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Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Wax FAQ
What is the best technique for applying the Chalk Paint® Waxes?
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Wax is the perfect complement for Chalk Paint®. In fact, we would say it is an essential partner! These Soft Waxes add durability, deepen the colors, and give a very slight sheen.
As a rough guide, you will need one 500ml tin of wax for every 3-4 quarts of paint. This estimate will vary depending on how many coats of wax you use to cover a piece. It is always best to have a little wax left over for touching up. With the lid tightly on, it will last indefinitely. Less is more, so there is no need to apply the wax too thickly. When the paint is dry, brush on a thin coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Wax in Clear, gently spreading the wax so it absorbs into the paint. As you go, work in manageable sections, removing the excess wax with a clean absorbent cloth.
Frequently check that your cloth is clean. An old and overused cloth can become clogged with wax and therefore, ineffective. Let the remaining thin layer of wax dry before buffing. This process can take as little as 10-20 minutes, but recommend waiting anywhere from 2 hours to overnight, to be thorough.
The wax is dry when the surface no longer feels cool or damp to the touch. Next, buff with soft cotton cloths. Buffing lightly will produce a satin sheen, while more vigorous buffing can produce a higher sheen or even a gloss.
Important: Always apply Clear Soft Wax before applying any Dark Soft Wax.
For an aged effect, push Dark Soft Wax into crevices, and wipe it back with some clear wax. Soft Wax will be dry to the touch very quickly but take longer to harden or “cure.” This curing process can take 5-21 days, depending on temperature and application thickness.
How many coats of Annie Sloan Clear Wax do you recommend using to seal the piece?
A little wax goes a long way. We recommend two thin coats.
My waxed piece is sticky and hard to buff, even after letting it dry overnight. What do I do?
This issue has been presented to us by many customers over the years. We used to emphasize that they needed to apply a thin layer of wax, wait for it to dry at least overnight before they buff for the final sheen.
Alas, it was during one of our workshops when one of our students brought in a dresser drawer that we saw the problem. She had brushed on the wax with her handy wax brush and let it dry overnight (as instructed), but she hadn't rubbed the wax into the paint completely and removed the excess before letting it sit overnight.
We contacted the lovely Annie Sloan for further advice on this issue. Her response is below:
Annie wrote, “Yes the wax does completely harden! It’s hard and is water repellent.”
"I actually apply quite a lot of wax but then I take loads of it off! You need to spread it all over making certain it really soaks into the paint and the crevices."
She continued, "After applying the wax, wipe it all off, pressing into your paint so it absorbs in. If I'm sanding it, I use fine sand paper, even if I don't want to make it distressed. After sanding, I wipe over with my waxy rag again. I usually apply the wax with a brush and then wipe off with a rag. I get my whole piece perfect before I leave it and then buff the next day, if I want to make it shiny.”
Reminder: After applying the soft wax with a waxing brush, take the time to really massage it into the paint with a clean cloth (we recommend our fabulous "Better Than Cheesecloth"™ Towels) — and be sure to wipe off the excess!
We have observed that wiping off the wax in one direction works best. Next, run your fingertip down your piece and look for streaks. If there are streaks, then more wax must be wiped off with a clean part of the towel. Wait overnight to buff.
I would like to age my piece without it looking too old. What do you recommend?
After applying a layer of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Wax in Dark and rubbing it into the surface, we recommend applying a mixture (1:1) of Dark and Clear Wax for a lighter, less-aged, patina look.
How does the Soft Wax hold up if my piece is has constant sun exposure?
We also posed this question to Annie herself, to which she responded:
“I have never known it to melt in the sun and I have had pieces in the hot sun in the window of my shop - yes I know it’s England but with the sun on it through glass it must hit pretty high temps and we have been selling it in the South of Spain for years and years where it is more or less tropical!”
I finished my project and now I’ve changed my mind about the color. Can I paint over Soft Wax?
One of the key features about working with Chalk Paint® and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Wax is it’s easy to change your mind. You can apply another coat or two of Chalk Paint® over your previous finish, and then seal your new paint layers with additional wax.
How do I store my leftover Soft Wax?
Leftover Soft Wax should always be stored in an airtight container, as it will harden if exposed to oxygen over an extended period of time.
The Dark Wax looks intimidating! How is it best applied?
Don’t be afraid! Chalk Paint® Wax in Dark is much easier to apply than it might seem.
Rule #1 when applying dark wax over Chalk Paint®: you must apply a layer of Clear Wax first. This will prevent the Dark Wax from staining the Chalk Paint®, and you will have better control over your toning layer or antiquing effect.
After you have applied a layer of clear wax, you can either brush or use a rag to apply your Dark Wax all over or in the areas you choose to give an aged effect.
Important: Take a rag and remove the excess dark wax. Please do not use your wax brush to massage the dark wax into the finish. This method will reactivate the clear wax and leave you with a gunky mess that can ruin your finish.
Next, rub in thoroughly, let dry overnight, and buff the next day. Voila!
*These are basic waxing instructions. We teach more detailed techniques in our Chalk Paint® Workshops. We highly recommend you attend a workshop to really learn all you can do with the wax, distressing, and various painting techniques in order to take your furniture pieces to the next level.*
My Dark Wax is clunking-up when I’m using my wax brush. What is causing this?
After a bit of investigating, we realized that our customers with this issue were using their brushes improperly at the Dark Wax stage. We recommend that you brush on the Dark Wax then wipe off with a cloth [hyperlink needed]. Do not continue brushing the Dark Wax into the surface or you will reactivate the Clear wax underneath.