Using Chalk Paint® Wax Posted on 19 March 2019 By Tracy and TJ Chalk Paint® Wax, formulated for use with Chalk Paint®, properly applied provides a smooth, durable finish with depth of sheen and luxurous feel. Wax requires a bit of effort but its qualities make it well worth it. While you can use a lint-free cloth, you'll find that application with a wax brush provides for accuracy and evenness. We're reminded of a friend who built furniture for years, always using a cloth to apply wax. After being convinced to try a brush, he now uses wax brushes exclusively for application. Chalk Paint® Wax typically dries to the touch quickly, so it's important to work in smaller areas; a single drawer face, half a cabinet door, etc. A key to achieving a wax finish that seals and protects as well as one that provides the desired look and feel, is the application of multiple coats that cover the surface but are thin. Therefore, we typically apply three coats of wax to our projects. Old school, flat tipped wax brushes can help maintain an even, thin coat by making contact with the paint surface with the edge of the brush tip. Being a soft wax, Chalk Paint® Wax brushes on easily. Chalk Paint® is porous so the the soft wax forms a strong bond with it. Apply the wax with long strokes to avoid stop and go marks and uneven coverage. Once applied to the area you are waxing, wipe back the wax in long swipes using a lint free cloth or towel. We generally prefer Blue Shop Towels for this purpose. Keep turning and opening the towel to a clean side. When no longer pulling wax (Blue Shop Towels allow you to easily see the wax you are pulling), lightly pull your index finger across the surface. If it streaks, wipe back more, if not, move on to the next area. It may seem that you're pulling off all your wax but you're actually leaving that all important thin coat. Another part of a durable wax finish is proper dry time between coats. We typically wait 12-24 hours, depending on temperature and humidity, to apply the second coat. Since new wax will activate and soften some of the previous coat it's important to give it the needed drying time so you don't pull off the first coat when wiping back the second. It is typical to apply one to two coats of Clear Wax prior to antiquing as several coats of Dark or Black Chalk Paint® Wax could make the surface very dark and muddy. As to when to apply the antiquing coat, there are two schools of thought. Some will apply it as they apply the 2nd coat of Clear. Others will allow 12-24 hours of dry time for the Clear. If not applying Dark or Black Wax as you apply the 2nd coat of Clear, it's important to wait 12-24 hours to avoid pulling the the first coat. The final step in creating a beautiful wax finish is buffing. It's important to hit the "sweet spot" between the wax being too wet or too dry. Again, the 12-24 hour window generally is best. If the wax proves too dry to buff, apply a very thin coat of Clear Wax to activate the previous coat, wait a shorter dry time and then buff. We prefer cheesecloth for buffing with Blue Shop Towels our second choice. Light buffing will provide a slight sheen, more serious buffing can provide a rich lustre. Errors such as stop and go marks are more apparent with darker waxes. These can often be buffed out. However, if there are streaks or marks that are troublesome, try an additional bit of Clear wax on those areas. Curing is the evaporization of the microscopic amounts of solvents remaining after the wax is dry to the touch. While you can certainly use the waxed item, it's important to "baby" it a bit until cured. While that can be as short as five or six days, we err on the side of caution suggesting three weeks. Care of a wax finish is pretty easy. Clean using a damp cloth followed by a dry one. If something a bit stronger is needed, use a 50-50 mix of vinegar and water. Keeping the finish clean will of course make it last. Avoid using harsh cleaners and spray polishes. The enemy of wax is high heat, so it's not for exterior use. Soft wax is naturally water resistent but, as with any finish, you should wipe away spills quickly to avoid spotting. Use coasters, trivets, and pads for drink glasses, hot plates, etc. One very nice characteristic of wax is the ability to make quick repairs with just a bit of wax applied to the scratch and later buffed. There is some negativity about wax finishes with some saying wax has to be reapplied often or that wax picks up dirt easily. Where Chalk Paint® Wax is concerned, those issues are the result of improper application or abuse. We have pieces where the original Chalk Paint® Wax finish has lasted years. Our paint hutch that houses our Chalk Paint® has been in the shop now for two years. Even locations where the most popular colors are constantly moving on and off, are as smooth as the day the hutch was moved in. With proper application and care, Chalk Paint® Wax provides a rich, luxureous finish that lasts.