Buffing Waxed and Painted Furniture With Chalk Paint® and Ultimate Buffing Brush

A common question and concern I get from many of our customers often pertains to waxing furniture. When using Annie Sloan Soft Wax, it’s important to not over think what you are doing. It’s a relatively simple process, despite the physically laboring aspect of it.

I like to work in sections. Wax-on, wax-off. You really don’t need a heck of a lot of wax on your brush or rag, and you just go ahead and bang it out. While I recommend using the Ultimate Wax Brush, a nice lint-free cloth will work as well (old, soft t-shirts fit the bill). Just dab a little bit of wax onto your applicator and really work the wax into the paint. I tend to work in about 16 inch sections or until the wax on my brush runs out. You’ll see that the applied wax will deepen the color, so it makes it easy to see once the wax has run out. Once you’ve reached that point, take a separate, clean, lint-free cloth and wipe away any excess. I like to wipe with the grain of the wood to provide a really clean finish. Once you’ve done that, reapply another dab of wax and move on to the next section and repeat. You’ll be done before you know it.

I think where people sometimes get hung up is on how long they leave the wax before wiping away the surplus. The wax takes 24 hours to dry and another two weeks or so to cure. After the first 24 hours is when we recommend that you buff it to give a really soft, semi-gloss finish. I know that some folks mistook buffing as wiping away the recrement wax, but that would be wrong. What was happening to these folks is that they were applying the wax and after waiting 24 hours to remove the extra, it was dried and sticky and nearly impossible. So don’t make the same mistake and wipe away as you go.

On to buffing…

I’ve recently worked on a painted dining table that my client specifically wanted a hard, shiny finish for. I was excited because it was a Graphite table, and I think the dark colors really lend themselves to showing off a great finish. For that table, I actually waxed it three times, waiting the requisite 24 hours between each coat. After the final coat and waiting period, I buffed the heck out of it using a really soft cloth. It came out great.

I only wish I had one of these babies:

We just brought in the Ultimate Buffing Brush specifically for these types of jobs. The 100% horse hair brush just takes buffing to a whole other level. I absolutely love it and plan to use it all the time.


The great thing about waxed furniture, is that if it every loses its luster, you can just buff it back to glory! And don’t forget, to clean your waxed pieces, just use a wet sponge or cloth with a little soap, nothing harsher. Chemical cleaners will compromise the wax and potentially damage your finish.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments!


To purchase an Ultimate Buffing Brush, click here.

We’ve also recently added Chalk Paint and wax to our online store! Check it out!


188 thoughts on “Buffing Waxed and Painted Furniture With Chalk Paint® and Ultimate Buffing Brush

  1. Hey I have a question for you. I sanded down my kitchen table to the fresh wood and then I stained it with annie sloan dark wax. I did three coats, but only waited about 2 hours in between each coat. I did do the whole “wax on was off” thing. I was told it would act as a stain and then a seal, but I am nervous to clean/wipe down my table because I spilled a touch of water on it the other night (first time using it as our dinner table) and it seemed to have soaked into the wood as if it were fresh wood or had no finish on it. Help. It was my first time using her products and it turned our beautifully I just don’t know if I need to now go over it with something like polyurethane or….?

    • Hello Amber,
      I also just finished my kitchen table on the 5th of January and had a similar issue I didn’t sand my table because with this chalk paint no need to sand but I’m also concerned.
      We use our table every night as a family and feel like we cant use our table and that’s frustrating. I didn’t see that you had your question answered.
      Can we use a polyurethane on top of the Annie Sloan chalk paint? I would also like to know the answer if you’ve found one 🙂 Wendy

      • You can you use polyurethane over chalk paint. However if you have waxed it you can’t use the polyurethane over the wax!!!!!!

    • Hi Amber,

      I’m sorry, but somehow I missed your comment, and my reply is probably a little bit too late.

      Anyway, the dark wax doesn’t have the same protective quality that Annie Sloan clear wax does. This is probably why the water was able to penetrate. We advise to use dark wax in concert with clear wax every time. That is, apply and remove your clear wax as instructed, and immediately follow with dark wax. Dark wax also goes on best the sooner is it applied after the clear. The problem now is that if you were to apply clear wax over dark wax, you will remove some of your dark wax, so you’d probably then have to go back and add dark wax yet again. I hope this helps and I’m sorry for the late response!

    • ive just applied soft wax over old white chalk paint and fine black lines keep appearing.any ideas what is causing this please

      • Hi Heather,

        This sounds like a bad batch of wax. I’ve only seen that once before, but a customer came to us with the same problem. I would bring it back to your local stockist and explain to them your problem. They should replace it for you. That’s what we did anyway.

