Wax On Wax Off

July 3, 2012

Wax On… Wax Off

How to use furniture wax for chalk paint.

Just the other day, I walked into my local Annie Sloan stockist and had a conversation about dark wax with one of the sales girls. It’s a hot topic for a lot of my chalk paint friends, because we’ve all struggled with our technique.

 

Dark wax can be very persnickety. Sometimes it’s too stiff and hard to move around. Sometimes I don’t get it off quickly enough, or it leaves uneven streaks. And when I use one of the lighter paint colors, the dark wax can make my projects look… well, just dirty.

 

If you’ve spent the money to take a class you’ve probably been told that the rule of dark wax is… use it first, then rub it off with the clear wax. Well here’s what I know about that. It’s sort of like when your friend divulges her secret family recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but no matter how many times you try, yours never quite come out the same. Then later you find out that she “mistakenly” left out a key ingredient… like the chocolate chips.

 

So here are a couple of tips I’ve learned on my own.

 

1)       Rather than straight dark wax, I mix together equal parts dark and clear in an old wax container. I think it gives a better color and it makes my dark wax go further. I also think the small amount can move around in the can and be a little more pliable.

 

2)       I put a light coat of clear wax on before the dark. It’s much easier to manipulate the dark after the piece has soaked up some of the clear. Then after the dark, I rub some more clear wax on to take away the excess. The furniture is so hungry for that first coat of wax that I don’t like to make it be the dark one.

 

3)       I leave my wax in the sun for a few minutes before I ever use it. It makes it a lot easier to work with. In fact, if I want to use it like a glaze, I let it melt in the sun until it’s a liquid. It hardens right back up when I’m finished. But it’s fun to use it like a glaze to get right into those spaces that are hard to reach.

 

For a long time I just couldn’t seem to get that perfect aged looked that I’d always see in other people’s photos… the glossy, to-die-for ones that showcase everything just perfectly.

 

Now mine look just like those pieces… even if I don’t always have the crystal clear photography to prove it.

How to use furniture wax for chalk paint

6 Comments

  • Debbie dickman · Posted January 18, 2013 at 8:35 am · Link · Reply

    I also often use a separate container and add a very small amount of mineral spirits – just enough to make the consistency like soft butter. It goes on much more evenly and is easier to wipe off where you’d like. Adding too much takes the wax to a glaze, which I frequently do as well. Just depends on which effect you are looking for. Debbie

  • Jenny B. · Posted January 22, 2013 at 10:23 pm · Link · Reply

    Hi there! I’m painting my kitchen cabinets with ASCP right now, and your blog is a wealth of information! I’m curious about leaving the wax out in the sun to soften… does it matter what the temperature is? We’ve had some sunny days lately, but the temp is below 50. Will it still work if it’s cold out? Is there another way to soften it if the cold will counteract the sunshine? I thought about setting the wax can on top of the stove while something was baking in the oven (I often soften butter that way). :)

    • DivaSha · Posted January 24, 2013 at 1:10 am · Link · Reply

      If you can get some direct sunlight it should but you can always put some in a small plastic dish then sit that in a larger bowl of hot water careful not to let it get wet. I don’t personally use hard paste type waxes but I’ll refer to Diva Aly.

    • DivaAly · Posted January 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Jenny, I don’t think you’ll get much softening if it’s below 50, even in the sun. You can definitely soften it on a warm stove. That’s clever. The other thing a lot of people do it set the tin in a bowl of very hot water. Also, one of our readers uses this trick, which I do with dark wax… it’s a great idea. So from Debbie, “I also often use a separate container and add a very small amount of mineral spirits – just enough to make the consistency like soft butter. It goes on much more evenly and is easier to wipe off where you’d like. Adding too much takes the wax to a glaze, which I frequently do as well. Just depends on which effect you are looking for.” Good luck!

  • Cornelius · Posted February 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm · Link · Reply

    Heya! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I had to
    ask. Does managing a well-established blog such as yours require
    a massive amount work? I am brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to
    share my personal experience and thoughts online. Please let me know
    if you have any recommendations or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!

    • DivaAly · Posted March 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm · Link · Reply

      Hi Cornelius,

      Thanks for the kinds words. I’m not sure that we’re that well-established. But I appreciate hearing it.:) The truth is, I wish I had more time to spend posting. But with a busy paint business sometimes answering questions is the best I can do. Since I don’t have a ton of time I think it helps that there are lots of tips that people can refer back to all the time. None of our material is time-sensitive which is good for the amount of time we can spend on line. I also think it helps to connect to an audience in a specific way. We focus on furniture and chalk finishes. We don’t cover all DIY or all paints. We sort of specialize in this one little area which gives us a great following of nice people who are really interested. I wish you all the best as you make your way into blogging! Enjoy what you’re doing and it will show through… that’s the best advice there is! Good luck!:) Ally

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