I’ve noticed that there is a lot of information out there on how to paint furniture with chalk paints and the best methods for waxing and what not, but not a lot on how to care for the piece you just spent hours refinishing. I’m going to show you a few before and after photos of the dresser I revealed yesterday with the same camera angles to show you the difference.
Now take a look at the dresser in the image below. Notice the difference in the finish? That’s not Photoshop folks!
I actually refinished this dresser months ago and took all the necessary steps in properly sealing the piece with my coveted clear wax. However, furniture wax is NOT the same as sealing with polyurethane. Pieces painted with chalk paint and sealed with wax need to be cleaned properly.
Chalk paint is amazing, don’t get me wrong. It lets me skip so many steps, the finish is incredibly smooth, and a quart lasts through 3 large pieces of furniture. The downside is that it can sometimes absorb stains (the waxed pieces, not the poly) because the chalk paint is… chalky. In my case peanut butter and jelly minion sized stains, EVERYWHERE! I was about to take photos when I noticed the little stains all over the place. Completely unacceptable.
Vanessa was in the room at the time and I generally don’t like to use cleaning products (green or not) in front of her. I may just be paranoid, but I fall into that group of better safe than sorry kind of people. In my desperate MUST.CLEAN.NOW. freak out, I just grabbed a scrubby sponge (not thinking clearly) hoping to wipe away the evidence that I let my kid eat pb&j’s when I don’t feel like cooking. This is what happened. Streaks everywhere. ** Something either went haywire the first time I waxed or there was residue on that stinkin sponge.**
Those streaks are actually spots where the wax was stripped in areas I was scrubbing. Not a good look at all, but it was actually a good thing for me. Stripping away the wax and getting the stains out meant that this piece would be getting a fresh start. So after I put Vanessa down for her nap, I busted out my wax, wax brush, microfiber cloth and a pair of stockings. Wax on, wax off, & buff when the wax dries (with the stocking). I don’t know why, but the stocking seems to make a higher sheen.
Took less than 30 minutes total to do one coat, but I wax a lot of furniture. It may take first timers a little longer. Wax also needs to cure just like any other sealer so it’s best to avoid putting anything on freshly waxed pieces. Also, too much wax = longer drying time, wax possibly never curing, etc. FYI, curing can take days depending on the humidity and temperature.
So I’m guessing the low down on taking care of your chalk paint furniture is to:
1. Never use harsh cleaning products to clean it.
2. Even a sponge with water can strip your wax. *** Read below for an update ***
3. Use products specifically made for polished furniture.
4. If you have stains or over all grossness going on that a simple rub down can’t get out, strip and re-wax.
***I’m so fortunate to have amazing readers who specialize in ASCP products. Something obviously went wrong with my waxing/cleaning process, hence the wacky streaking. If you want to master chalk paint techniques, PLEASE talk to your local ASCP retailer**
Wall Artistry Studio says:
Water will not strip your wax if you are using Annie Sloan wax. Not possible. I always recommend two coats of wax. Wait 24 hours minimum between coats and buff each coat for the most durability. I wash my things all the time because I have messy kids too and have not had to rewax yet. I’d be happy to talk through what other possibilites it could be that you ended up with streakiness. I do a lot of technical support for ASCP as well as decorative plasters and finishes. I’ve been doing decorative finishing for 20 years, have owned my own decorative finishing business since 2000, and have been teaching workshops for 4 years now
Debra is a master and I totally trust what she says, so if you need more info and you’re in the Ohio area, I’d totally contact her at Wall Artistry Studios.
The Vintage Iowan says:I agree with Wallartistry Studio. Normal soap and water wiped off with a soft towel will remove most of what grubby little hands might leave behind. And will rebuff it at same time! Or use a slightly dampened chamois to restore the sheen. Water will not strip off Annie Sloan clear wax. There was either cleanser residue on the sponge or perhaps it wasn’t AS wax? All furniture wax is not the same. Talk to your Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer on post refinishing care of your furniture! She/he will have the information you need!
Hope this helps those of you who are just getting into the whole chalk paint phenomenon. I’m no expert on the stuff, but I do paint a whole heck of a lot of furniture with it. So if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. If there are any experts, I’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic!