Chalk Paint & 3 Wax Finishes

I have learned that before painting a piece of furniture it is a good idea to test the paint color and finish on a piece of spare moulding (or flat wood piece). This tutorial shows the basics of using Annie Sloan Chalk paint, light and dark waxes, and a gold gilding wax.  

    • Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint ("Old Ochre" is used in this tutorial)
    • Annie Sloan's Soft Wax - Clear
    • Annie Sloan's Soft Wax - Dark
    • Le Franc & Bourgeois Gilding Wax ("Classic" gold is used in this tutorial)
    • Natural bristle paint brush
    • Wax brush (with flat head bristles)
    • Painter's tape
    • Molding or wood piece
    • Lint free cloth

    STEP 1:  Paint Your Piece & Let Dry
    The wonderful thing about the Annie Sloan paint is that there is no need to sand or prep your piece. My piece of spare moulding has rough patches. I did not sand them because it will be interesting to see how the dark and gilding waxes takes to the textured areas later in the process.  

    Paint your piece and let dry. I like to use long even strokes so that it dries as even as possible.  This is a personal preference.  You will notice that drying time is fairly quick. Another plus for using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! 

    Don't expect anything near a glossy lacquer smooth finish once your paint is dry.  You will get a matte chalky finish if you do not apply any wax.  That may be the look you are going for but the piece will not be protected and may be vulnerable to stains and scratches. 

    STEP 2: Apply Clear Wax
    Once your paint is dry, its time to break out the clear wax and your flat head bristle brush.

    Load your brush with a very small amount of clear wax.  Trust me when I say that a little goes a very long way. When in doubt, less is better.  You can always apply more if you need to.  If you apply to much wax your piece will be very sticky which is not what you want.   

    Apply the clear wax to your entire piece. And ALWAYS apply the clear wax first before using the dark wax.  I will explain why in Step 4.  

    Use your brush to pat the wax into all the nooks and crannies. Be sure to get good, even coverage. 

    STEP 3: Buff Your Piece
    Using a soft, lint free cloth vigorously rub the wax INTO the entire piece.  Do not rub as if you are just trying to take it off. Actually buff it out and rub it into all crevices. Once it is buffed out your piece will have a very slight sheen but will not be overly shiny.  It should not be sticky to the touch. If it is sticky that means you have applied too much wax. It might be very slightly tacky and that's okay as it will dry.

    Once you have buffed out all the clear wax you can either stop here or you can add dark wax next depending on the look you are trying to achieve. 

    STEP 4: Apply Dark Wax
    Tape off part of your sample piece with painters tape. I applied my tape to the middle of the moulding. The left side of the sample is now finished since it has been painted and waxed with the clear wax.  Next, we will apply dark wax on just the right hand side of the moulding piece. 

    Using your waxing brush start applying a small amount of the dark wax. At this point let your creativity take over.  Depending on your desired look you can apply as little or as much dark wax as you like.  However, I would strongly recommend you apply a light coat of dark wax and add more if you'd like.  But remember, its easier to add wax then to subtract. Or you can just apply a little on certain areas you want to highlight just as I did on the piece shown below.  It's entirely up to you.  

    STEP 5:  Buff your piece
    The process is the same as Step 3.

    If your piece came out too dark or if you applied dark wax in an area you didn't like, apply a tiny bit of clear wax. The clear wax will act as an eraser of sorts. But this only works if you applied the clear wax after you painted (as shown in Step 2). That is why its always important to add clear wax after you paint. If you add dark wax directly onto a freshly painted surface you won't be able to remove it entirely should you want to lighten up your piece or remove the dark wax all together.  

    STEP 6: Remove Tape
    Remove the painter's tape. At this point it's interesting to see how different a piece can look depending on the wax used. The dark wax is on the left side and the clear wax is on the right. 

    STEP 7: Apply Gilding Wax (optional)
    I went one step further and decided to add a bit of gold gilding wax to highlight certain areas. I simply used my fingers to apply the wax where I wanted.  I am only familiar with this type of gilding wax and it is very easy to use. Plus I like the fact that it comes in other colors.  I did not apply any clear wax but it might be a good idea once the gilding wax has dried a bit. 

    Here is my finished piece with the dark wax and gold gilding. I did not sand my wood piece and I like how the paint accentuates the texture.

    Step 7: Label Your Sample
    When your are all done don't forget to label the back of your sample with the paint and wax colors used. This will be great for future reference.

    There you go! If you use my tutorial, please link back to my blog. I would love to see your projects. Happy painting!