        Good luck!

        Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hi, I want to refinish a large oak dining table. I don’t want to paint the top, just base and chairs. Can I apply dark wax over the oak top and get a darker stained look. Without sanding?

    • Dawn liquid dish soap works great for cleaning your brushes, and for cleaning your waxed furniture, any mild soap is fine.

      Sent from my iPhone


  3. I just waxed and buffed a chair which was painted with chalk paint and then lightly sanded. It has somewhat of a sheen but less than I expected. Can I wax it again over the buffing job? I use min-wax Paste Finishing Wax.

  4. I used Annie sloane clear wax on a table top stupidly placed chairs on top for display. Sold table now there are dirt spots ontop of table do I have to sand it and take off the wax and repaint ? Help

    • Before you do anything too labor intensive, I would try using a little clear wax to see if that will remove the spots. Make sure you give it twenty four hours to dry before you set anything on top of it. If that doesn’t work, use mineral spirits to remove the wax (and hopefully the spots) from the top. If you need to repaint, then do so at that point and then rewax.

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. I see pictures where dark wax is applied over the pure white chalk paint and it looks smooth and clean. Mine looks blotchy and dingy EVERY time. I like the dark in the grooves and the paint changes to a nice deeper color but I don’t like dirty and dingy. I follow the intructions and it’s still not pretty. 😦

  6. There are many humans around the world who like to eat
    pork. You need to cover the top of the truck caps while using German getting dressed.
    The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds.

  7. Help! I redid a table. Did my tinted wax (did not do color under) and I gues I too new at this, I left excess on. Its dries on and will buff but it Seems thick (duh) and I see brush strokes since I used tinted over cream.

    How can I fix? Do I lightly sand off the wax and start that part over? Or do I have to start all over?

    • Use mineral spirits (available at any hardware store) and wipe down to remove the wax. Give the mineral spirits time to dry and feel the piece to ensure that it feels like dry paint and the wax is gone. From there, wax again, and make sure to wipe away excess.

      Sent from my iPhone


  8. I used the Annie Sloan white and I then used the clear wax…my furniture piece is not as shiny as I want it, can I use polyurithan on top for a brighter look?

    • No. Polyurethane (and any other sealant) well not bond properly with the wax. You can either remove the wax (with mineral spirits as described in other replies) or apply another coat of wax on top of the first and then try buffing again. Many people advise 2-3 thin coats of wax to ensure even coverage and help you attain a more consistent finish.

      • I didn’t clarify. If you remove the wax you should then apply polyurethane (or varnish – there are some that are specially formulated to look and feel like a wax finish)

  9. Hi, I am new to chalk painting, and have recently done a dresser that was my grandmothers. My question is this: what is the actual finished product supposed to feel like? Should it feel chalky in any way, or should it feel smooth, like a polyurethaned piece of furniture? Thanks for your advice!

    • It should feel smooth and soft, not quite as hard as polyurethane. I personally love a waxed finish and prefer it wherever possible.

      Sent from my iPhone


  10. Hi,
    Thanks for all the tips and advice about chalk painting. I’m just wondering- I have a piece of finished wooden furniture that’s a cherry wood colour. I’ve never like the cour of it but liked the piece. I was going to chalk paint it but it’s got decoupage on it and I don’t think It would be very successful. Im wondering if I could apply some dark wax to it to slightly darken the finish of the wood? Would the work or does the wax only work on top of chalk paint?


    • Yes you could definitely apply dark wax to the wood to deepen the color. Try playing with how long you let it sit before wiping away the excess wax if you’d like it to be darker or lighter.

      Sent from my iPhone


      • Wouldn’t she need to remove the wood’s finish first? In my experience and everything I’ve read says wax won’t bond or set properly on top of other finishes.

  11. I was wondering what would you recommend for preparing laminate furniture for chalk paint? Should I sand and prime since it is laminate? Thank you, Charlene

  12. Hello! I just gave my dining room chairs two coats of chalk paint and one coat of soft wax. Do I need to do additional coats of the wax or is one enough to protect the finish? Thanks!

  13. Can I use a substitute for Annie Sloan’s waxes (soft clear and soft dark wax)? I was told not to use mini waxes nor auto paste wax. Any other suggestions? I have made my own chalk paint with calcium carbonate/latex paint/water and it came out great, but now need the sealer waxes mentioned above.

  14. I had some furniture repainted and she used white chalk paint and dark wax. We do not care for the dark wax look at all – is there a way to remove the dark wax without having to completely repaint all of the furniture pieces? thanks so much!!

