On the heels of my alternative to chalk paint post re: my beloved mineral paint, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a quick blurb about the icing on the painted furniture cake – paste wax.
Yes, like chalk paint, there are many different options out there to seal and protect your labor of love. No, I have not tried them all – mainly because I’m cheap and more inclined to employ a tad more elbow grease to err on the side of pocket-book-friendly when it comes to time vs money. Plus, I like being able to run out for supplies as needed (and grab a coffee along the way). You just can’t do that with a lot of the other options since they require ordering and shipping and waiting – bah, my attention span has no patience for that – and there’s no coffee reward involved.
An unexpected benefit of opting for the ‘harder to work with kind’ is that I am rocking some svelte underarms these days, just saying.
Anyhow, early on I heard that sealing certain paint colors with clear paste wax can/will result in the tint yellowing over time. I’ve not personally experienced this (because I poly anything I paint white and then wax if needed) but enough of the ‘pros’ have warned against it that I take heed. The general recommendation is to use a tinted wax as an alternative but my local Menards only stocks the clear kind.
So what is a furniture flipper to do?
Do it yourself of course.
Grab a glass jar and scoop a spoonful or two of the clear solid paste wax into it.
Then, fill a pot with water and place the glass jar inside over medium high heat. Bring to a slight boil.
Next, open the windows and turn on the overhead exhaust while the wax melts down (this will only take a few minutes). Trust me on this one or you, too, will have a cranky, sensitive-nosed spouse asking what in the hell you did to stink up the place, again. (I don’t mind the smell or maybe I’m just immune.)
Once melted, remove the jar from the water (don’t forget to use a mitt – it will be hot!) and place on a heat-safe surface.
Immediately spoon-in a couple scoops of stain (I prefer oil-based to water-based stain but either will do) and swirl the jar around to mix with the melted wax. Set it off to the side and finish up your painting and distressing while it cools and hardens.
Banzai! Now you’re ready to wax.
Wait. What’s that? You’re not sure how to wax over mineral paint?
No problem – I’ll show you!
(Note: The wax applied in this video is clear, not tinted. However, on my dog bed redo there’s a noticeable color change from DIY Tinted Wax.)
Now, typically I will let my piece cure for a day and then re-wax for added durability. I instruct all my clients not to use Pledge or other polishing sprays on my pieces. A weekly rubdown with a microfiber cloth (Norwex is my pick) will keep the wax buffed up and looking pretty.
Remember though, that while wax is meant to produce a fine furnishings finish it’s not practical for use on high-traffic items. It won’t provide much protection against water/moisture and will require reapplication over time. So, don’t go waxing up your dining room table unless you’ve poly’d it first okay grasshopper?
“Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.” – Mr. Miyagi.
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