can you repaint over wax?

Marian ParsonsFurniture Makeovers, Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint, Painting & Refinishing, Tutorials


End of post.

Okay, not really.  I will elaborate on this one.

When I shared my Antiquing Wax tutorial, a reader asked if you can repaint over a waxed surface.  I have heard a lot of people say you can’t paint over wax, but I’ve painted over wax numerous times, so let’s throw the “can’t” word out the window.

If you paint over wax that is “wet” (even though wax isn’t really wet) or hasn’t had time to cure, the chance of the paint resisting or reacting to the wax is greater.  This can be a positive thing with milk paint if you want chipping, flaking, crackling, etc.  If you want the paint to stick, though, it’s important to wait for the wax to cure.

The standard cure time to almost all paints and finishes is 30 days and that’s true of wax as well.

Once it has cured, you can paint over it, which is a nice option if you’re someone who is fickle or perhaps you just like to change things up now and then.

I would suggest giving the piece a light sanding, just to scuff up the finish and give the surface “tooth” for the new layer of paint to grab onto.  Wax can be a slippery surface for paint to grip.


The corner cabinets in my dining room and the buffet are all painted in milk paint over wax and there wasn’t a bit of chipping or trouble with adhesion.


I did notice the paint distressed a bit easier, because of that wax barrier, but that ended up working in my favor.

The first landscape dresser was also painted over wax.


The piece was originally painted in Schloss for the Look Book Two photo shoot, but after it hung around the studio for a while, I decided to paint it again.


We did end up with some chipping and crazing on that one, but that had more to do with the finish under the first coat of paint than the last coat of paint over the wax.  If you notice, it chipped all the way down to the wood.


So, just allow the wax to cure, give it a light sanding and you’re good to paint away!

can you repaint over wax?

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