  15. Hi Justin,
    I sort of jumped in yo the ASCP stuff with both feet and have a few projects going simultaneously, which is why I cheaped out on the buffing brush. I bought a 100% horsehair brush with the strap but not THE ultimate brush. Well, for all of the tutorials I’ve found online, I haven’t seen one that shows the brush in use. I’m wondering does one brush in a circular motion or with the grain? The bristles are rather soft…and I wonder how/if they will get a shine up? I do need a high shine. On one piece, I did 3coats of the clear wax: little on, wipe off, wait 24 hrs, sand with 600 grit, repeat.
    Thanks for your advice.

    • I like to buff with the grain, and usually have no problem kicking up a nice shine. That said, chalk paint and wax are still more of a matte finish than say a lacquered piece. Good luck!

      Sent from my iPhone


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  19. Hi Justin…I love ascp and have been doing different things with it…very pleased…I want to buy the buffing brush…how durable is it…how long do they last and how do you keep them clean…thank you paula

    • Hi Paula,

      I’ve been using mine regularly for two years and it’s held up great. I don’t ever really need to clean it because it doesn’t pick up much of any debris. If it’s dusty or dirty, I’d just rub my hand over the bristles to loosen any debris.

      Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos


  20. I painted a dresser with green chalk paint then applied clear wax and it has random milky looking mottled spots. I thought I may have gone wrong with the way I applied the wax so I repainted and let dry for a couple days. The paint looked great but when I waxed the same thing happened. I have asked around one suggestion was it may actually be the original surface causing the paint to look this way and I am only seeing it once I apply the wax. Another person suggested it may be too much moisture in the air (I work in an old drafty warehouse). Any ideas on how to correct this and what could be happening?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Check out my post on how to combat bleed-through. That should answer all your questions!

      Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos


  21. I used the graphite Annie sloan paint on a dining room table and chairs two months ago and I still can wipe color or wax off. It gets on our clothes too. I have wiped off the table many times and it just keeps coming. What do I need to do to fix this?

    Thanks bunches!

  22. I painted a large end table that was given to me as my very first project with chalk paint. I used s cheaper type of chalk paint called folkart bc I couldn’t find a store in my area to purchase a better quality until after I painted it lol. Anyway I was able to purchase the cede Caldwell waxing cream. I’ve followed instructions to the tee. My problem is when I go to buff it out with a clean lint free shirt, I’ve also tried cheesecloth, Im ending up with bits of lint imbedded into the paint. I’ve been very careful to dust it prior to waxing and just don’t understand what’s happening? I’m def not applying to much wax. What am I doing wrong?? I’m going to purchase the buffing brush in hopes that will work for me. any advice would greatly be appreciated!!

  23. I just finished a 42″ nook table using Americana Decor chalk paint and finished with their clear creme wax. I think I may have used too much wax. I applied with regular paint brush only 1 coat but when we went to buff after an hour (it was dry then) it left it all splotchy…clearly can tell where we couldnt buff the wax out. HElp?

  24. Hi there,
    I just finished my first ever piece! I used chalk paint (rolled on) and wax (brushed on). It has been almost 24 hours since I applied the wax. I now have streaks from the wax. I know I probably didn’t apply it correctly. I was wondering if you have any suggestions I can do now to fix my problem. Thanks so much!!!

  25. If I want more 3 layers of clear wax, do I buff each time in between layers, or do I wait a day, apply 2nd layer, wait a 2nd day, apply 3rd layer and then buff when I’m finished? Thanks

    • Hi Nan,

      Wait 24 hours before applying another coat of wax. Any following step, whether it be buffing, waxing again, or simply using your newly waxed piece, must allow the wax to dry first, which takes 24 hours.

      Sent from an iPhone


  26. My dad refinished a table for me with chalk paint and clear wax. HOWEVER. The cloth he used left lint all over in the wax, and now, the table is curing with lint all over it. How do I get the lint off? Will I need to sand the whole thing and start over?


  27. I was wondering what the best way to clean your wax brush? I am about to wax my first piece and want to make sure that I don’t ruin my brush after I use it. Thanks for all the great advice!

  28. Hi there!
    I just painted my cabinets with annie sloan chalk paint- I read in a blog where a woman did this and put the cabinets back up with the hardware before the first initial wax application. I was thinking it would be best to do it all while they are still lying on the floor and off the hinges but now I’m not sure – this is my first time using these products. Any insight you may about whether to leave them off or put them back up for applying the wax would be much appreciated! Thank you!

  29. I put way too much wax on and instead of wiping it off before it dried, I let it dry completely and now there’s yellow streaks where I’ve put it on too thick. What can I do? If I scrub too hard, it takes off the paint.

