By H.M. Shaw
We learn best by doing. When we do try our hand at something new, we are most likely going to make serious blunders. The mere thought of learning how to use a product that requires delicacy and patience makes you want to do anything but learn how to use that product that requires both delicacy and patience.
Which brings us to our pasty protagonist (Um…no…not me.): Annie Sloan Soft Wax. First of all, I am going to stress that you do as this blogger says and not as she does. Use this product whenever you get the chance to do so. You want to protect your paint and pull at a few aesthetic heart strings? Use. Soft. Wax! You will be thankful that you did.
After all, a purchase of any Annie Sloan product is a investment beyond dollar amounts. Choosing Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® means any room or rescued furniture piece will have a signature color that will go on as smoothly as a symphony that is low VOC and that doesn’t require over ten coats only to chip after one year. Choosing Soft Wax to preserve the paint job and/or (if you also choose a white, black, or dark wax) subtly change the shade of your paint color can really insure that you got your money’s worth.
Chalk Paint novices and vets alike will express the same lines and question marks:
“Isn’t it messy?”
“Doesn’t it take a lot of time?”
“Isn’t it easy to screw up?”
Maybe to all of the above.
And by “maybe,” we mean, no.
Using wax is simple as long you are mindful of methods. We implore you, put your wax-related reservations into retirement. You got this!
- Apply clear wax first before you apply a white, black, or dark wax. Sometimes it’s best to avoid applying a white, black, or dark by itself. (UNLESS you want Graphite to look more black apply dark wax directly. This is only if you are absolutely sure you want to soften the paint color use white wax directly.) As tempting as it is to buy one less can of wax, you will set yourself up for having a piece’s color come out looking cloudy and unkempt. Clear Wax helps the White, Black, or Dark Wax set in place properly. Clear Wax can also manipulate any heavy handed applications of White, Black, or Dark Wax to prevent any chance of uneven tone and unsavory texture.
- Just like anything else in our universe, the best way to prevent any disaster that cannot be undone is to use moderation. It is tempting to take ten times more wax than an application requires. A very small portion of wax will take you a long way. Having those small amounts on rags or brushes can result in the desired finish. If you apply an amount of wax that is a bit bigger than the size of a quarter, be prepared to make more work for yourself and have to remove about half of it. Remember, the desired texture during application is that of velvet after the initial application— so that later the buffed and the hardened wax should not feel sticky or slick. There are methods to save waxing gone wrong. Then again, in the time that we can go back to fixing something we can move onto starting the next project.
- Let’s go back to our co-star cloth. The brushes are ideal for getting big jobs done faster by picking up, holding, and smoothing out the small amounts of wax flawlessly. Using fabric gives you a feel for what too much wax is before you accidentally use too much wax. (The best fabric for application? A torn up t-shirt. And, hey, it’s another way to dispose of those ex-lover artifacts.) If it is your first or even second time using wax, I implore you to use fabric for your application and cheesecloth for buffing. (At Blue Sky, we love our cheesecloth for buffing!) This is not to dismiss the magic wands that are Annie Sloan’s wax brushes. The wax brushes are extremely beneficial to use. However, if you are just breaking your waxing muscles, you must be prudent with the amount of wax that you pick up on the brush. Sometimes that few extra seconds of a wax brush bristle set in the wax can catch a lot of wax. A feather-touch the wax with the brush will do.
- Uneven wax jobs are the last thing that you want for both the color and texture of your work in progress. If you find that your hardening wax(es) is/are tacky to the touch, an easy fix is just some elbow grease behind a wad of steel wool. Go with the grain, turn this task into a jaunty musical number with some side steps as you work away excess wax. Whatever you choose to do with the abrasive item from your arsenal, just take care of the excess wax right away. If you leave it, you are leaving you walls, fixtures, furniture, etc. to feel unfinished.
Working with wax will not only give you more experience with Annie Sloan’s product line, you will gain the same skill set as a professional decorator. Anything that is worth learning involves a few trials before achieving perfection. This is how we evolve from dabbling to design.
Speaking of dabbling and design, stay tuned. We here at Blue Sky have so much to share to keep your 2017 crafty.
SPOILER ALERT: This might not be the last that you’ll hear about the wonders of Soft Wax!