Professional Tips for Using Chalk Paint® Wax by RGC

By Barb Skivington for Real Girls Create

Chalk Paint® Wax is the perfect partner for Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. In fact, they were designed to work together as a system. Finishing your newly-painted surfaces with Chalk Paint® Wax will protect your finish and make it easier to clean while at the same time giving a beautiful mellow look to painted furniture, cabinets, accessories, and even walls.


Applying Chalk Paint® Wax

Always ensure that your underlying paint layers are completely dry before applying Chalk Paint® Wax.

Apply a thin coat of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax with a Chalk Paint® Wax Brush. There’s no need to use a lot of pressure or move in tight circles — simply apply the wax using a gentle sweeping motion, following the contours of the piece. Work in manageable sections at a time and remove the excess wax with clean absorbent cloths as you go. Change to a clean cloth frequently as the one you are working with can become clogged with wax and become ineffective.

Let the remaining wax penetrate the paint layers and dry. This may take as little as 10 to 20 minutes. It’s easy to tell when the wax is dry. Just place your hand on the surface — if it still feels cool to the touch wait a while longer until the surface feels room temperature.

Inspect your finish. If there are skips or “holidays” in the wax coating or it appears slightly streaky or uneven, go back and add another thin coat of wax to help ensure complete coverage and a more even appearance. Again, wipe away the excess as you go, and leave to dry.

For a natural sheen, you can leave the finish as is. For a more polished look, allow the wax to dry overnight and then buff with a soft cloth.

Professional Tips:

  • You will need approximately one can (500ml) of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax for every 3 to 4 litres of Chalk Paint®. Keep a small amount of wax for touching up later. Recommended amounts for colored Chalk Paint® Waxes will vary based on your technique and your desired level of color embellishment.
  • When removing the excess wax, it is best to move the cloth more slowly. Avoid using a more rapid back and forth motion as this can begin to buff or polish the surface before the wax is dry, resulting in an uneven appearance to the final finish.
  • Use a dry chip brush to pull out any excess wax from crevices and other details. Use a gentle stippling motion and wipe your brush occasionally on a clean cloth to remove any wax buildup.
  • An easy test you can do to see if you have removed all of the excess wax is to lightly sweep a clean finger across the surface — if you leave a mark there is still too much wax remaining. Wipe the waxed surface again with a clean absorbent cloth.
  • Don’t wax the entire piece at one time, but instead work in smaller, more manageable areas such as the side of a small chest of drawers.
  • On larger flat surfaces, apply Chalk Paint® Wax in the same direction as the wood grain and then even off by wiping from end to end. Remove the excess wax in the same direction.
  • Buffing lightly produces a satin sheen, while more vigorous buffing can produce a higher sheen or even a gloss. Use soft 100% cotton lint-free cloths for buffing; the softer the cloth, the higher the resulting sheen.
  • Don’t leave the wax on too long before buffing. It simply becomes harder to polish to an even sheen. If this happens, you can easily correct this by applying another thin coat of wax, removing the excess, and waiting a more appropriate amount of time before buffing.
  • Always apply a layer of Clear Chalk Paint® Wax before applying Dark or Black Wax. These darker waxes contain pigments that will “stain” the underlying paint, making the dark color difficult to blend out or remove later if need be.
  • Dark or Black Chalk Paint® Wax is meant to subtly age the finish. If your result is too dark, use a clean cloth and a small amount of clear wax to “erase” some of the darker color. You can also consider mixing the darker waxes with some Clear Wax for a lighter color.
  • Chalk Paint® Waxes can be intermixed or colored with small amounts of Chalk Paint® to make custom wax colors.
  • Avoid using a colored wax on surfaces that will be subject to hard use, such as tabletops and kitchen cabinets, as these tinted waxes can make future repairs difficult in comparison to a clear waxed finish. Touching up with additional wax often results in a halo or ring effect in the affected area, sometimes referred to as “burning a hole” in the finish. Typically, the only way to make a repair when using the colored waxes is to rewax an entire section.
  • If you have applied too much wax, or failed to remove all of the excess, the result will be a sticky or smeary finish. When this happens, simple apply another thin layer of wax. The solvents will soften or “melt” the underlying wax, making it easy to remove the excess. Work in small sections at a time and remove the excess wax with soft absorbent cloths, changing to a clean cloth when the old one becomes clogged with wax.
  • Chalk Paint® Wax typically cures in just 5 to 21 days. Curing is what strengthens the finish and gives it its durability. Warm, dry conditions during the curing process are preferable; cold temperatures, high humidity, and application thickness can extend curing time.
  • Be patient! You can use your newly finished piece during the curing process; however, you should treat it gently and with respect. Wipe up spills immediately and avoid placing objects that would scratch or otherwise damage the surface, excess moisture, and harsh cleaners and abrasive pads. A little bit of care and patience during the curing period will reward you with a finish you will enjoy for years to come.
  • Once fully cured, Chalk Paint® Wax is food safe and safe for use on baby and children’s furniture.
  • Maintaining a wax finish is easy. When dusting, use a damp cloth followed by a soft, dry one. Avoid all furniture polishes and oils. Wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent spotting. Use coasters under glasses and vases, placemats under dinnerware, and pads or trivets under hot dishes. Most times just a quick buff brings the luster back if your wax finish has become dull. When you can no longer buff your existing finish to a nice sheen, refresh it with a light coat of wax.
  • Any protective coating can be susceptible to scratches, stains and watermarks. When these occurrences happen to a wax coating, repairs are quickly and easily made with just a bit more wax rubbed into the marked area.
  • Chalk Paint® Wax is by nature water resistant but will spot if not wiped immediately. It is also alcohol soluble and should not be used in bar areas.
  • Once Chalk Paint®Wax is applied, only more wax can be applied on top of it; it is incompatible as a base for other protective coatings. Not only is there no need to do so, attempting to add varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, polycrylic, or any other topcoat product over a wax finish is futile as it simply will not adhere.
  • Chalk Paint® Wax can be applied over oil-, water-, and alcohol-based systems as long as they are completely dried.
  • Chalk Paint® with its unique formulation is the only paint that can be applied over Chalk Paint® Wax without the need to remove the wax first, making it easy to change your finish to match changes in your décor.
  • Chalk Paint®Wax can be removed with mineral spirits. The removal of wax requires patience and diligence. Moisten a cloth with a small amount of mineral spirits and begin wiping the surface. Have lots of cloths on hand as you will need to switch to a clean one when the one you are working with becomes clogged with wax. Repeatedly wipe the surface with moistened cloths until the cloth you are working with remains clean. Once the wax is removed, wash the surface with a gentle biodegradable cleaner and warm water. Rinse well with clean water and leave to dry completely. Do not be tempted to skip any of these important steps. Take care to soak any cloths moistened with mineral spirits in water and then spread to dry outdoors. Follow the disposal regulations set forth by your community.
  • Chalk Paint® Wax is suitable for interior use only. It should not be used on outdoor projects.
  • Remember — you can only make two mistakes when applying wax. You can put too much on and you can try to buff it out too soon.

Permission to publish this article given expressly to 3PaintGirls by Barb’s estate.