Working with Soft Wax

Annie Sloan Soft Wax was designed to work with Chalk Paint® as a system. Soft Wax is easy to apply and makes a good bond to the paint for durability.

Apply Soft Wax in thin, even coats. This will ensure even drying and result in a nice, even sheen after buffing (a thicker area of wax will dry slower, and those areas will not buff to as high a sheen).

Brush or rub Soft Wax over the surface, spreading the wax thinly. Some people like to use a circular motion, while others (like Annie Sloan) prefer a more gentle sweeping movement.

On large flat surfaces, such as tabletops, apply Soft Wax with the wood grain and then even off by wiping from end to end. Avoid leaving any “stop and go” marks. Buff in the same direction as the grain.

Wait until the solvents evaporate before buffing. If you buff too soon, you are effectively stripping the wax from the surface. This is the primary reason a waxed surface appears to have shiny and dull areas. Although drying time can take as little as 10 – 20 minutes and will buff out nicely, a couple of hours or even overnight can be best. The wax is ready to buff when it no longer feels cool or damp to the touch.

Buffing lightly will produce a satin sheen, while more vigorous buffing can produce a higher sheen or even a gloss.

Don’t leave the wax on too long before buffing. It simply is harder to buff out. If this happens, don’t be alarmed. This can easily be corrected by applying another thin coat of wax. The solvents will melt the underlying coat, making it easier to remove any excess wax and create a beautiful sheen.

Use soft 100% cotton lint-free cloths for buffing. Old and laundered t-shirts, linens, diapers, and terry shop towels work well. The softer the cloth, the higher the resulting sheen. Switch to a clean cloth when the old one becomes clogged with wax.

Applying two thin coats of Soft Wax is best. It is nearly impossible, even for a professional, to apply a single coat of wax evenly and without missing a spot. Applying “a little bit more” wax will insure complete wax protection, improving the performance of the wax.

Maintaining a wax finish is easy. When dusting, use a damp cloth followed by a soft, dry one. Avoid all furniture polishes and oils. Wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent spotting. Use coasters under glasses and vases, placemats under dinnerware, and pads or trivets under hot dishes. Reapply a coat of wax when you can no longer buff the wax to a nice sheen.

Wax is by nature water resistant but will spot if not wiped immediately. It is also alcohol soluble and should not be used in bar areas.

Any protective coating can be susceptible to scratches, stains and watermarks. When these occurrences happen to a wax coating, they are quickly and easily repaired with just a bit more wax rubbed into the marked area.

Once Soft Wax is applied, no other finish can be applied to the project to help protect the wax. Attempting to add varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, or any other topcoat over a wax finish is futile.

You can only make two mistakes when applying wax. You can put too much on and you can try to buff it out too soon.

By Barb Skivington