A few weeks ago I shared my top 10 chalk painting tips. To follow that up today I am sharing my tips and tricks for using Annie Sloan clear wax. Annie Sloan also carries dark wax, but I personally love the clear because it’s super easy to use once you get the hang of it. Plus clear wax works to intensify the color of your piece while sealing and protecting it. Keep in mind I’m not an expert in this area, but I’ve used it a few years now and this is the technique I was taught from our local store. Let’s get started!
So to get started I thought it would be helpful to share a basic step-by-step process of how you actually use the clear wax, in case you are brand new to the process.
First, invest in a good wax brush. I have the basic flap top brush from Annie Sloan. Yes, it’s an investment and much more expensive than your average brush. BUT mine has lasted me about 2 years and it’s still in great shape.
Use a spoon or knife to scrape out a small portion of wax onto a plate or bowl. It’s best to avoid dipping your brush directly into the wax container, just to keep your wax fresh and clean. Using a plate is ideal because this allows you to spread the wax out evenly so you get an even application on your brush. Don’t get too much on your brush!
Waxing is unlike painting–think of it more like a polish. So you don’t want to apply wax like you would paint. Instead, think of it as pressing the wax in and focus on working the wax into your piece in circular motions.
Tips & Tricks to Use Annie Sloan Clear Wax
- Work in small areas, moving from one section of the furniture to another systematically. I generally try to section my piece off and finish one area before moving onto the next.
- Once you have buffed the wax into a small section, take a clean, soft cloth and rub off the excess wax. (I use an old white t-shirt). Also think of this process as further pressing the wax into the wood.
- After the wax dries completely you can go in with another layer and repeat the process again.
- Hot water and dish soap work fine to clean your brush. But if you really want to keep your brush in good condition I recommend using Scrubby Essentials soap. Just lather it up and rub your brush directly on the bar. This one is lavender and it smells amazing!
- If you cannot justify the price of a wax brush, you can use a soft rag to apply the wax. Just make sure you use a separate rag to wipe off the excess.
- After you have wiped off the wax, you can go back in and actually buff in the wax. This will create a more shiny appearance. This can also help avoid the blotchy look that sometimes happens if you have applied the wax unevenly.
- Apply the wax in thin coats. Do not put lots of wax on your brush at once, this will only end up in wasted product when it comes time to wipe it down. If you use too much wax it will end up sitting on your piece and never really absorb in–it’s just like lotion on your skin. Too much and you’re left with a greasy mess.
- When you first put the brush loaded with wax on your piece, start in a flat area. If you start in a spot with any texture/curves the wax will just load up in that area and you’ll end up with lots of wax stuck in a tiny little spot. Make sense?
- When you are done waxing, the surface should not be tacky–it should be very smooth and almost soft. I’ve made the mistake of leaving the surface with a tacky feeling and it wasn’t good.
- I suggest using 2-3 coats of wax if you’re working on the top of a table or bathroom vanity. If your piece looks blotchy, try going in again with a second thin layer to even it out (just make sure it dries completely first).
That’s all I have! Again, I’m no expert, but this is the technique I use and it’s worked well for me. Once you get the hang of it, using clear wax is super easy and quick. Let me know if you have any questions and happy waxing!
Also be sure to check a few of my other chalk painting posts here: