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    Annie Sloan chalk paint – How to wax and buff wax – for boys

    Annie Sloan chalk paint is mainly for girls – but boys can use it too! Read a professional Traditional Painter’s practical tips on Annie Sloan chalk paint – How to wax and buff wax.

    In general terms, you apply chalk paint to any surface with minimal preparation, sand (or not), wax a few times and buff.

    Here’s how a painter boy tackled that.

    Applying chalk paint

    There is plenty of online instruction from lady decorators on how to apply the chalk paint to a piece of furniture – a nice synthetic brush, and just get it on, 2 coats in quick succession. For a distressed finish there is no need to be ultra careful with brush technique.

    Painter boys who need to get the paint on fast and even for a flat finish, might like the Wooster FTP brush with Annie Sloan chalk paint. It is a very productive combination.

    The first coat dries in a matter of an hour, and will cover really really well on bare wood.

    Second coat obliterates totally, for a nice full solid colour finish.

    If aiming for specific colours, please bear in mind that clear wax will darken the paint a couple of shades, so account for that.

    Sanding chalk paint

    The chalk paint is very soft, so if you need to sand, and want to avoid dust galore, eg if you have applied a coat, see some dings and dents to fill, then if sanding back the filler you will create filler and chalk paint dust. Therefore use one of these tools for boys, ideally attached to a good vacuum. As an idea, the hand sander is a small investment of £33.07 including VAT and delivery from Hallmark Frauhlo

    However, in most circumstances, the advice from Annie herself

    I just want to tell you that I do not sand before I wax but ALWAYS sand after I have waxed… Much less dust – well none actually!! (Annie Sloan)

    On the above dresser, after a first coat revealed obvious defects in the pine, I did spot filling on nail heads and had to sand back flush. Being ultra soft, it went back to bare wood around the nail head. No problem. A couple of quick touch-in coats of chalk paint before the topcoat and waxing… Very versatile.

    Applying wax to chalk paint – the normal way

    Chalk paint needs to be sealed. Buffed up wax is an effective and aesthetically pleasing sealant. It is also time consuming doing it the conventional way.

    There are videos galore showing how to apply clear wax on tabletops and buff up using lint free rag and elbow grease. Wipe on, wait to dry, then buff with clean rag. It is the same principle over chalk paint.

    Or you can apply dark wax (or wax tinted with chalk paint) with a brush and wipe off and buff with a rag.

    Or apply dark wax with a brush and then brush on clear wax to create interesting distressed protective finishes. Here’s a video on dark wax/clear wax combination to create distressed paint finish with chalk paint

    Apply wax to chalk paint and buff, the commercial boys way!

    Another reminder, hopefully the paint colour you have chosen has taken account for the fact that the clear wax will darken the paint a couple of shades?

    It is surprisingly difficult to find short sharp videos on how boys can apply Annie Sloan clear wax and buff it up without all that elbow grease.

    Well, no video here, but here is one way to get productive and efficient with wax finishes on furniture or unfitted kitchen furniture or kitchen cabinets etc.

    1 - Bain marie
    Pour hot water into a suitable container and place your tin of wax in the water. Wait for the wax to melt a bit.

    2 – Apply clear wax over a section of chalk paint with a clean rag. Not too liberal. In its soggy state, it goes a long way quickly.

    3 – Before moving to next section, make sure there are no obvious smears and lumps left behind.

    4 – When you have completely first coated the piece(s) you are working on, and the wax is dry to the touch, apply another coat of wax as above. Repeat. 3 coats is a good number.

    6 – When the wax is all dry to the touch, out with the mother of all power tools! The Mirka CEROS orbital sander.

    This sander is designed on the lines of the car body shop models. I have the 5″ size, and with a 6″sheepskin pad, and set on low speed, you are in business! Because the 6″ pad is oversize for the 5″ model, you can work the extra sheepskin into corners, nooks and crannies. Job done.

    Give the wax a few days to harden off throughout its thickness, and you should get nice emails from customers saying how lovely the finish effect is.


    Chalk paint is ideal for distressed effects, but having successfully done a more conventional flat paint finish on a complete kitchen, I guess there are no rules.

    One rule I would like to break, is applying the wax. Can wax be sprayed? You bet. But see the comments below from a main supplier of spray wax.

    North of the border, Cait of Carte Blanche is the authority on most things to do with preparing, applying and distressing Annie Sloan chalk paint. Gibson is the bain marie expert on production quantity waxing. And Jocelyne has compiled a great one-stop page of all things Annie Sloan chalk paint, where I am the waxing expert!

    shabby chic chalk paintTraditional Painters regularly tackle furniture painting with chalk paint and have had good success using a protective coating with Tikkurila Kiva (clear water-borne).

    For an added “ageing effect” the Ronseal varnish as seen here on this dressing table from Adam Bermingham in Ireland, has a yellowy tinge and adhered and protected really well.

    See here for more examples of painted furniture, many of which could also be achieved with chalk paint and a bit of colour.



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    21 comments to “Annie Sloan chalk paint – How to wax and buff wax – for boys”

    1. Leah

      Where can you get the Picasso brush from? Is there a similar type brush available in the standard diy stores (Wickes, Homebase, B & Q etc)? I’m using Annie Sloane for my kitchen and after a flat finish.

    2. Traditional Painter

      Hi no chance getting a Picasso in a DIY store, not even in a decorator merchant store. They are online here

      Don’t get me wrong, a Picasso will make you smile, it is so well balanced, holds a lot of paint and leaves a lovely finish, but on the last couple of furniture jobs with AS chalk paint I have been trialing a Wooster FTP, available from Brewers in Derby, and with lots of panelling to cover, I find it even better suited than the Picasso for this particular paint.