    • Use mineral spirits to remove the wax. I just apply to a cloth and wipe down and allow to dry. You will probably need to re-wax, so make sure to use small amounts and wipe away immediately.

      Sent from an iPhone


  30. I used Annie Sloan clear wax after I chalk painted. I used the waxing brush then I tried buffing off with a rag to get the shine but you can see where I wiped and now it shows finger prints. Should I buff again with something else. What did I do wrong. I was under the impression once it dried it wouldn’t show marks such as finger prints or even where I wiped with rag. Help please.

    • I have the same problem. I’m wondering if the two weeks curing time will take care of it? My price feels dry, but when I wipe it you can see the wipe marks.

  31. Hi I am new to Annie Sloan chalk paint and I have applied soft wax but I have missed a few areas on the top that you can see, can I just wait 24 hours and apply more soft wax? Thank you

  32. Hello, I’m new to wood working in general and I’m curious how floor wax would work on a furniture type piece? I’m making a light bar for my desk out of two oak planks, and I’m hoping to finish it with wax over top of the Danish oil finish I already have. Are there any issues with this? Thanks.

  33. hi,

    I just waxed a cabinet I built, and buffed it really well, but it still feels i tiny bit tacky. Do I clean it with dawn sop and water after buffing or do I wait the two weeks cure time before cleaning the cabinet?

  34. Hi, looks like I’ve applied way too much wax on my painted furniture! Help! I’ve tried using mineral spirits to thin it out but it’s still tacky. I’ve tried reapplying a thin coat of wax on too to stimulate the old layer but no luck there either. I’ve buffed and buffed and still tacky! I really don’t want to repainted as I did a distressed look.. and it’s actually 8 dining chairs so I really am tired now. Please help me! Thsnks

    • Mineral spirits have never failed me. Try it again, and wait for them to dry before applying any more wax. You may need to use the mineral spirits a second time after that if they’re still tacky.

      Sent from an iPhone


      • Justin, I did a leather chair in antique white annie sloan. took a long time but came out very pretty. I applied the sloan clear wax and buffed but still feels tacky. feels like it needs more buffing what can i use best to buff with? Brush, teeshirt, etc??

      • You can’t really buff out tackiness. If it’s past the 24 hour drying period and you’re still experiencing tackiness, wipe down the chair with mineral spirits (go light with this) to remove the excess wax that hasn’t dried

        Sent from an iPhone


      • last question if my chair came out too white looking for my house how can i darken a bit without having to paint again cause i thinned paint and already painted 5 coats of the antique white color needed to cover a brown leather recliner and don’t fell like painting it and all the crevices again. I might try the dark wax over the clear wax but whenever i use on furniture the dark comes out blotchy in spots which is ok on antiquing and aging wood furniture but not a a leather chair. What I’m trying to find out is there a way to get even coverage with the dark wax like maybe thinning it out with mineral or heating so i can more or less paint it on for a more even coverage or don’t try the dark wax on leather for fear of messing up an already pretty nice job with sloan white and sloan clear wax?? Thanks. dgkarl@gmail.com

  35. Maybe I’ve missed something these last two years using ASCP and wax. First, I’ve always used a round brush to apply the wax. I’ve always let it dry a few minutes and then used a lint free cloth to rub it in and another cloth right after rubbing it in to buff. I get a great satin finish without waiting 24 hrs for the wax to dry. So I quess I’m still confused as to the correct way to wax after using ASCP. Please clarify. Also, I’m working on a dining room table right now but I’m having problems with the dark wax. I sanded down this oak table to get rid of the dark blue someone had painted it. I figured sanding would eliminate multiple coats of old white. Around the sides it has, for lack of a better word, “engraved” leafy looking pattern. I wanted that “engraved” leafy look to stand out so I first applied the clear wax, buffed it into the wood then applied the dark wax pushing it into the “engraved” part, then I immediately wiped it away from the solid part and lightly wiped it away from the engraved part. Then buffed it it looks really blotchy now. What do I do to fix that blotchyness? Do I re-sand the sides and start over? I don’t really want the dark wax on the table but I don’t know another way I can get the “engraved” leafy detailing to stand out. Any suggestions? Thank you for reading, sorry so longggg !!!

  36. I used Annie Sloan chalk paint and wax about 3 weeks ago on my bedroom furniture and never buffed my pieces. I saw it too late to buff them now?

  37. Hi Justin, I’m painting a dresser top with dark blue chalk paint and I can’t get the sheen of the paint to lay evenly. I’ve tried several times. Folkart natical. It’s mixed well and don’t believe it’s old. I’ve tried rolling and brushing the paint on. It’s blotchy and uneven. Any tips? Thanks

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