Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using Annie Sloan's Clear Soft Wax

Okay, being a spray paint fanatic, I will admit that before Simone I have never waxed a piece of furniture in my whole life. Heck, I’ve never waxed ANYTHING before Simone. ;)  I decided to go with the Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax in stead of the Dark Wax.  I love the antique look the dark gives, but I really wanted Simone’s new paint color to stand out. 
Plus, if you’re going to wax a piece of furniture with the dark wax, you first have to do a coat of the the clear anyway.  So I thought if anything, I could do the clear coat and then see whether or not I liked her the way she was, or whether I wanted to give her a coat of the dark afterward and do some distressing.
And sorry in advance for the picture quality, it was dark, and it’s hard taking pictures while doing the actual work.
Here’s Simone before the wax:
using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (2)

And this is what the wax looks like:
using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (3)
I ended up buying a brush from Home Depot.  I asked my local Annie Sloan stockist what things I should look for and she told me to get something stiff, but still soft at the ends.  I also sent a few tweets out to Miss Mustard Seed, and Annie Sloan Paint to see if I could get any tips too. I had bought the brush before I heard back from them, but  they gave me some good tips to pass on to you guys.

MissMustardSeed said: @alwaysnwonder I have used an old Purdy brush that had "fluffy" bristles and it was a decent substitute.

Annie Sloan Paint said: @alwaysnwonder  Nothing like the brush , use a cloth or a painters duster brush

I read to apply the wax in small areas with the brush, and then to wipe off the excess, or buff it away with a clean cloth. So that’s exactly what I did. 
First I applied the wax with the brush.
using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (4)using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (5)using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (6)using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (7)
Then I wiped it away with a clean cloth (I purchased the cloths at Home Depot too. They ran about $4.00 for 10 or so in a package.
using Annie Sloan Soft Wax (1)
I did all of Simone, and her drawers with 1 coat of the clear wax, then I went back and did the top of her with a second coat.  I used about 4 of the cloths on her and the drawers when I was wiping the wax off. I don’t know if you’re supposed to switch to a clean one every so often, but that’s what I did.

Sometimes doing something new can feel a little overwhelming to me, so I always try to find out as much information as I can. Hoping that I can soothe my doubts.  I asked @AnnieSloanPaint on Twitter how many coats I would need to do and she said:
AnnieSloanPaint @alwaysnwonder depends how robust you want it to be - one or two -2 for table tops, 3 for kitchens and dining table tops

That tip definitely helps, because I plan on doing a lot more pieces with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

Things I really liked about the wax:
  1. It seems very easy to use. Very forgiving. There’s really no specific way you have to apply it or wipe it off. I liked that. 
  2. I liked the smell. It reminded me of Burt’s Bees. :)
  3. I love the fact that you can buy the clear soft wax and tint it using the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. So you don’t just have the two options of doing clear or dark. You can mix the clear wax with Old White, or Provence, or French Gray, or any other color you want.  This really gives me a lot of ideas for different projects. I’d love to do a dresser in Old White and mix the clear wax with a gray.
  4. A little goes a long way, or so it seemed that way to me.
One thing I didn’t like, or maybe I am just unsure of, is cleaning the brush afterward. I washed it using hot soapy water and thought I got it pretty clean, but when I checked it the next day the brush still had a lot of wax residue. I’m not sure if I could have cleaned it using other things or how you’re supposed to clean them either, so that may be my problem. **Update- a few nice readers mentioned some tips on cleaning the wax brush in the comment section.  You can use Mineral Spirits or soak the brush in oil and then wash with warm water and soap.  I soaked mine in some vegetable oil for a little bit, then washed it using warm water and soap and it totally worked!

Hope you guys are anxious to see Simone! That post is next!  And thanks for all the great feedback and sticking with me so far.  I appreciate your sweet comments.

You can also read about how I started out Cleaning, Prepping, and Sanding 
Or you can read about my first experience Painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Or you can go straight to the finished product Annie Sloan Buffet Makeover

24 comments:

Shelley said...

Hi~ I just purchased some wax and Annie Sloan paint. I'm anxious and excited to work with them. I read on Marian's blog that to wash the brush first soak it in vegetable oil. It will separate the wax. Then wash with warm water and soap.

Jennifer said...

Thank you Shelley! That helps a lot! I'll definitely use that for next time. :)

Amber and Brad said...

Great job, she's a beauty. On cleaning the wax brush, use mineral spirits to clean it and wipe clean with a soft rag. We have found it easier just to dip the rag in mineral spirits and wipe the brush that way. Should take all the wax off, just let it air dry after. ; )

Vicki said...