    3. Nancy Hutchison

      Hi,

      I am having trouble with the Annie Sloan dark wax… The steps I use are: I paint the furniture piece with Annie Sloan chalk paint, two or three coats… I then put a good layer of clear wax, buff it, then I have been putting the dark wax on and taking off the excess with the clear wax… the problem I’m having is; the dark wax looks streaky, especially on the sides of a dresser or a larger area, the drawers seems to be fine, but… please help, thank you.

    4. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi Nancy

      You say a good layer of clear wax… if it is too good, ie too thick, it may dry patchy, and any unevenness / streakiness will be accentuated by the dark wax. Always apply a thin clear coating pushed into the chalk paint, (a lot of elbow grease straight out the can, or slightly less work if wax is melted in a bain marie ). Wipe off the clear wax hard “along the grain” with a clean cloth, leave it to harden for a few hours / next day. You don;t need to buff the clear wax before applying the dark wax.

      If you take a look at this video, it shows a larger panel that has been evenly waxed. The dark wax should be a “reflection” of that clear wax surface ie even. I think you are achieving the even clear wax coating on your drawers, which is making the dark waxing stage go well. But maybe you are not carrying your good technique through to the larger areas.

      http://www.perfectlyimperfectblog.com/2012/03/how-to-wax-furniture-part-2.html

      As a side note, I often have emails from “engineers” who think they should be able to get a perfect flat finish with chalk paint. To a degree yes it should be even and not streaky, but by its nature, in painting terms, this system is closer to an even colour wash than to a dead matt laminate finish.

    5. lydia culver

      Hi can you tell me please what do you apply your ‘warm’ wax with. Ty!!

    6. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      A big lint free rag works for me on flat surfaces. Brush in detailed areas.

    7. Rich

      We did our kitchen cabinets and they came out great. We did not do the inside, but some paint got on the inside doors. how can I clean the paint completely off?

    8. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Try a sharp scraper blade first. Dont gouge the wood.

      If that dosnt work, assuming you sealed chalk paint with wax, wipe off wax with KrudKutter Original. Once exposed, chalk paint will come off easily, say with a rough kitchen wiper or a blade.

    9. Lauren

      Hi there

      first off what a great blog!!

      Quick question is how much to buff on bare wood? I can see marks at certain angles on my piece. I put a coat of clear/dark mixed with a rag and wiped of excess and another coat a day later. Thank you!!

    10. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Like any wood coating, for a perfect even finish, wax has to be applied evenly, dry even and be buffed evenly. So apply wax sparingly, wipe off excess and lay off a section at a time, in one movement from end to end. That is about as even as you are going to get the wax laid on. When you buff it, I would trust a machine buffer or sander with a sheepskin for best results. By hand with a rag, you have more uneven pressure going on. Is that any help?

    11. Catherine

      …… I don’t understand the boy girl distinctions made here???? Is it because I’m female?

    12. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      It was a long time ago but I seem to remember it was primarily me saying that fellow pro decorators, many of whom are male and many of whom look down at something as “easy to use” as chalk paint, are missing a trick and need to get over themselves. It is an “artsy” product and it is not marketed particularly at all to the decorating trade, but we can still get our power tools out and get involved…

    13. Jim

      What is the spray wax you refer to? The link doesn’t go to a specific product.

    14. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      I received this from Wood Finishes where the link used to go.

      Spraying wax was quite big business in the 90′s when pine furniture was more popular but there’s not many doing it any more. For that reason we withdrew the product and have probably only had 2 enquiries in 3 years.

      Our page has been removed now.

      With kind regards – Laurence

    15. Joanne

      Hello Andy,

      Great blog with great advice for the novice.

      I cannot afford an expensive hand tool to buff for a perfect finish can you suggest a budget machine that includes the woolly pads and that can sand too?

    16. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi Joanne

      Try Flex tools for inexpensive (as well as expensive!) sanders. The sheepskin pad was from Mirka, a 6″. I am not familiar with real budget kit, it always seems to work out more expensive

    17. Clair

      Hi,
      Thanks for all the tips and advice about chalk painting. I’m just wondering- I have a piece of finished wooden furniture that’s a cherry wood colour. I’ve never like the cour of it but liked the piece. I was going to chalk paint it but it’s got decoupage on it and I don’t think It would be very successful. Im wondering if I could apply some dark wax to it to slightly darken the finish of the wood? Would the work or does the wax only work on top of chalk paint?

    18. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      There are a few options for sealing decoupage, the original medium is thinned down wood glue, or it could be a polyurethane or an acrylic varnish. Varnish would take wax without any issue. If wax affected wood glue, we would all be in trouble!

      I wouldn’t expect any issues, but as ever, please test in an out the way spot first.

    19. Clair

      Andy thank you so much for the quick response. I will try it out tomorrow. Your help is much appreciated! :)

    20. Becky

      Hello
      I am in the middle of painting a bedroom set I am just about to complete my second coat of paint and wanted to use your waxing approach however my orbital sander is not a body shop model just a standard sander will this still work in the same way? Any help greatly appreciated.

    21. Andy Crichton Andy Crichton

      Hi, it is a matter of a quick test piece. The only real “issue” I can envisage is perhaps the speed of your sander. With a variable speed I would set on lowest speed to buff the wax initially, so you can get it set off without rubbing through. If you are concerned, you could hover it so to speak without pressure, just let the sheepskin skim over the surface no weight down on it. If you don’t feel in control of it, just do the process manually, elbow grease rarely fails.

    Please ask a question or leave a comment

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