How To Wax Using Chalk Paint®

 

One thing I’ve learned is that waxing, while relatively simple, creates the most problems for Chalk Paint® noobs.

There’s nothing to it, really, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t get the most questions about this crucial step.

First off–YOU ARE USING TOO MUCH WAX!

This is all you need at a time:

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Unlike waxing a car, where the layer of wax will sit on top of your surface, this wax is meant to penetrate the paint. You should actually be pushing the wax into the paint.

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My favorite analogy comes from Annie herself. Treat the wax like moisturizer. Just as when using a hand cream, you wouldn’t use so much that your skin would be all greasy and wet, but just enough to do the job. A little bit goes a long way. I tend to work in 16-24 inch sections and continue on until I’m done. Look at how far that tiny dab goes. While you can use a lint-free cloth for the application process, I swear by the Ultimate Wax Brush. It’ll save you a ton of time and materials.

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You can see the darker portion at the top where the wax took effect. It’s a simple and easy metric to figure out when you need to reapply wax to your brush. Just keep working that stuff in until you don’t see that darkened, semi-gloss finish. It’s at this point you should be wiping away with a separate, clean, lint-free cloth. Old t-shirts are particularly adept at this task. It’s also important to take care when wiping away this excess wax and not overwork it. All you need are clean, even swipes to get a tidy finish. If you wipe too much and wipe too hard you run the risk of actually removing some of the wax you just worked so hard to apply. The whole process should be very fluid and I promise, you need not overthink it.

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Just keep on with the wax-on, wax-off method and soon you’ll be done! It really isn’t that hard! Just be sure to give the piece 24 hours for the wax to properly dry and you’ll be good to go.

Over the next two weeks, the wax will continue to cure. See, it’s forming a bond with the paint. From there on out, you can buff it back to a clean sheen with little effort. For more on this, see my post on buffing here.

To purchase the Ultimate Wax Brush, just click here. 

As always, your questions are welcome in the comments.

I’m out!

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42 thoughts on “How To Wax Using Chalk Paint®

  1. Jason. You must have read my mind. I do have the brush and wax pieces frequently. Now I realize I’ve been using more wax than needed. Thanks for the post. Undershirts are great for finishing, so are old lady cotton undies! Oh! A little too much information. Have a super day!

  2. In your second picture you seem to apply a lot of pressure on the brush,is this the case? Thank you so much for your very generous information. Mags.

  3. Great information. I have waxed with other products like Goddard’s wax but need to get this wax and brush too! Thanks for sharing.

    • I apply in a circular motion, though you don’t need to. I do wipe away the excess in a clean straight line, however, as I feel it gives a better, tidier finish

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. What is the best way to remove any lint that has transferred onto the furniture from the cloth during the wiping away stage? (aside from checking the cloth is lint free next time!)

      • Thanks Justin. I just went over it with the dark wax which hid a lot of it but also added a bit more character for the “aged” look :) Old lady cotton undies are now on my shopping list for next time!
        I really love your blog by the way. I’m in Australia and have become totally addicted to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint since opening my first tin about 2 months ago. Might have to pop into the store next time I’m in the states :)

    • There is, but it won’t be fun. You should use mineral spirits to remove what is probably too much wax. Just apply minerals spirits to a cloth and wipe away all of your wax. Let it dry, and reapply the wax as I’ve instructed. It’ll be alright!

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • Update…. My local craft store was sold out of mineral spirits. They recommended Goo Gone as an alternate. I tried it and it worked!!! It took about an hour and a little muscle, but the over-waxy feel is gone. I am very happy with the results. The only disadvantage to this product is the very strong odor, but after a day the smell is almost gone. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Dear Justin,
    Thank-you so much for taking the time to help all of us with our waxing needs. I have been struggling with the tops of my furniture. I can see shiny spots where I have worked the top of a dresser to get to the wood. Also I do see scratches from my sand paper. Its when the sun hits just right you see the all of those problems after I have waxed. HELP! . .

