When I was writing the title out for this post, I immediately thought of “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” from Disney.
Pooh takes me back to the good ‘ol days of grilled cheese and movies on the family room floor, but I digress.
To the present!
Do you know how versatile Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax is? It’s the bread and butter of a chalk painter’s life. Most people ask why it’s sold in such big tins. Well, after you read about all of the different ways you can use it, you’ll understand why!
(Note – this is not a post teaching you HOW to wax
but rather all the different ways you can use Clear Soft Wax.)
Use 1 – Sealing Chalk Paint®
When customers visit me at Natasha Shea’s shop, Love Street, they often ask if they have to seal Chalk Paint®. The answer is 100% yes.
Unlike latex, Chalk Paint® doesn’t have a finish built in. Think about what happens when you buy a gallon of wall paint from your local paint store. You choose your finish first (flat, semi gloss, gloss, etc.) and then color is added and mixed for a million hours (or at least it seems like a million hours). Chalk Paint® is different. The pigments are already mixed in and you add the finish in the form of Clear Soft Wax. Basically, crack open the can and have at it! Clear Soft Wax enriches the color of your chosen Chalk Paint®, protects it, and seals it in all in one step.
Use 2 – Removing Scuffs
Once you have painted your glorious piece, it’s time to start using it. Even if you wait the recommended time to allow your Clear Soft Wax to cure (roughly 20 days), it is still susceptible to scuffs, just as any finish would be (latex included). It happened to a pair of Paris Grey plant tables that I painted and waxed.
We had them staged in the shop and when I went to move them to another spot, I found that there were black scuff marks in my White Soft Wax finish. I grabbed my tin of Clear Soft Wax, a clean shop towel, and using about a dime sized amount of wax, gently buffed them away. It took all of about 5 seconds for the spots to disappear. I went over the spots with a bit more White Soft Wax to fill in what I had removed, and you would never be able to tell!
You can visit my Facebook page to view the quick clip I filmed of the process.
Use 3 – Acting as a Barrier Between Paint and Colored Waxes
In addition to Clear Soft Wax, Annie Sloan has White, Brown (called “Dark”), and Black Soft Waxes. These colored waxes add fun punches, depth, age, and character to a regular Chalk Paint finish. Before you put on a colored wax, you should use Clear Soft Wax first. The reason is because the colored waxes will make your paint job muddy, smoky, and dulled. By having a barrier of Clear Soft Wax down first, your color will maintain its hue and your wax will compliment your paint job instead of compromising it.
Sometimes using the Dark (remember, this one is brown) and Black Soft Waxes can create a very intense look – even after you’ve rubbed away the excess. By going over your colored waxes with Clear Soft Wax, you can remove or erase your colored wax so it sits just the way you want.
Take Natasha’s Antibes Green sideboard for example:
She waxed this pretty guy with Clear Soft Wax first and then went over it with Black Soft Wax. She dialed the look back with more Clear Soft Wax so the look wasn’t so intense. See how the black wax settled into the grooves of this piece so nicely?
That’s a beautiful result of using the clear and colored waxes together.
Here’s another example of my French Linen dresser and side table:
I used this technique on the top,
and on the hardware.
Use 4 – Lubricating Stubborn Drawers
How many of us have worked on old pieces that have stubborn drawers? You practically have to take a running start and shove your shoulder into them to get them to close.
Anyone else feel my (literal) pain?
Save yourself the trouble and use Clear Soft Wax to lubricate the tracks and runners of your drawers. They’ll slide in and out like champs after the treatment!
Use 5 – Fixing Streaky and Sticky Wax Jobs
Let’s say that you waxed a piece and it feels super sticky or the wax went on really streaky. You can use more Clear Soft Wax to fix it! Just put a bit on to reactivate the wax that’s already on your piece. Keep rubbing and removing, and before you know it, your finish will feel smooth and non-sticky in no time!
I had to do this on my Chateau Gray mini sideboard. After 3 weeks, the top was still tacky, so I re-waxed it and removed the excess. It turned out great!
Use 6 – Staining Wood
So technically this technique isn’t specific to Clear Soft Wax, but since we’re on the topic of how awesome Annie Sloan’s wax is, let’s throw this technique in for fun, shall we?
I recently painted an oak washstand in Emperor’s Silk. The look rounded out with Clear Soft Wax and Dark Soft Wax.
I really like to restore the wood on the tops of my pieces if I can, so this guy was no exception. I used Citri-Strip to get rid of the old finish and I sanded it down using my orbital sander.
When it came time to decide what to do with the wood, I decided to try Dark Soft Wax right out of the can on the raw wood. Check out the results:
Totes gorgeous, right?
So there’s another fun way to use Annie Sloan’s wax – staining wood.
Hopefully you have a few new tricks to add to your arsenal of Chalk Paint® awesomeness and you’ll find Clear Soft Wax to be as helpful as I have! You can find your nearest Annie Sloan stockist here. If you’re local to Downingtown, come visit Natasha’s shop, Love Street!