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Wax over Farrow and Ball eggshell

Listed under Blog, hand-painted kitchen, paint Posted Aug 18 2012

I received this question: Does wax over Farrow and Ball eggshell improve the finish? and how to clean a painted kitchen.

We have just painted our kitchen units in Farrow and Ball paint and we are pleased with the initial outcome.

Would you advise waxing the units? I read somewhere that should dust accumulate on the kitchens or indeed stains, it is easier to remove it once waxed.

Also, should I only be using water to wash the units down on a weekly basis?

I really hope you can give me some advice on this as our plans to paint have been a long time in the planning, preparation and painting!

Many thanks in anticipation.

We have used F&B estate eggshell in Stoneyground.

Firstly, well done for doing it right. Kitchen painting is all in the planning and prep. Secondly, although I’m not a great fan of Farrow and Ball eggshell, the toughness of the finish is not one of my gripes, so if it the paint is on and dried hard and you are happy with the finish as it is now, I think you should relax and enjoy the fruits of your labours.

Wax over eggshell

If you are thinking of waxing over eggshell paint to provide a tougher finish, rub your nail over wax, rub your nail over fully cured eggshell paint. That will tell you what you need to know about comparative durability and wipability.

I have seen some kitchen painter sites where they do finish with wax as an option. If asked to make paint more wipeable, I wouldn’t suggest waxing, and I can’t imagine any of our group would recommend wax, either. There are clear lacquers that can be applied for added durability, but wax is definitely not in that league as a protective finish. So, in this instance, being generous, I think wax is an aesthetic choice only over eggshell, with a marginal protective advantage, with more disadvantages, if it gets badly scratched. See the link below.

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The advantage of waxing over eggshell, is that wax is acting like a sacrificial coat, ie if it scratches it “may” take the brunt of the hit and protect the paint finish beneath. So you would simply retouch in the wax.

Disadvantage of waxing over eggshell if the scratch goes through the wax to the paint layer beneath, (and it may, because wax isn’t super super tough) you have a scratched paint surface and a scratched wax surface. To get it back to perfection, you would have to remove the wax with KrudKutter Original, rub over the paintwork and re-paint. And then re-apply the wax.

I would wax over chalk paint, because it is a soft coating and the wax will provide a durable finish that can be cleaned down and dusted off. Wax is also part of the aeshetic of using chalk paint, wax gives the painted finish depth and character. If scratches are an issue, just wipe them out with more wax. Even then, initially, Annie Sloan did recommend a varnish instead of wax in high traffic areas (since discontinued as an option) but varnish is closer to the toughness of your eggshell than wax.

Washing painted kitchen units

As regards washing the units, a damp J-cloth, the really soft blue washing rag, is all that is needed, as and when you see a mark.

I don’t know the extent of your reference to “weekly washing down units” but please realise that with every wipe you are rubbing the paint a little thinner, albeit one miniscule layer at a time. The exaggerated effect of imperceptible abrasion is usually seen around door handles where finger tips gradually over the years wear paint back to bare wood. (Grease from fingertips in protocolar can accelerate this deterioration, as it penetrates the surface.) Just something to think about if you scrub paintwork.

I hope that helps

I will also post this interesting question on the forum and see what the rest of the Traditional Painters have to say. We sing off the same hymn sheet, but all have different experience of products and processes.

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