’re using a warm white and you’re giving it a distressed look, I think you’ll like the finish anyway. If you’re going for the modern, bright white, I might opt for something other than wax. There are beautiful clear sealers out there. At Shabby Paints we have a beautiful no VOC varnish and our no VOC Vax, which is a liquid wax/varnish combination. But there are many products on the market such as water based Varathane. Best of luck! Ally

  • Nell Pace · Posted February 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm · Link · Reply

    Thank you! Bought a small unfinished gray table and started waxing. Then I got the bright idea to find out how to put on wax. So I’ve been doing the “wax on and wax off” routine for two weeks. Nice to know I only had to put on one coat and don’t absolutely follow the grain. Rubbing in circles is so much more relaxing. I have finished and the piece looks great. It was a gray stained small table that goes in a down stairs powder room. It looks awesome.

    • DivaAly · Posted February 13, 2014 at 7:07 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Neil…. Thanks for letting us know! It’s so fun to hear such great feedback. We’d love to see you post your piece on our page! big Diva hug! Ally

  • Jennifer · Posted February 14, 2014 at 2:09 am · Link · Reply

    Hi there – I am attempting my first furniture piece…and just getting ready to buy all the supplies. Where would I be able to purchase this VAX you mentioned? I live in Canada, and would love to try this product…

    • DivaAly · Posted February 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      Vax is available at ShabbyPaint.com. It’s going to be available in Canada in the next 6 months and hopefully for shipping to Canada in the next month or so.

      Thanks, Ally

  • ange morgan · Posted February 17, 2014 at 8:03 am · Link · Reply

    Thank you for the first “full” story of wax applications I have seen. There are many techniques you shared that I cannot wait to try! Thanks again

    • DivaAly · Posted February 17, 2014 at 8:56 pm · Link · Reply

      Hey Ange… thanks so much for the nice feedback. I’m always excited to hear that I’ve been able to help. :) Happy waxing! Ally

  • Marty · Posted February 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm · Link · Reply

    can i use wax over a semi gloss paint?

    • DivaAly · Posted February 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm · Link · Reply

      The sheen of any paint adds to the protective barrier and make it less porous. That’s why people use semi-gloss paints for bathrooms and kitchens… because they’re easier to clean. The downside is they’re also harder to penetrate with decorative finishes. Wax is great for a chalk finish or even a flat latex, because they’re so porous and they absorb the wax. But wax is not ideal for satin, semi-gloss or gloss sheens. I would recommend using a water based poly of semi-gloss paint. Best of luck… Ally

  • Liz · Posted February 18, 2014 at 8:56 am · Link · Reply

    I painted a large bookcase with Annie Sloan chalk paint then waxed with AS clear wax. I was not completely happy with the tone of the paint color and the evenness of the wax application on the large sides so I decided to make a glaze with dark wax and mineral spirits, brush on and wipe with the grain with a piece of cheesecloth. I used Briwax tudor brown because I already had some. My question- Was it OK to use Briwax in this way and to layer Briwax over Annie Sloan? Also, how long does it need to dry? It seems a little moist after about 16 hours so far. Do I need to buff it later and if so what is the best thing to buff it with?

    • DivaAly · Posted February 21, 2014 at 3:37 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Liz… first I always want people to know that we are not affiliated with Annie Sloan in any way. Any advice we give is just based on experience, not official product information from ASCP. I believe that ASCP would tell you that their products are designed to go together and not work with other products. In my experience, you CAN combine products and I would not worry about having used Briwax. That said, layering waxes when one layer is not completely dry can always lead to longer drying times. But after 24 hours I would advise buffing. Buffing always takes the extra wax off and gives you the smoothest finish. For large items, I have a buffing attachment that goes on my drill. It’s designed for waxing a car. But I’ve had great luck with it on those huge pieces when it really gets exhausting. Otherwise I just use clean white cotton t-shirt material. My sons are afraid to see me go near their t-shirt drawers these days. :) But if you don’t have any kids to steal from… you can pick some up at Lowes or Walmart for a few bucks. Best of luck on your project! Ally

