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.


This is all you need at a time:


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.


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.


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.



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!



63 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


      • 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


    • So when applying TWO or MORE coats of CLEAR wax (kitchen cabinets) should you wait until the very last coat of CLEAR wax before applying the DARK? Or should you do the dark wax with the first coat of clear wax, applying additional coats of clear wax over it after it has cured 24 hrs? Thank you!!!

  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


  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


      • 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.

      • Can I wait longer than overnight? My wax is being shipped. Can I start the paint and then not wax until next week?

  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

  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,

  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


  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?

  16. I have just painted two pieces in old white which I love but No matter how I try to apply the soft wax it picks up black dust/fluff which gets stuck in the wax? I have tried all sorts brushes, lint free cloths but nothing works I just keep getting bits stuck in the wax. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated please???

    • Hi Helen,

      Every once in a blue moon, I’ve come across defective wax which left black dots and streaks on my piece. Is this what’s happening with you I wonder? If you think that’s the case, bring your wax to your local Stockist and hopefully they can be of assistance.

      Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos


  17. Hello! I am a newbie when it comes to using chalk paint and distressing furniture but so far, I LOVE it! However, after pouring my heart and soul into a headboard that turned our to be spectacular, I think I just ruined it with using too much wax!! :(((. I did the first coat just fine, light and wiped with a damp cloth, then 24 hours later, I got over zealous and a bit lazy and sort of slopped it on thinking that by wiping it with a damp cloth at the end and buffing it later would do the trick. Instead I have. Beautiful piece with white residue all over it and when I try and buff it off, it turns creamy white or else takes the original paint off. ease help! The last coat of wax wS applied about 12 hours ago. Thank in advance for your advice!

    • Oh no! First, you only want to use a dry cloth to remove your wax. A damp cloth will not work for this as water and wax are repellent. You will need to remove the excess wax you currently have with mineral spirits. After that, apply a very light coat of wax and remove using a dry, lint-free cloth. Give it 24 hours to dry and then you may buff at any time.

      Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos


  18. Pingback: Chalk Paint LOVE! | Kristy's Corner

    • One should be fine, but two coats will provide that much more protection. I usually only use two coats of wax on heavily used table tops.

  19. I painted and waxed an old coffee table. If the wax looks uneven or shiny and not so shiny in spots after waxing–once with clear and then once (gently) with dark, should I put another coat of clear? I was planning on waiting 24 hours after the 3rd coat and then buffing. I want to even it out to a semi-gloss

      • Thanks for getting back to me. Here is my story: I know I took on too much for a first time chalker but after our attempt to white wash our bathroom walls I was told chalk paint would be easier and look great. We put up thin plank wood walls from lowes (it’s a cabin fixer-upper) (really needed to lighten up a small 12×12 master). Picked up the white Sloan, bought the round brush, flat brush, and clear wax. Put on one coat (told I wouldn’t need to due two coats plus it would keep the cost down). Loved it until waxing time. I tried both the round and flat brush and neither seemed to make a difference. Half the paint came off and now it’s blochy. Did a second coat of wax and wiped with no improvement. Tried wiping the wax with a soft t-shirt in circles and with the grain….neither seemed to make a difference. Then I read not to use too much wax but not sure at this point if that was the problem. Hate how it looks and no idea what to do now. Some areas look ok but not sure if I should try and fix the other areas especially the corners. Can’t physically or financial afford to redo the entire room, blah, blah. What was to be a pretty little room looks like a two year child got into some paint and wax and made a mess. Have some pics but don’t know how to send on this sight. Thanks for any help.

    • First what ever you do DON’T USE VALSPAR PAINT or there wax !!!!!!! I have painted for years however chalk painting is somewhat new to me but after a year of doing different projects with chalk paint I learned stick with the paint I always used when I was working construction and painted for a living … Benjamin Moore to me by far is the best paint to use set weather making your own chalk paint or just painting . I did try valspar wax thinking maybe it would be better than there paint … but NO I was wrong . A couch , chair and Ottoman I did turned out beautifully with Benjamin Moore paint so after using valspar wax on a drysink there was no way I was going to put that wax on it . I put 4 coats of valspar wax on my drysink and it still isn’t sealed , however I put 1 coat of Americana Decor cream wax on my ottoman And it’s beautiful and looks and feels like leather . I also put it on a kitchen chair and it was great . So today I went to home Depot and found more of that brand . It was a couple of dollars cheaper at home Depot than hobby lobby where I got the 1st container . It’s only 8 Ounces But it goes really far . I never even had to rub or buff it out and it looks great . The directions say for a glossy shine to buff . My ottoman looks shiny but I use Benjamin Moore paint the chair looks Matt but it wasn’t Benjamin Moore paint it was some Glidden that I had And that a friend gave me . But it’s sealed and hasn’t chipped yet and it’s been 6 months . The directions say it can be mixed with your paint but i haven’t tried that yet . I bought 2 containers today and I’m anxious to see if it will do my chair and loveseat . I will let you know but it never took any paint off or smeared the paint like the valspar . I have heard that minwax finishing wax works but that it does yellow so I have not tried it.

  20. I have noticed you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste
    your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got hi
    quality content. If you want to know how to make extra money, search
    for: best adsense alternative Wrastain’s tools

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s