Hi Jennifer! I didn't know you blogged. I will have to follow now! Clean the brush with low odor mineral spirits and then you can follow up with hot water and orange pumice hand cleaner if you like. I find this works the best. Some don't like using the water, but the orange cleaner cuts the mineral spirits smell and it cleans up very nicely! I love the dresser. Please let me know what else you are working on! And come on back for more paint!

parisrae said...

I want to suggest something on "what not to do" with your waxing brush when cleaning it. Do not soak your brush in oil...because I did this and almost ruined my expensive $30 Italian brush! When you soak your brush in oil it will travel up the bristles to the heal of your brush. This will then seep back down to the wax when using it the next time you use it. The results will be a smudgy oily finish and it will be hard to rub into your piece of furniture. Your brush may seem clean after washing the oil out with soap and water, however, if you take your finger and feel the bristles at the heal they will still be oily. Much like a basting brush you would use in your kitchen. So if you don't want the most expensive basting brush for your next BBQ then I suggest cleaning your brush with mineral spirits or another product which is meant to clean wax brushes. I am going to try and save my brush with a solvent. If you don't have any of this on hand and if you want to use the kitchen oils then I suggest putting a small amount in the palm of your hand and rub it in a circular motion briefly and then pour some soap (I use Dawn for oily items) in the palm of your hand and do the same thing then wash it out completely with warm water. This will save you future headaches and freak outs in the end. I don't know how I am going to clean this oily mess off my newly painted piece. My husband suggest to use mineral spirits to wipe it off and then try to wax it again with a clean brush.

Jennifer Curtis said...

Thanks so much Parisrae! Definitely great suggestions.

gibson93654 said...

I'm not a chalk paint expert but having been using it for over a year. I have never washed my brushes! I bought two one for clear and one for dark. I keep them in large seperate ziplocks and have never had a drying out issue.

Anonymous said...

Hi, really helpful article as I'm just about to do two side tables with the clear wax.

I'm also planning to do my kitchen table in due course and love the idea of tinting the wax - do you know how you prepare that? Paint + wax pre-mixed? Or wax then rub paint in?

Jennifer Curtis said...

Hi Anonymous, I would mix some paint and wax together, and it would be really easy to dip your cloth into a bit of wax and then dab a bit of paint on it if you wanted to do it that way.

Jeanette said...

This looks great! I'm going to try using the chalk paint myself here soon. I had a question about the wax though. Is this a necessary step? Or can I use a polycrylic protective finish? That is what I usually use when I paint something? Thanks!

Jennifer Curtis said...

Hey Jeanette,

I have seen a few people write about using the poly to seal the painted pieces they've done, instead of the wax. And to be honest, if I were to paint any more pieces with the chalk paint I would use a wipe on poly as well.

seo melbourne said...

Better info on your blog than what I have seen so far elsewhere. Thanks for sharing and... Keep up the good work. I know from experience it's not always easy! :-).
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Decking Oil said...

Wood is more susceptible to stains than other products because it will absorb the stain quickly. Polishing is the first thing that you need to take care of. To polish your wood, select a good quality furniture polish. You can wax your furniture with a paste style wax every six to twelve months as needed. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Your piece above is beautiful. I have a question...exactly how long do you let the wax dry before buffing it out with a cloth? Thanks for any help you can offer!

Emily said...

What kind of brush did you end up using? I'd love to know how it worked since I'm too impatient to wait for the Annie brush to be sent by mail! Thanks!

Jennifer Curtis said...

Anonymous- after I apply my two coats of wax, and rub it off, I allow it to dry for 24 hours before I buff it.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I'm way late to this party but I want to thank you for the information concerning cleaning the wax brush. I googled that and you popped up.. Great~! I love your blog and will be back to see more of your projects.

Sonny ~ 155 Dream Lane

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I just discovered your blog and it's already been so helpful. I just cleaned my Annie Sloan wax brushes with vegetable oil followed with soap and water, and it was so quick and easy. The whole process took about 15 minutes!
And it's so nice to use something that isn't harmful to the environment.

Michelle Medlin said...

I am looking for ideas to remove lint in the wax that has dried on my kitchen cabinets........

sally said...

We used the chalk paint and clear wax for the first time on a coffee table. He did use a cloth to apply. After the grandkids came over one afternoon the top looked horrible. Any suggestions? We are buffing it with some results

Debbie said...

Just my two cents here...I found a quick and easy way to clean my brush and it works very well. I use warm water with a splash of Citra Solv and the wax comes right off, no problem. I twirl it in this mixture for about 15 seconds then rinse with dish soap and water, hang to dry.

Les W said...

I did the oil to clean my brush and i think its ruined.....i wouldnt advise this way of cleaning.....i am hoping the citrasolve will clean the oil out of my brush....i'll let you know how it turns out.....

Les W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Les W said...

AND i love your blog......thank you for taking valuable time to share with all of us!