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Tutorial: Wax Resist Chippy Finish

What is a wax resist and how does it work? In decorative painting, a “resist” is a substance put between the substrate (the material you’re working on) and the product you’re applying to prevent the product you’re applying to adhere to the surface completely. In this case, we’re using sample boards (substrate), Matte finish paint (product), and Clear Wax (the resist.)The wax will work as a barrier to total coverage and should remain soft enough to scrape off even with dried paint on top. We like using wax because it’s easy to control and gives us that nice chippy edge look without all the chips of paint.

Picture an adirondack-style chair on the lawn of a great house at the shore. Wind, rain, loads of sun, and harsh winter weather gives that chair a gorgeous weathered finish. So how can you mimic it?  Summer is coming so let’s get on with creating a fabulous chippy finish matte paint and Soft Wax .

What you’ll need:

Paris Grey Chalk Paint Can

Pure White Paint
Paris Grey or Provence Paint 
Clear Soft Wax
Medium grade sandpaper (120 works well)
A paint scraper, and/or wide-blade screwdriver,
Clean lint-free rags
A clean wooden project piece or sample board.
Patience to wait between coats. 

Let’s Get Started:

  1. To create the wax resist, dab and smear Clear Soft Wax on areas you want to remain natural wood, lightly in some areas, very liberally in others.
  2. Apply a layer coat of Pure White laying the paint, not brushing,  over the wax.
    Area “A” in the image below has a heavy layer of clear wax under the paint, Area “B” has a light covering.Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Wax Resist Steps 1 and 2
  3. After the Pure White dries, sand, chip, and scrape the Pure White paint to reveal the natural wood areas.
  4. Liberally dab more Clear Soft Wax over the white paint you want to expose and remember to cover the areas you want to retain natural wood tone too.
  5. Apply the second color, remember to lay the paint on over heavy areas. (blue arrows below)Second coat of paint for wax resist
  6. After your second color dries, sand, chip, and scrape some more.
  7. Apply a sealing coat of Clear Soft Wax.
    Paris Grey over Pure White

    Paris Grey Over Pure White Paint

    Provence over Pure White Wax Resist

    Provence over Pure White


    Pure White over Paris Grey Wax resist

    Pure White over Paris Grey


a) Don’t be shy with the clear wax. You should have some peaks or blobs.
b) Put your coat of paint right away. Don’t let the wax dry.
c) Keep a healthy amount of paint on your brush for coverage. Don’t “work” an area with wax under it.
d) You can use a hair dryer to speed up drying the paint layer. (Sometimes you get bonus cracks too)
e) If doing a large piece, work in sections.
f) For a really aged look, try a little crackle technique between the first and second coats of paint. (Put the crackle medium in areas that don’t have wax resist)
g) Remember to use small amounts of wax for your finishing coat and to remove extra wax with clean lint-free rags.
g) If you are doing a garden or outdoor piece, there’s no need for a final wax coat. The paint will dry
and become sun baked and sturdy. (but don’t leave the piece outside until it’s well dry and cured)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Clear Soft Wax Resist

That’s it. Now you know how to create a Wax Resist finish with a lovely weathered look using Paint and Soft Wax . Give it a try!  

As always, if you have any questions, drop me a call, email, or comment here.


To find the Annie Sloan stockist nearest you, visit Annie Sloan’s website, and our America distributor, Unfolded.

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