Thursday, October 23, 2014

Step-by-Step Part 1: Chalk Paint & Wax

Click on the photo to enlarge and see more detail. 
The color is deeper with wax. A light coat of dark wax adds further dimension.  You can enhance the effect even further by applying more dark wax. 


This post has step-by-step photos of the chalk paint and wax process used in my "Beehive Box" project that I featured earlier in October. (Click here to view the Beehive Box micro project post.) I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, however, there are instructions for making your own on the web. Mixing your own chalk paint can save you money but you might not achieve the same quality. You choose which is the best the option for you.

Working on a small piece is a great option if you are new to using chalk paint or just want to practice your technique.

I used Annie Sloan products for this part of the project:

  • Primer Red Chalk Paint
  • Soft Wax
  • Dark Wax


Original
 1. Apply paint to cover the original finish. You don't need to remove the old paint. You can lightly sand the old finish if you want/need to (depends on what you're painting), but I did not pre-sand this piece. Apply a 1st coat of paint and after it dries, apply a 2nd coat or as many coats as it takes to cover the original. The number of coats will depend on how thick you apply the paint and whether you are putting a dark color on top of light, or vice versa.

If you want a smoother finish or want to distress the piece then you can sand it at this point. Some people apply soft wax and then sand. There are pros and cons to both ways. I chose not to sand this piece as I wanted the texture of brush strokes. You will notice the paint is VERY flat and "chalky" -- after all it is chalk paint! But you can transform the look and feel using wax.


Two coats of ASCP Primer Red
 2. Apply soft wax. You can use either a wax brush or a lint free rag to apply the wax. I have used both and frankly I much prefer to use a lint free rag. I feel it gives me more control. Dip the rag (or brush) into the can of wax and rub the wax onto the piece. I rub with the grain of the wood and in circles, but always finish with a final rub with the grain of the wood.

How much wax to use? Well if there are dry spots that don't get covered as you rub it in then you need to use a little more. If you use too much it will not lay flat. The goal is to achieve a VERY thin layer of wax over the entire area, not too much and not too little. The wax will "set" or harden after it cures, but if you use too much it never really hardens. If you apply to much while you are waxing simply wipe it off.
Soft wax applied
 Here is a close up of the pre- and post-wax. Can you see the subtle difference the soft wax makes? The difference in the feel is beautiful, too:

The waxed piece is the same color but deeper and slightly darker than the un-waxed version.

3. Apply Dark Wax.  I don't always use dark wax but chose it for this piece to give it a more aged look and to add dimension. The dark wax also gives the final finish a wonderful feel after it sets and hardens. Again, you can use either a brush or lint free rag to apply the dark wax.

I did not apply dark wax to the center where I will apply a graphic transfer.Can you see where I didn't apply the dark wax?

I will post Part 2 of the step-by-step photos showing the graphic transfer process soon.

The Beehive Box

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