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I previously shared this information on this Chalk Paint coffee table transformation post but decided these tips for waxing furniture deserved their own post.

15 Tips for Waxing Furniture with Annie Sloan Soft Wax

So you prettied up some furniture or decor with chalk paint and now you want to get your wax on, eh? I can tell you that Annie Sloan soft wax is different than the rock hard wax you may have purchased in the past, and the texture may throw you off once you first pop off the lid.

True confession, the first time I used the soft wax I didn’t look at any videos or do much research and this was the result:


Isn’t it amazing what a difference the wax makes? I freaked out a bit because the dark greenish table was a bit darker than I wanted and looked “dirty”. I knew I added too much wax because even after wiping it down with a rag the table was super tacky. I ultimately decided to stick to the clear wax on these coffee tables and made a note not to use so much dark wax the next time around.

Then I turned to the good ‘ol internet for some tips to share so you can bypass the mistakes I made.

The great thing about chalk paint is that even when it’s waxed you can simply paint right over it, which is something you can’t do with latex paint. So it’s super forgiving. I basically just re-painted over the dark wax with some more chalk paint and then added the clear wax.


Here is an updated photo of the finished coffee tables in our family room:


First of all, I recommend watching some videos online before you start waxing away, like these:

 Simply Reinvented: How to Apply Clear Wax | How to Apply Dark Wax 

 The Purple Painted Lady | How to Apply Wax 

Waxing is super easy, especially once you know how to do it and what to expect. Spending a couple of minutes watching these videos can save you tons of time and money in the future. Remember, there are no real rules when it comes to painting or waxing, a lot of it is preference but some of these tips for waxing furniture may help you when you are first starting out.

Waxing furniture can be a tricky process to get right. Check out these 15 Tips for Waxing Furniture with Annie Sloan Soft Wax | MountainModernLife.com

Here are 15 tips for waxing furniture I learned after watching the videos mentioned above.

1. The day before you use your wax brush, soak it in water for a couple of hours {like in a bowl or mason jar filled halfway with water}, then take it out and let it dry overnight. This will prevent the tiny hairs in the brush from falling into the wax the first time you use it. You should only have to do this before your first use, but it’s definitely worth it!

2. A little goes a LOOOOONG way. Seriously.

3. Use a paper plate and plastic spoon and scoop a little bit of wax {using the back of the spoon} onto the plate and spread it out. Then dip just the tip of your wax brush into the wax and using a clean section of the plate smoosh the brush around in a circular motion to get the wax evenly distributed into the bottom of the bristles. Again, only the tip of the bristles should have wax. I didn’t have a paper plate or plastic spoon so I just wrapped foil on a plate and used a plastic knife {as seen in photo above}.

4. Think about adding wax-like adding lotion to your skin. You want to rub it in, but don’t want it to be greasy afterward. Don’t cake it on, instead, use very thin layers.

5. Clear wax doesn’t change the paint color, but it does deepen or “intensify” it. Dark wax looks similar to a glaze and is VERY dark.

6. Add clear wax BEFORE adding dark wax OR mix 50% dark wax and 50% clear wax together on a paper plate before brushing it on. This should help make it even easier to work with and should go on even smoother.

7. Did I mention a little goes a long way? 🙂

8. I would recommend waxing in a circular motion but making sure your final strokes go the same direction {left to right or with the grain of the wood}.

9. After you apply the wax and wipe it off with a rag or cheesecloth {I use a cut-up cotton tee shirt}, it should be smooth to the touch, not tacky, sticky or greasy. If it is, you likely applied too much wax and continue to wipe it off with the rag. You want to wipe it off soon after applying the wax but can wait to buff it until the next day.

10.  It’s easier to work in small sections at a time.

11. It has a low odor so it’s safe to use indoors {yay!}.

12. Using the Annie Sloan Wax brushes minimizes waste and makes it so much easier to get into crevices. For this reason, investing in a good wax brush is worth it!

13. Add a clear wax BEFORE distressing for a more natural, aged look.

14. Dark wax is great for furniture with a lot of character and will bring out a lot of the imperfections.

15. Clear wax acts like an “eraser” on top of dark wax. So if you add too much dark wax, wipe it off with clear wax.

Cleaning the Wax Brush

Simply Reinvented shared a great tip about cleaning the brush with Murphy’s Oil, followed by dish soap, rinsing it with water and then letting it dry. You may need to do this a couple of times, but it’s definitely recommended that you clean your brush after every use 🙂

By the way, you can read about my Annie Sloan Chalk paint experience here, or if you want to make your own chalk paint you can find my DIY recipe here.

I hope these 15 tips for waxing furniture were helpful.

Happy waxing!


  1. I am so happy that I decided to search information about how to wax furniture because I was thinking to straight do it! The tips are great! I will follow every step. I definitely want to do it right. It is also very interesting for me to know how to clean the brush after this. I want to clean the brush after I use it because I know that if you leave it like this the second time you want to wax the result will be different. Thank you for the furniture waxing tips and also for the brush cleaning tips! 🙂

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