  • Cheri Antonsen · Posted February 23, 2014 at 9:36 am · Link · Reply

    My question is. We made a bar out of old items such as old panel door old bed posts and such I painted it flat black. I want to wax it but Iam having troubles with lint coming off on the piece. I used old shirts to apply and take off wax and I still get lint, do you have any suggestions how to solve that problem. Thank you Cheri

    • DivaAly · Posted February 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Cheri,

      I know that can be scary after you’ve already put in all the work. Here are a couple of tips… I find that bags of rags (from Lowes or Walmart or any store) tend to leave less lint than washed t-shirts from home. Washed t-shirts have looser and thinner fibers than what you’d get from the store because of the many washings. If you’re finding a particularly heavy layer of lint, you may have on a lot more wax than you need. If that’s the case, try putting a bit of mineral spirits on one of the rags to get it a little damp. (see my post on dark waxing). I know that sounds counterintuitive. But it helps get the excess wax off the piece… and the lint with it. And finally… buffing does a world of good. The more you buff, the more you get down to the actual paint and the less things will stick. Try these things in an inconspicuous place until you get the hang of it. Lots of people start with the top part of their project… but that’s the part that people see the most. I’d start with a leg until you see the result you want! Best of luck!! Ally

  • cathy · Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm · Link · Reply

    I have applied one coat of clear and then one coat of dark wax to a chair. It loks great but I feel like there needs to be some finish applied for protection against scratches, like on thecnair rungs. So two questions. First, would another coat of clear waxover the cured dark wax be enough or can I apply a watsr based acdylic over the dark wax ? I just discovered your site and lov e the premise of sharing and developing a painting community without any product pushing or ads. Well done !

    • DivaAly · Posted March 6, 2014 at 5:22 am · Link · Reply

      Hi Cathy,

      Thanks for all the kind words. The downside of wax is that it needs to be reapplied, and like you mentioned it’s not great on a surface that gets a lot of wear. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find something to go over the wax to protect it. I have two suggestions. One is to try applying the water based poly. I know it can work, but I don’t know what brands of products you’re using and what was originally on the chairs. There are a lot of variable reactions with different products. So I would recommend doing a test patch first. Sometimes wax can repel other protective finishes and I’d hate for all your hard work to crack or peel because you didn’t test it first. I would get a scrap piece of wood and duplicate what you did on the chairs. Then spray the poly on it before the chairs. The second question comes at the risk of having you think I might be pushing a product. :) We created a product last year called Vax. It’s a combination of liquid Varnish and liquid wax and it’s completely VOC free and non-toxic. You don’t need to use wax before you use it. But you can brush it over most brands of wax for added protection. You can buy Vax at ShabbyPaints.com. I hope that helps! Best of luck on your project… Ally

  • Heather · Posted March 22, 2014 at 8:00 am · Link · Reply

    I want to chalk paint and wax/distress a double wooden bench, would this be safe to sit on and not ruin clothes..Thanks !

    • DivaAly · Posted March 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Heather,

      Absolutely! A wooden bench is the perfect thing to do. The biggest difference between chalk paint and other paints is how it’s applied. But once it’s dry it’s just like any other paint and it won’t come off. Typically wax will cure and become part of the paint, so you won’t have any problems with it coming off either… with one exception. Wax is not made for extremely hot temperatures. So if you’re planning to put the bench outside and you live in Arizona you might want to use a protective finish different from wax. If you live in a moderate climate or even where it gets very cold… but not extremely hot for extended periods you should be fine. Best of luck! Ally

Write a Comment



Search Paint Divas

Subscribe to Chalk Paint Divas

Who hates waxing? Who Hates Buffing?
Who hates stinky toxic waxes?
Throw that can away and start VAXING
chalk paint pink

Grisham Interiors