Tips & Tricks for Applying Furniture Wax - If You're Sweating, You're Doing It Wrong
The most frequent questions I get about using Annie Sloan's products concern waxing.
Waxing should not be hard, it gives your surface the best protection, it doesn't yellow, and it's low maintenance when complete. If you're sweating while you're working with wax, you're doing it wrong.
Once you're finished with painting, when can you wax? When the paint is fully dry. Drying time is affected by your technique, humidity, and temperature. Lightly painted pieces in dry, warm but not hot, weather can take as little as an hour. Heavily painted surfaces with lots of techniques, in hot and humid climates can take more time. If you're unsure, 24 hours should do it.
1) Rule to remember - More is definitely not better. You do not need gobs of wax on your brush. Put a small amount on the brush and do a small section. If you touch the freshly waxed section, it should feel just a little slippery.
2) Work small sections and over lap a tad as you go. The mineral spirits in the wax will soften the wax from the edge of the first part you did and help to blend it with the new section.
3) WIPE the wax off, but don't buff it. What's a wipe? Think of a messy diaper and push about as hard as you would to get that off. (Gross I know, but it's an analogy most can relate to - you wouldn't buff the baby)
4) A freshly waxed surface should feel slightly soft. NOT Slippery. If you see your finger marks, wipe more.
5) Apply two coats, one right after the other. Even the best are going to miss spots. Doing two coats while the wax is fresh ensures good coverage.
6) Want a better shine? Wait 24 hours and then buff with a cloth
7) Want a smooth shiny surface? That starts before you even apply the paint. If your surface is not smooth to begin with, it won't end that way either. If you do have a smooth surface, apply the paint with a light hand, going with the grain, and sand with fine sandpaper in between coats. It won't look like a mega glossy finish when you're done, but it will have a really nice high shine.
8) A good rule is to ALWAYS put a clear wax finish on your indoor project if you are going to highlight with Annie's Black or Brown wax. (more on that in another blog post)
Here are more tips from Annie on how to apply Annie Sloan Wax.
- Apply the wax with the brush in one area and move on quickly, avoiding overworking. Then use a clean or slightly waxed rag to wipe off or rub in excess wax. It’s a few swipes with a cloth and then left.
- It’s important not to overwork with your brush when waxing. Working the wax in to the paint with the brush until there is no excess is unnecessary hard work.
- You don't particularly need more force for waxing than you do for painting.
- You're better off buffing with a rag than with a brush. It's requires far less effort for the same result. If you want to buff it to a shine, leave it overnight to harden then polish. - If you're breaking a sweat, you're working it too hard!
- Washing with dish soap will not have a dramatic effect on the life of a brush. Having said that, it’s best not to use too much, too often. Just think of how well you treat the hair on your head.
- The type of bristle used on our brushes is also traditionally used for oil paints, so the brushes can withstand abrasive substances like white spirit (mineral spirit).
- It's best to avoid using anything with bleach (chlorine) in it.