Techniques

5 things to know about Chalk Paint® Wax

Hello, I’m Annie Sloan. Welcome to my studio. There are five questions that I get asked frequently about Wax and I’m going to answer them today.

So I  get asked ‘do I have to wax my furniture?’. Yes, you do. If you don’t it’s going to get marked – water will harm it. You need to be able to protect it in some way, and I devised the wax to go with the paint. I think the wax is the most beautiful, I really love it. It’s got a lovely mellow feel to it – a lovely mellow sheen. You can lacquer as well but my preferred thing is Wax.

So this is the Clear Wax – it looks white but it’s not. This is my wax brush and I’m just going to load it up…  I’m going to load quite a lot up on there. So, you can see the amount of wax on there and basically, I’m going to start waxing. I think people have got their different ways of waxing… I prefer to do quite long marks, some people liketo do that, that’s fine you can. For me it’s just straight up and down and keep going. I would do an area at a time, so I’m doing this central area here. [I] didn’t load it up enough… you want to have quite a lot on there so you can move it around quickly. Going each and every way so that you make certain that you get everywhere done. I’m going to open that up… So now you can see in some areas it’s slightly thicker than others. I’ve got white bits there showing up, that’s fine you don’t need to fiddle too much, it’s gone everywhere, you’ll see that it’s covered because it’s gone slightly darker.

So the second question I get asked is “how to remove excess wax?”. So you’ll find I’ve got little bits of white wax that are showing, and some areas are probably thicker than others, so you take some cloth, this is lint-free cloth, this is actually old sheeting, and then you just wipe over it. I’m not buffing it at this stage, no buffing just wiping off the excess.

So this leads us on to question three: “how long do you wait before you start waxing?”. So about an hour. Makes the whole thing’s dry and then you can start waxing.

So the next question I get asked is about buffing. I think there’s a confusion between wiping excess wax off and buffing. Buffing to me is where you’re getting a shine on it – that’s what I’m talking about. When i just wipe off the excess wax that’s it, it’s finished, I don’t need to do any more, but if I want to buff, ie get a shine,  I’m going to leave that overnight let the wax dry, remember it’s an oil thing so the oil needs to dry off, let it dry overnight, next day come in and then start polishing. You can use a cloth or you can even use a brush. There are some polishing brushes, but don’t start doing it immediately because all you’re doing is wiping waxes around, oily wax. So the best thing to do is just start doing that. Now that’s not polishing, but if it was dry it would polish up beautifully.

So finally question number five. People say  “I’ve waxed, my paintwork looked beautiful, then I waxed and now it’s all ruined. Everything looks terrible – it was the wax that did it!”. I’m afraid not. It was not the wax that did it. I’m afraid it was the paintwork underneath. So what is the solution? The solution is to leave it a couple of days and repaint and then re-wax, but when you paint do it really really evenly and don’t do that brush mark where you press hard.

So that’s the answer to the five frequently asked questions about Chalk Paint® Wax.

Annie Sloan demonstrates how to use Chalk Paint® Wax while providing all the handy tips and tricks you'll ever need.

1. Do I have to wax my furniture?

In short: yes. Yes, you do have to Wax your furniture. If you don’t, it’ll get marked. Water could damage the Chalk Paint®. It could be scratched or otherwise compromised if left unprotected. (The exception to this rule is mirrors, frames, ornaments and anything that is not touched or moved frequently!) I devised the wax specifically to work with Chalk Paint® to offer not only protection but also to give a beautiful mellow sheen to your furniture. It beautifies as it protects. Alternatively, you can use Matt or Gloss Chalk Paint® Lacquer. Matt will give a slightly clouded finish whereas Gloss Chalk Paint® Lacquer will give a high-end sheen.

2. How do I remove excess Chalk Paint® Wax?

“I’ve applied too much wax”, “Help! I’ve used too much Chalk Paint® Wax – how do I fix it” and “how can I undo overwaxing” are frequent emails to the Annie Sloan customer service team. Fixing this issue is easiest done when you’ve first made the mistake. You can tell you’ve used too much Wax because you’ll see opaque white lumps or streaks. Just wipe away using a lint-free cloth. If you’ve applied too much Chalk Paint® Wax and not really realised until it’s dried, you can still correct the issue. Some people recommend white spirits/mineral spirits but these are full of nasty chemicals. The safest way to remove Chalk Paint® Wax is to just apply another thin coat of wax. It sounds counterintuitive, but the oils in the new layer will ‘wake up’ the underlying wax, making it easy to remove all of the excess. Wipe away the excess using a clean absorbent cloth in a slow steady motion. Have extras on hand so you can replace the one you are working with when it becomes clogged with wax. After all of the excess is removed, treat as you would any freshly waxed piece of furniture. Allow to dry overnight and then cure over the next few weeks.

Application Tips: Annie always uses her Wax Brush and loads it up with quite a lot of product before applying in long strokes. She brushes in every direction and works quickly to move the Wax around and cover every part of a small area before moving onto the next patch. You can easily see where you’ve waxed because the colour of your furniture will be slightly darker.

3. How long to wait before waxing?

Usually about an hour. This can be longer or shorter depending on the temperature and humidity of where you are, as well as other variables such as how thickly you’ve applied the paint. That said, Chalk Paint® is designed to dry quickly. Use your fingers to test.

4. What’s the difference between buffing and removing excess wax?

Removing excess Wax from your paint project and buffing are totally different. You should always use a lint-free cotton cloth to remove excess wax, whereas choosing to buff is a decorative choice. Buffing creates a shine on your furniture and is only possible once the Wax has dried. Leave your furniture overnight to allow the Wax to dry fully, and don’t attempt to buff until the following day. If you don’t wait 24 hours you’ll find you’re simply removing the wax or wiping it around. You can use a lint-free cloth or a polishing brush to buff, do so with firm pressure and circular or back and forth motions on the same spot until you’ve achieved the desired level of shine. The more you buff, the shinier your finish will be.

5. What if I don’t like the finished result? What if after Waxing my furniture it looks bad.

Sometimes people will say, “I used Chalk Paint® and it looked perfect. Then I waxed and the Wax has made it look terrible”. “It was the Wax that did it”. I have bad news: this is a Chalk Paint® error. The mistake will have been in the paint application and the application of Wax simply emphasises these errors. Any inconsistencies in paintwork will be highlighted by wax. Repaint after a couple of days, try diluting the paint with water if it’s going on too thickly. It’ll apply more evenly, dry less quickly and won’t hold onto brush marks and textures so much.

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