I have been asked many times, how to use dark wax, which is not really something that is easy to explain. It is best shown. I’ve also seen some furniture painters out there attempt to use dark wax and end up making it look splotchy and dirty. I’ve definitely had my share of mess-ups, which I was able to fix, but through the process, I’ve learned the fastest, easiest way to use dark wax. So I’m imparting some of my knowledge via video tutorial today!
This is a continuation of the end table makeover I revealed this past Monday, but also used to show how to dry brush in the video tutorial I did last week! Dark wax is best used to deepen bright colors (like red, blue, and green), to add warmth and an authentic aged look to lighter colors, and it also accentuates details by settling into crevices, adding contrast!
Here it is! Let me know if there are parts I didn’t address or you still have questions about!
Laurel Stephens says
Excellent tutorial for waxing. Thank you!
Wow so happy I found you I painted a dresser and put dark wax on the drawers only but it looks messy so I am going tp buy clear wax and get some of the dark wax off just like you taught in your video so excited. Since I dont have much money I am buying furniture like dirt cheap and trying to refurbish .My new home is going to look awsome.
Jill alles says
What bade color did you use on your end table? Very pretty!
Annie Sloan French Linen
Gloria Sorensen says
Can you use this on kitchen cuboard iland?
Kellie Fletcher says
Thanks for the tutorial! So you don’t have to let the clear wax dry first? And I noticed that your brushes look different… Do you have a favorite brush or brushes?
You don’t have to let the clear wax dry first, no, but make sure you work in small sections, and wipe off excess immediately. The tapered brush is an Annie Sloan wax brush and it is quite spendy ($80) but I LOVE it. It gets in all the crevices and small spots so easily. The other flat bottom brush is the wax brush that used to be sold by all the Annie Sloan retailers, before Annie Sloan developed her wax brushes. They work good and are natural bristles. They are quite stiff, much more so than the Annie Sloan wax brush, but are less expensive ($40). I much prefer the Annie Sloan wax brush, but any wax brush will do. I think Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint retailers sell some that are good or you could try Amazon! Just make sure you get natural bristles, because they last longer.
Is it better to use the solid wax? I bought some liquid dark wax. Not sure if I should use it.
Do you apply a final coat of clear wax after your dark wax or is the piece finished after the dark wax application?
Great video! I have a a light brown sixties credenza i would like to have that bluish finish on. Would I need to paint it first or is there a wax that would work on that? Thanks for any advice!
If you just want a slightly bluish tinge to the wood finish then you can mix a little light blue paint with clear wax and apply it that way. Dark wax really works best for making a piece look authentically aged and toned down a bit. If you want the credenza another color then paint it first and apply your topcoat (wax if you choose).
Sorry, one more question. Do you buff the furniture after waxing? BTW, I have been looking at techniques and ASCP color combinations to use on my fireplace mantle for over two weeks and finally came across your video. Thank you for saving me!!!!! The table is beautiful!! I’ve never used chalk paint so . . . . Wish me luck!
No you dont need to put a final coat of clear wax after the dark wax, and yes you can buff it, but try to stick to buffing only areas that would get touched a lot… Looks more authentic that way! Good luck, send me a pic when you are done! Shadesofblueinteriors@gmail.com
Sure will and thanks again!
I normally avoid videos…not sure why…but super helpful! The video was just what I needed. Wanting a restoration hardware look on a bunk bed I’m doing, and after the clear wax I realize I want something richer and a tad darker. Your before of the end table without the dark wax resembled the bed after painting and clear wax so you gave me the needed push to go buy the dark wax and try it. Great tutorial and beautiful site. Thank you!
Will the wax come off after everything is done? In other words how durable is the finish? Also if you have a piece of furniture that doesn’t have much detailing but you want to give it an older look, is this the way to go or is there another technique you would recommend? Thanks:)
Some pieces I have done remain “greasy” even after two weeks of completion… showing fingerprints if touched. Solution?
You put too much on. You can soften what you have on there by putting a little clear wax on a cheesecloth rag and rubbing and wiping the surface until it is smooth or take a clean cotton rag that is nubby and absorbent and really wipe hard and buff until smooth. It shouldn’t ever be tacky, even right after you apply it– if it is… You have used too much.
Thank you for that information. I guess I too put too much wax on my piece making it sticky/tacky to touch. I had hoped it would harden with time to correct the stickiness but it has remained tacky after several weeks. I will buff it with vigor!
