Using Dark Wax
There are three things that strike fear into my DIY heart. Using a hot glue gun, sewing machines, and using dark wax on painted furniture.
Let me explain; I have a friend who had a hot glue gun explode all over her hand creating serious burns. I had never heard of this happening, have you? Thankfully, I don’t use one very often.
My sewing machine and I are now “in a relationship,” although I don’t know how committed it will be. You can read more about how I conquered this fear here.
As far as using dark wax is concerned, we have quite a bit of unhappy history. It’s a love/
hate dislike relationship. Sometimes it makes me very happy, and sometimes it just does me dirty. (pun intended)
What’s so scary about using dark wax?
If you have ever used dark wax, then you already know the answer to this question. It’s so dark! When you open the jar you realize immediately just how dark and scary it really is.
The idea of slapping this on a piece of furniture you just spent two days painting is downright terrifying if you ask me.
Don’t worry; I’m here to help with the fear. I do not claim to be an expert on using dark wax, but I have learned a few things along the way that I think you will find useful.
5 Fearless Tips
- Invest in a good quality wax brush. It makes a huge difference in the application. You can use a lint free cloth to apply wax, but I have found that much of the product gets absorbed into the cloth.
2. Start with the smallest amount. Less is more when it comes to antiquing wax. You can always add more. I would suggest practicing on any scrap wood pieces you might have so you can get an idea of just how much wax you want to use.
3. Use a plastic knife to smear the wax onto your brush much like you spread butter on toast. This helps you control the amount of wax being applied on that first brush stroke.
4. Seal your pieces with clear wax first, then apply dark wax to avoid staining your paint color. I used this technique when I painted my dining room chairs. The color I used is called linen, and I just felt it was a little too white. The dark wax highlighted the details just enough without making the paint look dirty for lack of a better word.
The first strip on this sample board has antiquing wax applied directly onto milk paint. You can see how it literally stains the color.
5. Brush on and wipe off. Any wax you apply requires a certain amount of elbow grease. You are working it into the paint. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for dry time before you wipe and buff. Miss Mustard Seed’s waxes are usually dry to the touch within 3 to 5 minutes. I use a lint free cloth to buff and wipe away any excess.
Bonus tip: I always remove a small amount of wax from my original container to a paper plate or whatever I have handy. You want to keep that expensive jar of wax as clean as possible by not contaminating it with paint or other particles.
Was this information useful?
I hope these tips help you to go forth and apply antiquing wax fearlessly. I don’t use it that often, but when I do I am not quite as scared as I used to be.
Have you ever used dark wax? I love a good project story. Be sure to share in the comments, you know I read and appreciate every single one.
I remain your fearless sister in paint,
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