You've painted your piece using all the fabulous tips and tricks I gave you here, and now you're ready to wax your piece! Waxing is necessary to protect your paint from chipping and scratching off! It basically seals your paint job, giving it a hard, durable, and shiny-ish finish.
There are lots of waxes on the market, but I'm most familiar with Annie Sloan's wax so I'm gonna give you full instructions on how to use that wax. Though, I'm pretty sure that most waxes work similarly to this one. ...I'll have to try out some others soon and report back :) And if you've tried one you love or don't love, let us all know! I'm always open to trying new products that work, and we can all learn from each other!!
Now keep in mind, this stuff can be tricky to work with at first, so don't beat yourself up if you don't get it just right the first time. Try practicing on a sample board first, to get your hand at it! I'll be posting a tutorial video on this soon too, so you can look forward to that! Here we go:
1) A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!!!! You can use a lint-free rag (old t-shirts work great) to wipe on the wax, or use a special flat-head wax brush. When I use the brush, I do NOT dip it into the wax. Instead, I use a plastic knife to scoop and place a small amount all over the surface of the brush head. You should see a slight sheen on the surface of your piece. Keep spreading the wax until you know for certain there isn't anymore on your brush, then get more.
2) WAX ON, WAX OFF. That's right folks, say it with me now with the cool accent: Wax on, wax off. Spread the wax into the paint in all directions, then wipe in the direction of the wood grain, and then wipe off the excess with a clean lint-free rag (again, in the direction of the wood grain) using a FIRM HAND! Press hard, people! Some people like using cheesecloth, but I have found this to be messy-- even when I shake the lint out of it, I still end up with little pieces of lint in the wax finish that are impossible to remove. Plus, I've found the rag just plain works better for removing the excess wax. Keep in mind: IF YOU HAVE TOO MUCH WAX ON YOUR PIECE, IT WILL NOT CURE PROPERLY!
3) Dark wax will dramatically change the color of your finish and create an aged and antiqued look. For a less dramatic color, apply clear wax first, wait 24 hours, then apply the dark wax (this will still create an aged and antiqued look). If you happen to get too much dark wax in the finish, apply some more clear wax with it, as this will help mute the effects of the dark colored wax. Basically: the clear wax helps remove excess dark wax. Neat, huh?
4) Apply 2-3 coats of wax on any heavily used surfaces (kitchen cabinets, table tops, dresser tops). You'll want to wax, wait 24 hours, wax 2nd coat, wait 24 hours, then wax 3rd coat. Annoying, I know, but it gets the job done. If your first coat of wax is dark, then wait 48 hours before waxing a clear coat on top as your second layer. But be careful: remember that clear wax can pull off dark wax and compromise the original finish. you may need to add clear and dark wax together for your second coat and wipe in the direction of the wood grain.
5) Allow wax to cure completely before allowing full usage of the surface. Annie Sloan's wax takes about 21 days to fully cure, so use your table tops and dresser tops gently until then. Other products may require a different cure time, so read the product instructions to be sure!
6) Clean your wax brushes with Mineral Spirits. I like to soak my brushes for at least 5 minutes in a tupperware with a layer of Mineral Spirits, and then clean then with warm water, NOT soap!
7) If you happen to really fudge up your wax job, you can take it off by rubbing Mineral Spirits over it. For best results, make sure to do this within 24 hours of your wax being applied or it might not come off!
This stuff can be tricky to work with, but remember: LESS IS BEST! If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask! Also, if you've used another wax that you recommend, I'm always open to trying new products that work! (or let us all know of ones that don't work!)
Tutorial video coming soon!
Click here for an inexpensive DIY Chalk Paint Recipe! (Coming soon!! eeee!!)