I received a ton of questions about waxes following my Waxes 101 post. I thought I might. Let me say first of all that I am not a wax expert. I’ve been using furniture waxes for a few months, but my use of waxes exploded with my use of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint and I just had to share it.
Simply put, wax is what I’ve always been looking for in a top coat. It’s easy to apply, it give a wonderful antique/hand rubbed look to a piece and it won’t yellow over whites. Now, I’m hooked and I’m not sure I’ll ever use poly again.
There are two waxes I love equally. The first one is Fiddes & Sons and that may be the one I would purchase, simply due to cost. You can purchase it from John Millen Hardware and it comes in a variety of colors. The second wax I love is Hannant’s Wax, which is the one sold with AS Chalk Paint. It is a bit more expensive, though, but still a wonderful product.
Brush or cloth application?
I started my waxing career using a rag to apply the wax. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s a total preference thing. My mind was totally changed on the matter, though, when Virginia sent me this brush…
She worked with a brush-maker and designed this brush that is perfect for waxes. It will get into all of the nooks and details of a piece, it’s soft, it fits perfectly in the can…it’s just an awesome brush. It is $34.95, which is expensive when you compare it to your run-of-the-mill sash brush at Walmart, but it’s the only one you’ll need to buy. Just take good care of it and it will serve you well for a long time. You can purchase one from Virginia’s Website. (You can also get the Hannant’s Wax and AS Chalk Paint there as well.)
How durable is a wax finish?
It is really durable. Water beads up on it like a duck’s back and it protects wood and paint well against everyday bumps and scrapes. It does not, however, stand up to a sharp metal wire hanging out of an antique basket that is dragged across your dining room table a few times. Trust me on that one…
…but I don’t think even factory poly would’ve stood up to that. All I need to do, though, is sand it a little and reapply some more wax. I used wax over the paint on my corner cabinets and it’s held up where the door meets the frame. Latex would’ve worn away from the rubbing, but wax has done its job.
It’s also protected my buffet very well, even with an ever changing arrangement that includes potted plants, a stack of plates and heavy ironstone tureens. It’s so durable, I’m thinking about using it for my kitchen counters.
What is buffing?
Yeah…I totally forgot that part in the tutorial. I mentioned it like the entire world knows exactly how to buff wax, so I’m sorry about that. To answer this question, I’ll start off by saying that wax does not have to be buffed. You can brush it on and just leave it for a very dull finish. Buffing it gives the piece a little luster (it doesn’t make it super shiny) and it makes the surface feel smooth. Buff a piece of furniture the same way you would a car or your fingernails. Just use a soft cloth and rub it vigorously in circles. It’s a workout, but it doesn’t take that long.
How do I know when the wax is dry?
Dry time with waxes varies greatly depending on the brand. Some directions say 15 minutes and others say to leave overnight. Just wait until the wax has dried to a haze and doesn’t feel sticky to the touch. If you leave your piece for over a day and it still feels sticky, you probably applied too much wax. Rub some of it off with a cloth and give it more time to dry, then buff.
Can waxes be used over more than chalk paint?
Yes. I have used it over latex, milk paint, stained wood and natural wood and it works well on all of them. You can even use it on metal. It’s a good, all purpose top coat that can be used on just about any kind of furniture and finish.
Do you like Briwax?
I didn’t mention it in my other video simply because I haven’t tried it. One of my friends Molly Susan Strong uses Briwax faithfully and she’s a pro, so it must be good stuff. She also shared a wonderful tip that wax can be softened by setting the tin in some hot water to warm it up.
Did that clear some things up? Let me know if you have other questions I didn’t cover and I’ll try to answer them.
Now, to the giveaway winners!
I had no idea that an antique wire caddy with clay pots in it would receive the best participation in a giveaway I have ever received! There were over 600 individual entries! Wow!