Wax? ....Or Nah?

There is a time and place for everything.  Really.  And that includes our precious wax! Yes, I know,.. what else comes close to giving us that divine finish??  But hear me out.. 
As I began trekking through this world of furniture refinishing,.. of course one of the first things that caught my eye was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint... Highly sought after,.. popularly used to get that really beautiful old world look on our furniture pieces.. You can take the most mod piece of furniture and give it a very earthy feel.. like it was chiseled from a sycamore 2000 years ago... ok maybe I exaggerate but its incredible fun bring new-old life to new/old pieces of furniture! Especially the cast aways.. but what really gives this paint a new dimension is the wax that is used to finish it.. clear wax and dark wax come together to create an awesome "this piece of furniture is actually MADE of this color" look! HOWEVER we have to remember it is only a decorative finish, its not a protective top coat!  I began a discussion about this topic and believe it or not it stayed QUITE informative and useful! (Bravo to those that contributed!) and something popped in my mind,.. once I had a client I was speaking to tell me her grandchild had dropped butter on the table and when she wiped it up, the finish had come up! I thought about it... I mean it IS wax... seems like it really can only be soooo hard and protective right?? Well lets just test this theory.. 
So I grabbed my econo-size butter- y'all its Sweet Tea Refinishing! Surely you know I am from the south,.. and therefore have plenty of buttuh. So. Here goes! 
Official Before-You can see the glare nicely from the light above
Please note my intentionally squiggly line to help show you these pictures are all of the same spot. :-)  I should tell you, the piece I tested this on had been sitting in my living room for about 7 months.  The wax had definitely cured to the maximum point of hardness.
 ..and I smudged some butter right down on there... and went shopping!
...once I got home I got a dry napkin with no cleaning product.. 
that may have come fresh from Chic Fil A
and was left with a rough-non waxed finish.
Seriously it feels like raw chalk paint. :-( 
Well then.  It completely makes sense but only reiterates my original thought.  Wax is GORGEOUS on furniture-just please! Let us not attempt to use it as a protective topcoat! That is NOT how its best used... Ask questions,.. do research... test and mess some stuff up.  That's how we learn and grow.. Hopefully soon I can get more into the "Now What??" ...till then, where is my sweet tea... ?

UPDATE: On to the now what! Since then, I have tried SO many products! Personally I am not a fan of the buffing process so, moving away from wax was fine with me!  But sometimes I do want to get the wax feel.  My favorite product now to get that look and feel is Polyine Wax Varnish.
What I love about it is, it acts very similarly to wax.  While you simply brush it on, it buffs, adheres to decorative wax, and gives that buttery soft feel just like wax!  But it hardens to a point beyond what traditional wax does.  If you have waxed but want more protection, you can add this.  If you have used decorative waxes but need to protect, use this.  If you just want to skip wax all together but love the feel, use this.  If you want to get a kick, check out this video of Annie Sloan using Polyvine on a project.  (there used to be many videos but,.. they have seemed to disappear over time!) 
Want to try Polyvine yourself? I get mine from Jessica at Brass Tacks Vintage.
 Go to Brass Tacks Vintage

And no, thats not an affiliate link! Feel free to look up other stockists! But Jessica is my go to girl and can answer any question you have! PLUS she also carries my 
beloved Cling On! brushes! 

Hope you found this helpful! Always feel free to contact me with questions.  I may not know the answer but I am happy to find it with you! Happy painting y'all!



  1. I never use wax as a protective coat on table tops or anything that can be involved with stains. I once painted a garbage tin and sealed it with wax, and the second day it was horrible, it showed grease stains everywhere. So I painted it again and sealed it with poly, it lasted until it broke.

  2. hello there...i ve just discovered the polyvine wax finish and it seems very a promissing product.but i have a question.can u use it over a waxed surface?and if i want to use a glaze should i do it between the varnishe's coats or after the final coat?thanks in advance :)

    1. Yes! Polyvine has a "Wax Varnish" that adheres to wax. You can wax, and decorative wax then protect with their "Wax Varnish" If you glaze (rather than using decorative wax) I would personally do that over a coat of your choice of polyvine then protect with a second coat/ :-)

    2. When I glaze over chalk-type paint I seal the painted surface with one coat of a satin poly like Wax Finish Varnish. Then I apply my glaze and manipulate the glaze to achieve my desired antiquing finish, and let the glaze fully dry (usually 24 hours depending on climate and the glaze's open time). After the glaze fully dries I apply 2 coats of Polyvine Wax Finish Varnish in either dead flat or satin depending on my shine preference for the piece I'm painting. Hope this helps!!

  3. Thanks, girl. I needed this info today!

  4. Hi Kostas, you shouldn't apply polyvine wax finish varnish over wax BUT I have customers who do it all the time as long as the wax has cured. When I glaze I do one coat of satin Wax Finish Varnish over the painted surface so that the porous paint doesn't unintentionally soak up the glaze, then I apply glaze to get your desired look, let glaze dry fully (Polyvine Scumble glaze has a very long open time so it takes about 24 hours to fully dry), then apply 2 coats of Wax Finish Varnish. Hope this helps!!

  5. THIS post was so informative and just the information I needed!! Thanks Thea!!


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