Wax On Wax Off! How To Seal Furniture With Wax
So you have finally painted your statement piece with Milk or Chalk Paint and you are finally ready to seal it. Your head is spinning with all the choices of finishing top coats right? Your eyes are suddenly drawn to wax, but you're unsure where to start? In this blog, I am sharing my tips and tricks for using clear wax to seal your painted furniture.
What is furniture wax and why use it?
Furniture Wax is a speciality finishing polish made of all natural ingredients. It is formulated with a combination of natural beeswax and carnauba wax with additional natural fragrances. It comes in clear and tinted forms such as white, antique and black to achieve different finishes. You can use wax on any matte porous surface (raw, stained wood and milk or chalk painted items). When applying wax, you are pressing it into the pores of the surface and therefore providing a filmed barrier of protection. Wax not only seals for protection, but it intensifies the colour of painted furniture while giving a very durable finish. It dries to a lovely velvety smooth matte finish and the more buffed it is, the more sheen you can achieve.
Materials you will need to wax furniture
- Lint free rags
- Additional lint free rag or high quality wax brush
- Small plate
Let's start with the basics of waxing
Wax can be applied with either a lint free cloth (chux) or premium quality wax brush. I use the Barleycorn Wax brush. I started out with using lint free rags initially, however I found I was using excessive amounts as it absorbed into the rag rather than onto my piece. After a while I decided to invest in a wax brush and I have not looked back. Since using a wax brush, I find I get more even coverage, the bristles get into intricate areas easily and don't get the wastage of wax I was getting. Wax brushes may seem expensive, however once your purchase a good quality one, its a cheap investment. Your wax brush will keep forever for multiple uses, provided you look after it.
How to apply wax
I always decant a spoonful of wax onto a plate rather than dipping my wax brush into my container, to prevent contamination. This also allows you to apply and spread a small even amount onto your brush so you get an even application. You only need to apply a small amount onto the tips of your brush as illustrated in the image below. Waxing is not like painting, in this case, less is more. If you overload your brush, you will only create more wastage. Think of it similar to using sun screen, if you apply too much it only sits on the surface of and you end up with an excessive greasy mess. Same applies for wax.
Wax on wax off
Always work in small sections at a time in circular motions, moving from one section at a time to another. I'm a very tactile person and I will be applying wax with one hand and feeling where I've been with the other hand. You can tell where you have missed because initially unsealed areas feel chalky, whereas sealed sections will feel slightly tacky initially. Once you have completed a section at a time (for example 1 draw front), take a clean lint free rag and wipe away excess. Do this all over your piece until the whole piece has been completed using these steps. Now is the important part! Now go away and grab a cuppa for 5-20 minutes or so. Why? This is where the magic happens! The wax will be starting to settle and dry and by the time you come back its time to buff it.
Using another clean lint free rag, buff your wax by rubbing in a circular motion. This pushes the wax deep into the pores of the surface and also creates a beautiful soft sheen. The more you buff, the more sheen you create depending on the look you want. Once buffed, the surface should feel no longer tacky, but velvety smooth and soft to touch. This process may seem a bit of a drag, long drawn out process for some, but rest assured that once you get the hang of it, it's super easy and quick. Waxed pieces feel absolutely beautiful! Wax is my favourite go to finishing product. You can also throw in the additional tinted waxes to really accentuate patina to create various looks from authentic aged to a lime washed finish. Using tinted waxes is a whole other blog in itself! But for now that's a wrap!
Well there you have it, my tips and tricks for using clear wax to finish your masterpiece!