Love your videos. Best I have seen so far. I hope they keep coming. Do you have any on the wash technique?
Thank you so much Christine! That is a great suggestion! I had thought of doing some more videos soon, and a wash tutorial I think would be a great subject for the next one! Be sure and subscribe so you can be notified when I finish it!
Just came across your video and I am so glad I did! I have never used the dark wax before and really had no idea how to use it. Your video was so concise and clear and now I feel confident to get started with dark wax. Thanks!
Hello, you mentioned in earlier that you were able to correct muddy mistakes made with the dark wax, can you share them with me? I have a piece that looks muddy and splotchy. Any help would be so appreciated. Love your blog by the way! 🙂
Jenny, if you watch the video, it shows how. It’s basically applying clear wax and rubbing hard… but I demonstrate in the video.
Do you think this painting/waxing technique would work on wood paneling on a wall? I would love to do this in my kitchen.
jeani jo says
This has been the most straght forward and helpful video thank you!!! It was a mystery to me before how people were getting this gorgeous rich look…good job
What color of paint did you use? I love it!
Mylinda Dockery says
Thank you for your tutorial on using dark wax. It was very helpful! I have just had my first experience with chalk paint and loved it. I used Duck Egg Blue and was glad to learn about the dark wax as it is just too bright for the room. Question: I have seen some things about mixing the colors. I have bought Old White to redo my china cabinet. If you use two colors would I paint another coat with the white, over the blue, and then sand and wax? What is the process? Thanks!
Susie Lederet says
Your video was great! And very helpful thank you.
I have an old chest and the top is water stained!! 🙁 I would love to put it in my living room. What would I do about the water stains? HELP!!!!
Can I make it look beautiful again ?
Susie Lederer says
Sorry Rachel- my last name was spelled wrong… ?
I used dark wax without using clear wax first. Is there anything I can do to fix it?
Unfortunately not really… you can try to use clear wax and really rub it in to get as much as you can off, but you might just have to re-paint over it.
Thanks for the video! Seeing it is so much easier. I have used chalk paint on several surfaces. My issue is dark wax. Your wax looks thick like I think wax should. When I’ve found dark” wax ” locally it as thin like paint. Bottle says antiquing wax, however it is thin like paint and doesn’t apply well. Am I not finding the correct wax ?
Yeah you need to get Annie Sloan Dark wax or Miss Mustard Seed’s Antiquing wax. They are thick dark paste– margarine consistency.
Thanks! I will look for those..:)
Stacy Flowers says
Can I do this on kitchen cabinets that get touched a lot by teenagers, or am I better off using chalk paint. I’m a 1st timer on both. Thank you!
I finished my project but put the dark wax on first 🙁 It is a mirror that has a lot of crevices that I want the wax to be evident in; more than in your video. Shall I rub it off and start again, using the clear wax first?
Not sure you can just rub it off since it soaks into the paint…I would get some clear wax and try to rub it in areas that you want to remove some of the dark wax and see if that works!
Thank you for the great video. It is so helpful to us novices. Please tell me the colour of paint you used. I love it and want to make some old dark furniture lighter.
I am having my kitchen cabinets painted and like the antique look of glazing. My painter will not do this. Would dark waxing all cabinets work?
I would not particularly recommend dark waxing them. I think glazing is something that would be better so you could put a super hard clear top coat on top (can’t do that with wax).
Hi! I love the look u got from this technique! I am trying to do the same for my round pedestal table, and your video was so helpful! I just wanted to know if you distressed this piece at all?
Before I waxed, yes I distressed it.
Simple and clear. Thank You!
Where do I get the clear and dark wax? Home depot or Lowes? Thanks
Lorri Rauscher says
Awesome video….you answered all the questions I had…Thank you..?
Janet M Kendall says
Can you do this on fake wood furniture? I have a coffee table that has a nice grain look to it but the color is too light for my tastes. I’m wondering if dark wax could take it to a more cherry/reddish color? Basically I want the overall color to be more red but still allow the grain to show.
Julie Parton says
A good easy video to follow
I did my bed Grey did clear wax then black wax but still looks muddy how do I fix it
Love the video! What color chalk paint did you use?
