Dark Wax Tips

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark!….. Dark Wax by Annie Sloan, that is!!!! (making a Glaze with Dark Wax)

Wax is for protecting furniture:

I should preface in saying that using wax as a protective top coat only makes sense when you have painted with a product that is porous and can absorb the wax. Chalk Paint® or Milk Paint are two perfect examples of porous paint. Using wax as a top coat- has been the process of finishing furniture for 100’s of years. Wax as a top coat, does not apply as much when you have used Latex paint because as you may know- Latex has a rubbery- sometimes plastic feel to the surface and the wax cannot penetrate it as well. Latex literally floats on the surface of a piece of furniture – which is why you always use a primer first to give the Latex paint something to “bite” to. Also, this is why when you bang into a piece painted with Latex- the latex typically chips or flakes off.

But back on focus regarding wax, and dark wax for that matter. I always tell my customers that using dark wax is a bit of a creative process. Honestly, there is no one way to to apply it – because in the end…aesthetically if you love the look of the piece you created…then I would say you did a perfect job.

Generically speaking, in the hierarchy of how to approach a project, or the order you do your steps in, it is as follows:
1. Apply Chalk Paint® or Milk Paint & let it dry fully.
2. Apply Clear Wax (immediately wipe off the residual…watch a VIDEO HERE if you are new to waxing please.) & allow it to dry (or not)
3. Apply Dark Wax (immediately wipe off the residual) and allow it to dry so it is not tacky.
4. Lastly…. apply French Gilding Wax if you are using it.




 Mixing the Clear Wax with the Dark Wax- (extends play time and lightens the hue of the dark wax:)

In a separate container, mix some of Annie’s Clear Wax with the Dark Wax. The obvious thing that happens – is that the color of the Dark Wax is lightened. Obviously- the more Clear Wax you add- the lighter the tone of the Dark Wax will be. Once upon a time – Annie offered three waxes. One was an amber color. But it just made sense to sell two instead, and then customers could mix them to any hue they wanted. A benefit of mixing Clear Wax with the Dark Wax- is that is seems to extend the playing time of the wax and it doesn’t “set” as quick.

Lastly, you can use the dark wax straight out of the tin and apply it to your Chalk Paint® without a layer of clear wax being applied. 

Keep in mind- the Clear Wax base adds to protection- but this option is fine for items that will have minimal handling, like picture frames or molding.



* The amount of Mineral Spirits added will obviously determine how “THIN” your glaze will be. Often- I add 50:50 Mineral Spirits to Dark Wax. For the Bombay Dresser however, I only added about a tablespoon.


* Mix the Mineral Spirits to some Dark Wax in a separate container to “thin” the Dark Wax. IN THIS CASE AGAIN- I only added 1 tablespoon to thin it just a smidge.

* When mixing the Mineral Spirits with Dark Wax- incorporate it really good. Use the “regular” Mineral Spirits- NOT the “Green” kind which looks milky white.

By adding a small amount of Mineral Spirits- I am thinning the consistency of the Dark Wax. Again, I actually consider what I did – as thinning it – not making a glaze with it- since the consistency I had when doing this Bombay Dresser was not fluid.

Adding a small amount of Mineral Spirits it allows me to work with the Dark Wax more and it does not dry or cure as fast. Meaning get too thick – too quickly.

It is important to understand that once you wax a piece of furniture, you cannot polyurethane over it! It will eventually cause a quality problem, I guarantee that! You can use a furniture oil…like Miss Mustard Seed’s Hemp Oil…and once fully cured, you can use wax over that, but not the other way around. (I don’t know why you would wax over oil, but just an FYI if you are considering it.)

As always- I recommend using a wax brush- and feel that a wax brush is worth its weight in gold! When I apply Clear Wax – I work in about 1 foot sections … I use a circular motion when applying the Clear Wax. Sometimes- depending on the piece- (except when going for that Rustic look or when you have a textured piece) I will apply the wax in the same direction as my painted brush strokes. 

If you have a stockist located near you- then I strongly recommended that you take a Chalk Paint™ Workshop. Annie’s stockist go through formal training that was created by Annie! No matter how many years of painting experience we each have- we are all educated on the in’s and out’s (or should I say the correct way of using Annie’s products!) Annie has high expectations for her stockist and wants you- the consumer to be able to get all of the functionality you can from her delicious paint! You will learn the professional tricks of the trade and take your furniture pieces to the next level! All Annie Sloan Stockist go through a formal Train The Trainer- and are educated based on exactly how Annie Sloan suggests using her products. Taking a workshop is very beneficial!!!!