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One of the simplest and most beautiful ways to give an antique look to a piece of painted furniture is by applying dark wax.
There are several brands of wax and, more recently, companies have started offering waxes in a great variety of colors besides the traditional clear and dark. The ones simply called “dark” or ” antiquing” wax are still my favorite.
No matter what brand you choose, my only recommendation is to look for a very soft one. The softer the better, as it allows you more time to work on your piece before it dries.
Annie Sloan’s dark wax is a very good product, but its consistency is a little hard compared to some other brands. When using A.S. dark wax, I usually pre-mix it with a soft clear wax to make it more workable.
Another excellent product is Antiquing Wax by American Paint Company. Both their clear and dark wax are already deliciously soft and easy to work with.
HOW TO APPLY DARK WAX
Please check out my video below for a more in depth look!
After painting and sealing your piece, wait until it is completely dry before applying dark wax. Depending on the sealer you used, drying time may vary between 2 to 12 hours. I previously wrote a post about how to make chalk paint at home – click here to read it.
Why sealing it first? Water-based sealers and wax don’t mix so if, for example, you you apply polycrylic on your waxed piece, you will get a messy coat of both products that won’t dry and will come off on your hands and clothes. (Yes, I learned it the hard way). Also, if you apply clear wax on top of your dark wax, the second will remove the first.
You can use a cheap brush or a wax brush to apply the wax. Make sure you remove loose bristles before using it.
Immediately after applying it, wipe off the excess using a clean rag. How much wax you remove is up to you. Remove more if you want just a subtle antique look, such in this chair, or leave most of it if you want it to look beautifully old.
Wax dries fast, so work on one small area at a time.
If you think you went too heavy in a certain area, don’t panic. Just apply a little clear wax over the dark wax and wipe it with a clean rag. The clear wax will remove the most of the dark wax so you can start that spot over.
WATCH MY VIDEO to check out how I used dark wax on this chair and cedar chest.
OTHER WAYS TO USE DARK WAX ON FURNITURE:
You can also use dark wax to enhance raised details on certain pieces. Use a rug or thin brush to apply it on the desired area wipe off excess with a clean rug.
Here are some other examples of how to use dark wax on your painted pieces.
Dark wax on carved details – click here to read my full tutorial for this
I hope this was helpful. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask me questions in the comments area below!
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HOW TO CHALK PAINT A PICTURE FRAME WITH A DARK WAX TUTORIAL