How to create a bleached effect with white wax - Techniques | Annie Sloan
Techniques

How to: Use White Wax for a Bleached Coastal Effect

Today, I’m going to show you some White Wax and to do that I’m going to paint this chair. I’m going to give it a coastal look.

I think this has got a sort of deckchair look about it. I’m going to paint it in Paris Grey and then I’m going to put the White Wax on it.

[painting] I’m going to go all over with the Paris Grey. I’m going to go in the direction of the slats. I don’t want to go every which way, which I sometimes do. So brushwork is very, very important. The way you hold your brush and the way you use your brush for each piece will make a huge difference. So sometimes you might paint every which way and other times you might paint like this – up and down. As I said, this is for a coastal look and something a little bit modern. I don’t want it to look very distressed.

[Finishes painting] So now I’m going to apply the White Wax to this piece of furniture. It’s good for coastal looks. I think it’s good for Swedish looks. Or just when you want to make something really gentle and quiet. So I’ve got my Wax Brush. I’ve got, my wax – my White Wax – and this one I’m not going to put any Clear Wax on at all.

[Starts waxing] I’m just going to start waxing it and just get as much as I want. I quite like the way that it’s slightly uneven looking. Getting the pointy bit of that going into there and places and softening it out. Just using very lightly the Wax Brush there. So it’s not always brushing on heavily but sometimes just lightly doing it so you’ve got actually a little bit of a stripe going on and some places you even make use of the fact that it goes on a bit unevenly.

That’s that whole bleached look. But of course I could, if I wanted to, and even in places, I might take a cloth and just wipe it away a bit, so it’s very gentle. It doesn’t have to be even all over. If I was going to do a Swedish look, I may brush in slightly more. If there was any carving, I might allow the White Wax to go into the crevices and the other part I’d wipe away.

What I like about it, is that it sort of changes the whole look. The colour as well. The look and the colour, so there it’s very flat and here you’ve suddenly got depth to it. It’s a very pleasing finish this.

[Standing next to finished chair] So here’s my coastal chair. It’s looking a bit like driftwood and ready to go! Actually I need to leave it a few days to harden so the wax hardens. At the moment, it’s a little bit soft. So leave it a few days and then it’s ready to go, and it’ll be really hard wearing.

Learn how to get a bleached coastal look simply using White Chalk Paint® Wax.

You don’t have to live by the sea to enjoy the the coastal look. The blanched and muted colours, that bleached effect on furniture: these can be recreated quite simply using White Chalk Paint® Wax. Whatever the scale of your project – whether it’s a picture frame or a whole set of dining chairs – the steps to creating a washed coastal look are the same.

Start by choosing your Chalk Paint® colour. Lovely soft blues and greys would work perfectly here. Then all you need is White Chalk Paint® Wax, a brush and a lint-free cloth. Have fun experimenting with applying White Chalk Paint® Wax over different paint colours to see how they blanche – you can even use it directly on wood for a limed oak look!

Step by step guide to using white wax for a bleached coastal furniture finish

  1. Paint your piece of furniture with a coat of Chalk Paint® in your chosen colour.
  2. Allow the paint to dry (the paint should feel dry to the touch).
  3. Apply White Chalk Paint® Wax using a Chalk Paint® Wax Brush.
  4. Wipe back any excess with a lint-free cloth.
  5. Allow the wax to cure (harden) before use. It will be touch dry within 24 hours, but will take up to 2 weeks to fully harden. You can use it during this time, but be gentle.

Now you know how to create that bleached coastal effect on your furniture, you can see what a simple and effective technique this can be. It’s also a great technique to use for a Swedish or Scandinavian look. White Wax instantly mutes colours for a soft, quiet look that would feel as at home by the seaside as in any setting. As soon as you’re ready to start, make sure you support local by buying White Chalk Paint® Wax through your nearest Annie Sloan Stockist.

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