14 Jan Great Tips for Waxing Painted Furniture
My sister and I both used to dread waxing furniture when we first started painting furniture especially when using dark wax. We spent over a year trying different brands and experimenting with different methods, techniques and suggestions with little improvement.
I contacted several manufacturers and stockists try and figure out what I was doing wrong but never got the hang of achieving a solid finish. I ended up more frustrated with each failed attempt, then I got sick, very sick, with what seemed like a never ending pneumonia. This went on for four months before specialists figured out it was the chemicals I was working with that were causing the problems within my lungs.
That was a blessing in disguise because it led me in search of products that are ALL natural, better not only for my health, but the health of everyone else around me me too. I work in the house often, so not exposing my family to anything is essential.
Of all the waxes I’ve tried, American Paint Company’s Clear and Dark Antiquing Waxes are my favorite. They leave you with the nicest finishes and they’re the easiest to use.
American Paint Company’s Waxes (referred to as “Vintage Antiquing Wax”) are all natural. They’re not made with toxic chemicals or horrible smelling ingredients found in many other waxes and finishes.
Have you ever taken the time to read the ingredients on your wax? You haven’t? Really? If you haven’t – you should; especially if you’re using them without a respirator, in an enclosed area or around your family. Your not using other waxes around your kids – are you?
Hmm – better go grab your can of wax and read the ingredients on the back. If your wax makes the hairs on your nose curl when you open it, it’s probably bad for you and your family. The ingredients should be listed on your can. If they’re not – beware! Either get rid of it or contact the company and demand to know what you’re exposing yourself to.
I experienced respiratory problems which cost me thousands in medical bills before I found out the exposure to chemicals in the products I had been using was the culprit. Not that everyone will have those issues, but I certainly can’t use them and would never recommend those products to anyone working around children, anyone who’s pregnant, or has any type immune deficiency.
My doctor cut me off and said no more. I was told to change my career or find a green alternative. From that day forward, I have sought out healthier alternatives, choosing green whenever possible.
American Paint Company’s Vintage Antiquing Waxes are non-petroleum based. The ingredients are listed on the can so you don’t have to guess what’s in it. They’re much easier to use than most other waxes and they don’t stink because they’re not laden with awful chemicals.
American Paint Company’s waxes are softer than a paste wax and glide on like butter. They can be applied with a rag or a brush. It’s a personal choice. A lot of people like using rags to apply it but I have to have my favorite brushes. Everyone has something they “HAVE” to have. For me, it’s my pillow, my LaZboy, my heating pad and my brushes. Everyone has “something” they have to have whether it be certain clothes, cars, ice cream…
I don’t need fancy cars or fancy clothes, but I do have a thing for good brushes!
My favorite Wax Brush to date is still this 1-1/2″ Round Wax Brush
I’m light handed when I paint but when it comes to waxing, I’m not. I work the wax into the paint, almost scrubbing it in with my brush. The method in which wax is applied varies from one person to the next, some wipe on then wipe off (I don’t), other’s apply with a rag. I recommend trying different methods to see what works best for you.
I prefer to apply wax with brushes; the process is very quick. I really scrub my wax into the paint to make sure it provides a thorough seal. The color of the paint immediately deepens as the wax goes on so you can see where you’ve applied it and then it will lighten back up to it’s intended color once the wax has dried and is buffed.
I also choose to apply my wax generously however, I do NOT waste the wax by wiping it back off with a rag. I work in sections scrubbing the wax into the paint. I let it set a few minutes then continue onto the next section. When my brush has less wax on it, I go back over the first areas and use the brush to sweep any wax that didn’t soak in onto the next area… Does that make sense? I can shoot a quick video it that would help.
Because it brushes on so easily, you’ll be amazed how much time you save. I’m not kidding! I used to dread waxing, especially when working with dark wax, but now I look forward to it. I know that sounds totally geeky, but I’m serious. This stuff is awesome!
American Paint Company’s Wax is available in Clear Antiquing Wax and Dark Antiquing Wax, more simply referred to as Clear Wax and Dark Wax. I have a very limited supply of Light Wax (which has been retired) and will hoard all of it unless somebody wants some. We have it at our Shizzle Design Paint Studio if you’re interested.
American Paint Company’s Clear Wax is my number one go to for finishes!
It is used to seal and protect. It’s super easy to apply using a rag or brush and creates the most incredible finish. I love the feel of a waxed piece of furniture when it’s done right which is so easy to do with this brand (directions are on the cans). Cathy and I also include our personal tips with each purchase in the store and at our Online Shizzle Shop.
