Monday, November 12, 2012

Chalk Paint® Tutorial - Waxing and Buffing

Waxing and buffing are the two most misunderstood steps when using Chalk Paint®. So, I am going to teach you my process to a beautiful patina that will make you ga-ga over your finished projects!


After you have painted and let dry (one or two coats - I personally almost always use two coats), apply the Clear Soft Wax using either a soft cloth or, my favorite, the Ultimate Wax Brush. You should be gently "pushing" the wax into the paint, making sure to cover the entire surface with Soft Wax. I love to use the Wax Brush for this because it gets into every nook and cranny and you don't waste the wax - only the ends of the brush should have wax on it. (I always feel as though I am putting too much wax on the surface when I use a cloth.) The Wax Brush will last forever if cleaned after each use - I couldn't wax without it!


Next, take a clean soft cloth and wipe off any excess wax, using gentle pressure to push the wax into the paint. You want the paint to absorb the wax, like putting on hand lotion. You should not have a thick layer of wax on the surface after this step! And, make sure to do this step before the wax dries. This means that you will most likely be waxing in sections. Remember that you are not buffing at this stage!


If you are using the Soft Dark Wax, now is the time to apply it. You also want to apply the Dark Wax while the Clear Wax is still moist. This helps you control the amount of Dark Wax that goes onto the piece. If you put too much Dark Wax on, you can remove excess Dark Wax by gently rubbing it off. Never put Dark Wax directly onto your pieces before applying Clear Wax - it will be absorbed into the paint and turn your project completely brown! I use a soft cloth for this step if I am only applying Dark Wax in crevices and the Wax Brush if I am applying wax all over the piece. (Make sure to have separate brushes for both Clear and Dark Waxes). If you are finding the Dark Wax difficult to apply, a trick that I often use is to thin the Dark Wax with a little no-odor mineral spirits to make a glaze. I find that this makes the Dark Wax application a bit easier! I also only apply the Dark Wax to areas that would naturally have seen aging.


After letting the wax set (I wait until it is not tacky to the touch), I use my secret weapon - the Sanding/Buffing Sponge. Buffing the wax into the paint with a very, very fine (600 -800 grit) sandpaper will make all the difference in how your piece will look and feel. If necessary, I will rub a bit more wax into the surface with the cloth I used to wipe off the excess wax. You will get the feel of this process quickly. 

For most projects use either one coat of Clear Wax or if you wish to have more of an antiqued look use one coat of Clear Wax followed by one coat of Dark Wax. 

Your finished product should feel silky smooth and will have a patina that will be the envy of everyone and will set your work above all the rest. I have tried all the methods and find this to be the best.


That's it! If you would like to see how this works, please join me in one of my Chalk Paint® Workshops where you will receive hands-on training to achieve this. 

Au Revoir!