I am always in a blue & white mood.  I have to work to step away from that color palette, but sometimes it just needs to be done!  I’ve been feeling a red piece coming on for a while now and this antique Eastlake-style oak dresser seemed like a good candidate.  And red wear antiquing wax so well, so I thought I would do an updated tutorial on how to apply antiquing wax.

I painted it in Tricycle, which is the red in the MMS Milk Paint line.  It really is the perfect red.

While we’re talking about reds…  If you’ve ever mixed Tricycle, you know it seems like it’s never going to come together!  Those red pigments resist the water and just float on top, but they will eventually soak up the water and you’ll get a nice mix.

I painted it in two coats in order to get full coverage and then distressed it with 100 grit paper and a fine-grit sanding sponge.  I like to alternate between the two, so I get a nice mix of wear on the piece.

If you’re new to distressing, you can check out my post on tips & techniques for distressing furniture HERE.

I then vacuumed and wiped down the surface to remove all of the dust created by the distressing.


I do like leaving some milk-painted pieces unfinished, but I think the darker colors really need a finish to bring out their richness.

And I love the way Antiquing Wax looks over those dark, rich colors.  It adds so much depth to the finish.


I apply the Antiquing Wax with a large wax brush, which is a good investment if you plan to do a lot of finishing.  If you’re just finishing a piece or two, you can use an old, bushy paintbrush or a cloth.

Here’s a video showing how to apply antiquing wax…

Anyway, as I showed in the video, brush on the Antiquing Wax, spreading it out in a circular motion.  Make sure to work it into all of the nooks and crannies and carved details of the piece.  That’s where the Antiquing Wax can really come to life.  Wipe away the excess and buff the finish with a cloth.  I’ve grown to like using microfiber cloths for buffing wax, because they don’t leave any lint.

Once the finish is buffed, it shouldn’t feel sticky or tacky.  If it does, you have applied too much and need to continue wiping off the excess wax.

You can use the piece right away, but the paint and wax will not be fully cured for 30 days.  That means you need to be gentle with it, don’t allow water to sit on the finish, etc.

Here’s a preview of the piece…


I’ll share the full reveal soon, but I hope you like the tutorial on how to apply antiquing wax!


  1. Toni

    I love this piece! I wish it was here!

  2. Emily Cleverly

    It is beautiful. I have a question…with another paint line, I am not naming names…I was instructed to put clear wax on first and then apply antique wax. I think it was something about the paint being stained by the dark color. It looks like this isn’t the case with your paint, correct? Thank you so much. I love the antique wax look, I have had mixed results, I appreciate the video.

  3. marian

    I would suggest that for lighter colors or if you want a more subtle look. For dark colors, I just apply it straight on.

    • Emily Cleverly

      Thank you ?

  4. Ashley

    I’m curious…is it possible to use tough coat over antiquing wax? Like if I wanted to use antiquing wax to add a patina, but also want the durability of tough coat.

    • Teresa

      I want to know the answer to this too..

  5. Terri

    Beautiful piece! I just gifted a package of Tricycle to a friend who wants to paint an old oak chest, so I sent her your tutorial to give her some confidence to paint her first piece of furniture! She’s going to have so much fun!

  6. Caroline English

    I’ve been checking out the “coming soon” items for your sale tonight. Where did the quilt go? I’ve been waiting and waiting for you to list some quilts and had my heart set on it! 🙁

    • marian

      I’m sorry, but someone local purchased it. 🙁 I will be looking for more quilts, though, and may have one or two from my house to list.


    I have been waiting to see the Tricycle up close. I love red!!!! Now that I’ve seen it, I have to find the perfect piece to paint! You’ll be sending me some MMS milk paint as soon as I do!!! Thank you!

  8. Rose

    Oh my goodness! Tricycle has always been one of my favorite milk paint colors and it’s just gorgeous on this dresser!!! Especially love the antique brass hardware with it. One of my favorite pieces of yours (I don’t even need to see the rest of it to know that)

  9. Anita Napolitano

    Can you repaint a piece after it has been waxed?

    • marian

      Yes, you can! I’ll actually write a post about this.

  10. Lisa

    This is gorgeous! Tricycle is one of my favorites.

  11. Liz

    What a transformation! Thanks for another helpful tutorial.

  12. Lynn Merrell

    I just got some Bakelite silverware from your store!!!! Thank you so much!! It’s so amazing what thrills me anymore. Lol. Thanks for the waxing tutorial too! Miriam you rock!

  13. Naomi S.

    Wow! I’m not usually a fan of red, except in very specific things, but this dresser is gorgeous! The hardware gives it such a rich look, too. I’m really quite smitten with it and can imagine using it in my house. Thanks for showing how beautiful it can actually look on a large piece.

  14. Judy Williams

    Speaking of wax, I just used your wax for the first time, I painted upholstery on a wing back chair with chalk type paint (very diluted) and did the usual steps that are floating around the internet. For the finish, I wanted to wax it to soften it up and protect the low use piece. I tried a couple of waxes on some practice fabric samples and was not satisfied. I thought a really soft absorbent wax would be best and I knew your wax would probably fit the bill. Someone also suggested it to me and I got a 7 oz. jar (probably used one ounce max). I applied it VERY lightly with a wax brush and it worked great. I put two coats on the portions that anyone might touch. The chair looks FABULOUS (no ability to post a picture here). The 32 year old chair was in perfect condition, but was VERY faded and was a perfect candidate for painting (although I was very nervous about it). I can’t help but wonder if your milk paint might be used for upholstery too — your wax is definitely a winner. Perhaps some future experimenting and posting for you????

  15. Cindy Pierce

    I’m not a red person, but that turn out beautiful!

  16. Hyedi

    Beautiful! The red dresser is pretty too;) hehe

  17. Jeanne Dahnert

    The work you do is awesome! I would like to purchase a jar of your Antiquing Wax, but cannot find it on your site. Can you please direct me as to where I can find and purchase this product? Thank you!

  18. Mollie

    What if I want to hit only the carved details without darkening the rest of the piece? How would I blend it so there aren’t random dark spots next to the carving? You mention clear wax as a barrier, can I use hemp oil as a barrier (it’s what I have in hand)?

  19. Talita Feuerstein

    How long after you paint with milk paint can you wax the piece?

  20. D. Myatt

    Hiya Miss Mustard Seed.

    Love your brand, love your products! A question. I picked up some of your white wax. I sanded down the surface of a raw plywood dining room table (c1940), applied a thin water-based purple stain to achieve a driftwood-like gray, applied your wax and used a fine steel wool to remove the highlights/and to also polish that highlight of the wood a bit more – leaving the lowlights white and rough. And I’m thrilled. Except for that water from several glasses has now watermarked the table – the wax is not enough to protect the water-based stain. (I know I’m in for some work here – and I will refinish it again to reapply the stain) but what is a more durable product that can be a “dead flat” natural feeling wood protection that you would advise over the top of YOUR white wax? And I realize you might want to suggest more wax, but this table will be in a rental house (and it’s the kitchen table at a beach house so it’s going to be beaten on – by everyone!) so I’d prefer a durable urethane type product that will not give me a zgallerie-type end product. Thoughts?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company