Your finished piece will feel silky smooth. It won’t be tacky or sticky or smeary. Is that even a word? American Paint Company’s Clear Wax doesn’t change the color of the paint but it will create amazing depth of color as soon as you combine it with our clay and chalk based mineral paint. Can you see the variations in color?
This is more noticeable on more deeply pigmented colors than it is on whites and pastels, but regardless, the finish is amazing. It’s the combination of our paint and wax that creates this magical finish!
If you’d like to give your freshly painted piece of furniture an antiqued look, you’ll love American Paint Company’s Dark Wax!
I know it looks weird but American Paint Company’s Dark Wax is by far the best available dark wax on the market. It’s not sticky or tacky. It goes on easily and buffs up to beautiful finish.
The other nice thing about American Paint Company’s Dark Wax is that it’s pre-mixed. You won’t have to thoroughly cut and stir and mix and blend a bunch of chunky lumpy layers of wax before you can use it which can mess up your finish if it’s not completely blended because American Paint Company’s Dark Wax is ready to use when you buy it. You can give it a quick stir if it ever needs it, but that’s all it will ever need.
It won’t leave you with a smeary mess that doesn’t cure right. You apply it, give it a quick buff and you’re done!
This is the best way to pop those amazing details on furniture, cabinets, lamps and picture frames.
Dark Wax will affect the color of your paint if applied directly over it creating a more dramatic antiquing. I prefer using it directly over dark colors such as Lincoln’s Hat, Wild Horses, Cannonball, Freedom Road… but I also love it over deeply saturated colors such as Peacock, Firework’s Red, Waistcoat, Bordello…
American Paint Company’s Dark Wax over Peacock
American Paint Company’s Dark Wax over a wash of Waistcoat
If you want an antiqued look but are worried about changing your paint color or getting it too dark, the easiest way, in my opinion, is to seal your piece with Clear Wax then come back over it with a chipper brush dipped very lightly in the Dark Wax.
Another thing you an do is mix a little Clear and Dark wax together. Mess around with it a little on a spare piece of wood or in an inconspicuous area of what you’re painting to see which method is easiest for you.
How do I care for my waxed piece of furniture?
I recommend caring for a hand painted and waxed piece in much the same way as you care for a fine piece of wood furniture. You’ve either put a lot of time into refinishing the piece yourself or you’ve invested a lot of money into paying someone else to create a one of a kind piece of art, so you want to take care of it.
It it’s a coffee or end table, use coasters. If it’s a dining room table, put the pads on it and cover with a tablecloth ~ just like your mother did with her solid wood dining room table.
For every day cleaning, it can be wiped off with a dry or slightly damp cloth. You don’t want to saturate the cloth with water an wipe down every single day because the constant exposure to water can start breaking down the wax. If you’ve doing something like a kitchen table that is going to be used and abused daily, seal the top with American Paint Company’s Top Coat instead of the wax. Looks milky white in the bottle but dries clear.
One of the cool things I like about having a waxed piece is the ease of buffing out any imperfections. For instance, you can wipe off marks by putting a little bit of American Paint Company’s Clear Wax onto a cloth and simply rubbing the spot. It works similar to one of those magic erasers, poof ~ it’s gone. The biggest thing you want to avoid with a waxed piece is oil, that’s why for kitchen tables and kitchen cabinets, I don’t recommend using wax. It can and has been done, but I wouldn’t do it in my kitchen because I’m a messy cook.
Did you know…
- Shizzle Design is a small family owned business in Jenison, Michigan. My sister Cathy and I work, paint, ship and teach our chalk and clay paint workshops out of the same space where we paint all our furniture. We are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.
- Cathy and I empower DIY’ers by sharing our years of experience. Stop in for paint and we’ll offer you honest and knowledgeable answers for all your chalk and clay paint needs.
- Did you know we are not paid employees of American Paint Company? It typically takes me 10 hours to publish one of my blog posts. Everything from shooting the photographs, writing the content, editing, cropping… is given freely. The only way we make money is if someone purchases paint, workshops or painted furniture from us. If you enjoy the information you get in our website, please share and let us know.
- We are so blessed to have taught people from all over the United States and Canada. Join us for one of our super fun hands-on chalk and clay paint workshops. Learn in our casual & relaxed environment. Click Paint Workshops to see a list of current classes offered.
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