Is wax your best bet?

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 this IS That Sweet Tea Life! 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!
CeCe Caldwell, another well known manufacturer loves using a clear coat then using wax over that! You get the luscious feel and ALL the protection you need!  BUT What would I settle on using for the protection!?

Wise Owl takes pride in truly coming up with the BEST products,.. no matter what the cost.  While cost effective for you,… lets just say sometimes it hits the profit margin.  BUT what they are left with is a product they KNOW they can trust.  Wise Owl Varnish is made using crystal clear acrylic resin.  It cant and wont yellow over time!  ALSO you get a hard as nails finish!!! I have been blown away by this stuff-so much so that I actually carry it now with their other products,.. I started searching in 2015 for the perfect product-and here I am now in 2017 letting you know what it is.

It comes in both Satin and Matte- though my absolute favorite way to use it is by mixing the two 50/50

Here you can see the sheen!  To me its just perfect.  When possible I will spray this with my Homeright Finish Max.  No watering down necessary! Pour and Spray!

Lovely right??
So, if you want an easy to use, no fail, hard as nails, non yellowing, crystal clear method for TRULY protecting your beautiful finish,. Grab you some Wise Owl Clear Varnish

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!


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  • Pili Gomez

    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.

  • kostas kostadinou

    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 🙂

  • Thea Osborne

    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/ 🙂

  • Jessica Wilson

    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!!

  • Jessica Wilson

    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!!

  • Aleta

    I’m fairly sure the result would be the same, but it looks like you used a vegetable oil product, and not butter (a dairy product)?

    • Thea Osborne

      Great Point! But yes, my thinking was a “oily” substance would cause this, like many of our cooking products!

  • Annette

    Thanks for the information, I am not a fan of wax on the top of my pieces at home either. You mentioned the home right sprayer. I was just looking at ordering one last night, does yours work good, is there a product you think is better at that price point?

    • Thea Osborne

      I actually recommend the Homeright Finish max and super finish max hands down. I get beautiful finishes with it!

  • Kim

    Hi, I came across this blog post when looking for something to protect my freshly painted desk surface. It was oak until 3-4 weeks ago and painted with Sherwin Williams self leveling paint. Will this product be a good solution so that I don’t get the scratches and nicks that come from everyday use, and which I’m fully expecting?? Thank you!

    • Thea Osborne

      Yes! and sorry for the delay. I use a similar paint and at least for the tops of dressers and high traffic areas, I will tend to use my varnish to protect it.

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