Terry Vanderaa says
excellent video, I painted the base of my coffee table red and wanted to soften the look and did not know whether to use glaze or wax. Your video answered that question for me. Thank you
Excellent video! Can I paint over a clear wax? I just waxed and buffed a mirror frame and I’m not loving the colour. I’d like to add a darker shade of grey. Tia
Meri Glavinić says
Useful video!!! Should it be Annie Sloan’s chalk paint or can I wax some other paint? Meri
I just watch video, very heloful. I had already done a piece and it is very muddy & streaked ( shows brush marks) I hope using the clear wax over dark will help. If this does not work any other ideas would be helpful. I was told I could apply paint thinner in small areas also what do you think?
Barb Starck says
Thanks for the tutorial it was great ! I too am a novice at this and want projects to be done quickly. This kind of tells me I need to be patient and do a good job. Thanks again very informative, I’m ready to get busy.
Ann M. Eichner says
Can you use a colored wax over stain?
Liv wenchell says
Your post helped me tremendously. I must have watched video a dozen times. My very first project was a coffee table and end table, which came out exactely the way I envisioned it. The dry brush and dark wax worked out perfuctly. Thank you so much. Looking for something else to do. L.W.
I used dark wax for the first time and was wondering what i may have done wrong that lead to the unevenness of the finish. Is there something that i should have done differently? How can i correct it to create a more consistent appearance? See link below.
Hi Rachel! I have done my first piece of furniture in old white then put on a clear wax and then dark wax. I feel the dark wax has made the piece look dirty. It has been several days and I am wondering if there is a way to take some of the dark wax off or have I waited too long? Would it lighten it up if I put a white wax on it? I think the problem was that the dark wax dried too much before I wiped it off. I completely did the piece with clear wax before I applied the dark.
Sheryl Neely says
Thank you so much for your video. I just finished an electric fireplace and I’m in love!!!!
Suzi MacDougall says
Can this wax be used on outdoor furniture?
Vickie Holl says
Is this technique good over chalk paint? I have already messed up once with using dark wax. Looked muddy and smuggy…absorbed very quickly. Don’t want to mess up again if it’s the chalk paint.
How do you clean the brushes you used for wax? Thank you.
Awesome video explaining this technique! I’m a newbie & had no idea you couldn’t put a top coat after waxing… Is that just for dark/antique waxing? I’ve done a buffet with chalk paint & used Polyacrylic for my topcoat with absolutely no problems. Thanks for sharing your video, I’m one of those peeps who need to see it otherwise it’s blah.. Blah… Blah.. So glad I found you!!!
Awesome videos – so thorough and NOW I am going to start my pieces ! Will let you know how they turn out … This is just what I was looking for … and I love that you say that we can dry brush a piece that’s been painted / stained already and go from there … thanks so much Rachel ! Will be looking out for more from you !!
Patsy Cumbie says
Thanks for the video – so helpful! I want to “refresh” an oak bookcase but want a painted look – not the shabby chic – with a glaze and darker accents in the crevices. Can I use the dark wax over the entire piece, then wipe it off (as you did in the video) and then apply a poly type clear coat to protect the finish? Thanks!
Lu Ann says
Hi Rachel and thanks for the great video on dark waxing. My friend who is obsessed with Annie Sloane heats her wax before she uses it, are you familiar with that technique, and do you recommend it? Thanks!
Can I apply a glaze over latex paint or only chalk paint?
This tutorial is about using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Annie Sloan Wax. I couldn’t give advice on other glazes or paints as I don’t have as much experience with them.
Thank you very much. The best tutorial i ve ever seen.
K Jeffers says
Ok I’m confused ? After y use clear wax and wipe down don’t you have to wait 24 hours before applying dark wax??
Nope! Wax dries immediately. As long was you don’t use too much.
I want to use this technique on my new fireplace. Do you have to use chalk paint as a base or can you use other paint? I want the end product to have more if a glossy finish, I have an active house and don’t want the finish to be ruined.
Yes you can use dark wax over latex or acrylic paint but wouldn’t use more than a semi-gloss finish. And perhaps try on a test board first to see how it looks before doing the whole fireplace.
A G says
Looks really really nice. That’s swesome. Finally I found good help. Just the right help I was needing. You really walked me through the whole process. Thank you soo much you explain everything really good. 👍
Susan Moss says
Great video! I’m doing a couple pieces for my sister. They are big pieces, so I was trying to see if I clear wax and dark wax small sections at a time. I’m just trying to accent certain spots (details) on the dresser. Thank so much for you ideas!
Kellie Ann says
Thanks for the easy understanding of this technique. I really enjoyed the learning experience. Do you have more videos teaching different techniques when refurbishing old furniture ?