Using Wax When Chalk Painting

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House

Chalk paint is a great way to give new life to an old piece. This paint is popular among the do-it-yourself crowd and offers a versatile medium for freshening up any project. However, like any project, chalk paint needs a protective finish. Using wax on your project after applying chalk paint provides that protective layer on your newly modified piece.

softwax
Image courtesy of YouTube.com/Sincerely, Sara D.
Using wax on your newly renovated chalk paint piece will provide a layer of protection.

Before you get started with applying wax to your piece, you will need a few supplies. Make sure you have the following on hand:

  • Clear wax
  • Optional dark wax
  • Wax brush (one for each type of wax)
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Your project

Before you jump in, here are a few tips for applying the wax.

  • Don’t saturate your brush with wax: You only want the tip of your brush to be covered in the wax. Because you will only apply the wax in a very thin coat, oversaturation may cause issues with your project. Some restoration experts recommend scooping the wax onto a separate disposable surface (such as a paper plate) so that you can lightly dip your brush into the wax.
  • Apply the wax in a thin layer: Generally, you should only apply wax in thin layers. The wax will act as a protective coating. Avoiding buildup of the wax is key when seeking protection from the elements.
  • Use a disposable lint free cloth to avoid buildup: A lint-free cloth is a handy accessory when applying wax. You can use the cloth to smooth out any excessive amounts of wax and wipe away buildup in grooves and corners. This cloth is also useful for buffing.

You have a few options for applying wax to your finished product.

  • You can apply a thin clear wax. This will retain the color of your painted piece while providing protection from the elements.
    1. Dip your wax brush lightly into the clear wax.
    2. Use brush strokes to rub the wax into the furniture.
      You can brush the wax over your project in any pattern. Most importantly, you just want a thin layer.
    3. Wipe your lint-free cloth over the wax to smooth out any buildup.
    4. Allow time to dry.
      Wax will usually dry in an hour or two. However, this may vary depending on temperature and other factors. Make sure the wax is not tacky to touch.
    5. Apply a second coat of clear wax.
      Check out this video tutorial to see how to apply clear wax.
  • You can apply a layer of dark wax. You can do this in a couple of ways to achieve different results:

Even if you elect to do a dark wax on your project, you will still want to apply a coat or two of clear wax before applying the dark wax.

  • You can apply light layers of dark wax around edges and grooves to achieve a distressed look. Check out this video tutorial for applying dark wax and distressing.
  1. Apply a layer of clear wax.
  2. Dip your dark wax brush lightly into the dark wax.
  3. Apply wax around any decorative edges, grooves, or seams.
  4. Use your cloth to wipe away any unwanted wax to achieve the look you want.
  • You can apply an overall layer of dark wax. This video shows you how to apply a layer of dark wax to provide a unique aged look and give your piece a dark tint.
  1. Apply a layer of clear wax.
  2. Dip your dark wax brush lightly into the dark wax.
  3. Apply wax evenly over your project.
  4. Use your cloth to wipe away any unwanted wax to achieve the look you want.

The good thing about using wax over chalk paint is that there are few rules. You can apply the wax in thin layers or thick layers to achieve the look you want. You can also wipe off any unwanted wax, so don’t worry too much about making mistakes. In fact, this haphazard method often achieves a unique look!

When you’re ready, grab your brush and prepare to apply some wax!