Techniques

How to: Use Liming Wax on Wood Furniture

I’m going to show you how to bring out the grain in this beautiful frame and if you find anything which is really oaky and got a strong grain to it, then this is the method to do it.

Mine is a really beautiful frame. It’s got a lot of… you can hear, it’s very, very textured! So what I’m going to use is my White Wax. Here’s my brush. This is going to take a little bit of work because the wood is very dry, so I have to really push the brush and the bristles in to all the grain, all the three-dimensional parts. And the wax is really absorbing in.

This is a technique which copies the old whitewash look, but we’re using wax to achieve it. People have called it pickling, and liming itself has just become its own thing. So all the old oak beams in the old houses would have been whitewashed and then they’d get this beautiful patina.

So here’s a nice bit here because there’s a lot of lovely wood grain, that’s going to really look good. If you’ve got a piece of wood which is oak, but it’s got a varnish on it, you will be able to achieve this look but it won’t be nearly so strong. This is going to be much stronger looking, or more prominent rather. And now I’m going to get my cloth out, just a piece of cotton cloth, and start to wipe it.There’s the very nice bit up here, that is really beautiful!

At this stage I can still play about with it, so I’m going to take a little bit of Clear Wax and maybe just try along the edge, and that will just take it… it’s like an eraser: it rubs it away. And it might just make it more apparent. I could just do the edge there and keep this bit whiter.

So this is my finished piece, it’s brought out the grain of the wood beautifully I think and I really, really love it. I might even just use it as it is, no picture inside!

Learn how to achieve a traditional limed oak look with White Chalk Paint® Wax.

If you have a piece of wood with a strong, visible grain to it – something like oak – you can really bring out this wood grain with liming wax. This isn’t a difficult technique to learn. You don’t need to bring out any paints – all you need is White Chalk Paint® Wax, a Wax Brush and a lint-free cloth.

Essentially, liming wax is a white wax that soaks right down into the grain of the wood. This technique has been called liming of even ‘pickling’ and would have been used on the old oak beams in houses. What you want to do is really work the wax into the grain, and then wipe it back so all the wax stays deep in the grain and comes off the outer surface of the wood. This is a great technique for bringing out the character of the wood, as well as creating a washed coastal look. It works really well on oak, especially if it’s unvarnished.

Step by step guide to liming wood with White Chalk Paint® Wax

  1. Charge your Chalk Paint® Wax Brush with White Chalk Paint® Wax.
  2. Apply the White Wax directly to the wood, pushing the bristles of your brush right into the grain.
  3. Use a piece of lint-free cloth to wipe back the wax. The wax should stay in the wood grain.
  4. If you want to adjust the amount of White Wax anywhere, you can do this using Clear Chalk Paint® Wax – it acts almost like a magic eraser! Dip a lint-free cloth in your Clear Wax and then use it to rub off any White Wax where you don’t want it. Do this while the White Wax is still soft.
  5. Allow the wax to harden. This curing process can take between 5-21 days at which stage the wax will be completely hard. If you need to clean your waxed finish once it has cured, simply do so with a damp cloth.

Using liming wax on wood is a great way to celebrate the natural grain in wood. It creates a beautiful, traditional limed oak look and sits well in a rustic country style home or a coastal space. If you’re ready to try liming wax for yourself, remember to shop local and buy White Chalk Paint® Wax from your local Annie Sloan Stockist. When you’re done, take a picture of your finished project and share it with the Annie Sloan community using #AnnieSloan.

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