Why should I wax my piece?
Waxing protects the surface of your furniture by penetrating the paint to create a permanent bond. Chalk Paint® is matte and chalky and will absorb contaminants from the environment (i.e., skin oils, coffee cup stains, etc.) and permanently stain your painted finish.
Why use Annie Sloan Soft Waxes?
Annie Sloan developed her Soft Wax specifically for her Chalk Paint®. It is very smooth, like soft margarine, easy-to-use and contains very little odor. This wax is safer than most finishes because it does not contain harsh chemical solvents like quick drying agents. Our Soft Wax is guaranteed to work with Chalk Paint®. Is it that important? Yes. A few clients who used other wax brands found the wax removed the paint right off the piece.
I have never used Soft Wax before. How do I use it?
If you are new to waxes, it takes a little time to master but it is simple to use. The most common mistake is applying too much wax. Brush or wipe a thin layer of clear wax on the surface, wait five minutes, then go back and wipe off the excess with a lint-free cloth. (Most people skip this important step). After applying a coat of clear wax, you can accent specific areas with dark wax. Apply a small amount and wipe off excess as you go. If the dark wax becomes too hard to work with, simply add clear wax. If you are building up layers of wax for a stronger finish, wait 24 hours in between clear wax layers.
Wait 24 hours to buff to a desired sheen. If you try to buff the wax too soon, before the solvent has fully evaporated, you will effectively be stripping the wax from the surface. This is the reason a poorly waxed surface appears to have shiny and dull areas. If the solvent in the wax has not fully evaporated, the buffing cloth will pick up the solvent and use it like a wax stripper, removing any dry wax as you attempt to buff the surface. If the wax is left on too long, it simply is harder to buff out. In any case, don’t be alarmed; this can easily be corrected in either instance by simply applying another coat of wax.
Why do you recommend applying the paint, waxing it and then distressing it? Isn’t that backwards?
Fist, the wax gives you a lot more control when you are sanding by allowing you to expose layers of paint or the wood underneath gradually. This is how you recreate the natural look of furniture that has been painted layer by layer over the years. Second, sanding chalk pain produces a lot of chalk dust. Waxing first cuts down on the amount of dust. Third, an initial layer of clear wax protects your paint from dark wax. If clear wax isn’t applied first, the dark wax will stain the paint color.
If I want a distressed look, why don’t I just use the dark wax? Why do I need an initial layer of clear wax?
Dark wax goes a long way, so you only need very little of it. The clear wax layer protects your paint color. If the clear wax barrier isn’t there, the dark wax will permanently stain your paint color. When you apply the dark wax after the clear wax, you control the dark wax application. If you were to use dark wax first, it will stay in the place where you applied it. It will darken you paint color permanently.
What if I apply too much dark Soft Wax?
If you have applied your clear Soft Wax before the dark wax, you can use more clear wax as an “eraser”. Simply dip a clean rag into clear wax and use it to “pull off” the dark wax. If you did not use clear wax first or the dark wax has dried completely and cured, you simply paint over the wax and start again. No extra prep work needed.
My wax is still tacky and will not dry, what did I do wrong?
Again, the most common mistake is applying too much wax and not wiping off the excess. Apply Soft wax with a brush or rag, wait five minutes and wipe off the excess. If you start buffing and find the wax is still tacky, wait until the surface is no longer tacky to the touch.
I just finished waxing my piece, and I can scratch my fingernail through the wax to expose the paint. What is wrong?
As with any product, it needs time to cure. While Annie Sloan products are very quick and easy-to-use, they do need time to cure and set up. Once cured, the Soft Wax provides a strong and durable finish. Note: many different factors effect curing time (temperature, humidity, amount of wax applied, etc.). Also remember Annie’s Soft Waxes do not contain harsh chemicals, such as quick drying solvents. The best advice is to wait 14 to 30 days prior to placing anything on top of your painted surface.
What can I do about bleed-through?
Most surfaces can be covered with one coat of Chalk Paint®. However, on occasion two coats are necessary. Remember some pieces of furniture can be stubborn with any paint. If bleed-through is really a problem, wax the problem areas using Annie’s clear Soft Wax. This wax layer acts as a barrier and seals anything from bleeding through the paint. After the wax is dry, simply paint over the Soft Wax. Don’t forget to apply another coat of clear wax to seal the painted area.