  6. If I want to apply two coats of CLEAR wax how long should I wait between the first coat and the second coat? After two coats of clear I want to apply a coat of DARK wax. How long should I wait after the second coat of clear wax before applying the DARK wax?

    • Wait 24 hours between coats of clear wax. When dark waxing, however, you want to apply immediately after you’ve clear waxed. The reason for this is that when dark wax goes onto a dry piece, even if it’s been waxed, it can be grabby and leave unwanted streaks. This way, your clear wax will still be technically wet and therefore your dark wax will be more malleable.

      Sent from my iPad

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  7. Hi Justin,
    I love the piece I did but there is one spot I feel I put to much dark wax. It’s been a couple of days since I did it. Can I just put mineral spirits on that spot, remove the wax and wax again?

    • If it’s only the dark wax you’re concerned about, a little bit of clear wax will remove the dark. If you remove too much of it, just apply a bit more dark to match the rest of the piece.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  8. I love all the advice – but one thing I can’t seem to find anywhere is how long after painting my piece should I appy the wax? There’s no “drying time” listed anywhere…the piece is on my kitchen table, in bright light in a warm but not hot room…Should I wait 24 hours or can I do it the same day?

    • While chalk paint dries quickly and you can sometimes wax the same day, I do recommend that you wait at least overnight. In my experience when I wax the same day, sometimes, though the paint looks and feels dry, the wax will actually start to pull up some of the paint. If you’re not in a huge hurry, I would definitely wait overnight.

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • Thanks so much for the super speedy reply! I’ll tackle the wax tomorrow as advised. Phew, more relaxing process…

      • If the wax does pick up the paint what should I do? I think I applied too much wax to a black piece and in some spots it looks like gray streaks. Should I remove the wax or let it dry longer. It has been 24 hrs.

  9. Hi Justin,
    I’m new to your sight but love all the helpful info!! I was going to buy a new set, even though the set I have now is in great shape just not the rt color for me. I absolutely don’t have the time or patience to sand and refinish and I was told by a friend about chalk paint! I am soooo excited but a little apprehensive because I don’t want to ruin my table! I have looked at the Ann Taylor line but she doesn’t carry a dark black color?? I have seen sights where you can make your own but that scares me even more then painting it. I am curious if you can use actual black chalk board paint and then wax for the shiny finish. Also, I don’t want a huge chalkboard in my dining rm either! The black color is perfect and exactly what I need though. I am hoping you could give me some advise and advise if the black chalkboard paint can be waxed as well as if this will work?? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!!!
    Thanks in advance
    Amanda

  10. Ok, Skipped an entire sentence!! Geez!!! I meant to say I have a dining rm table and chairs that are wood and a stained a dark brown color.

  11. I live in dry, hot New Mexico (no humidity but 95 -100 degrees for 4-5 hours a day) and have a piece in our metal shop where it gets to easily be over 100 degrees during the day… Can I wax a piece in the evening (@ 85 degrees) and leave it in the shop to cure through the heat of the day? or should I bring it in the house to cure? or should I wait for summer to end before trying this? I’ve never waxed but feel this would be exactly the look I’m wanting!

  12. When waxing a large area, I tend to have areas that have more wax than others, usually where I first started with the brush. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  13. I have waxed a coffee table about a week ago and now have decided I want to use dark wax. Can I apply a coat of clear wax again on it and then apply the dark right after? Thx,
    Karyn

  14. I just put dark wax on a piece that has been painted using American Paint Company paint. I do not like the look and want to go back to before I put the wax on, and just wax with clear. Am I able to just paint over the wax ? Or what do I do to get it off ?Please help

    • When using sandpaper, either option is fine. I like to distress before I wax because I can either wet distress or distress with sandpaper. Also, if I mess up and distress too much or dislike the look, I can just paint over it as I haven’t waxed yet.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  15. I used Duck Egg AS. & distressed first then waxed. But I have shiny spots around the distressed area. I then tried lightly putting drk wax in those areas. I dont like it &it is still shiny in those areas. Can i shellac & repaint?

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