Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Conquer Your Fear of Dark Soft Wax

Dark Soft Wax and Ultimate Waxing Brush

I confess that I too was a little afraid of using Dark Soft Wax on my projects. As I have painted over time, however, I have discovered the beauty of using Dark Soft Wax and how easy it is to apply - really. In this tutorial, I will take you on a tour of various ways you too can use Dark Soft Wax to improve your projects.

Using Dark Soft Wax is quite simple, but you do need to think of what look you are trying to achieve before applying. 

Aubusson Blue with Dark Wax

This dresser is a beautiful example of how an all over application of Dark Soft Wax can enhance the colors of the Chalk Paint palette. The buffet was painted with Aubusson Blue, then the Dark Soft Wax was applied all over it to give the Aubusson Blue glow and texture.


Steps to a Beautiful Dark Soft Wax Finish

1) Apply Clear Soft Wax first before the Dark Soft Wax. This is to keep the Dark Soft Wax from "staining" the paint and to make it easier to remove excess wax to achieve the tone and look you are aiming for. In some instances, you may want to apply Dark Wax directly one the paint (over Graphite for instance) where you want a dark stained look. But be careful and test this first before committing to the entire project. If you don't like it, you can always re-paint.

2) Then, this is the scary part, wipe the Dark Soft Wax over all of the wood. Using a brush helps to get the wax into all of the nooks and crannies. (Use a separate brush for the different Soft Waxes.)

3) Immediately start to wipe off the excess Dark Soft Wax, leaving it only where you want it. This is where the Clear Soft Wax helps. You will be able to "move" the Dark Soft Wax as long as there is a layer of moist (still sticky) Clear Soft Wax under it. Working in small sections helps to assure that the Clear Soft Wax remains wet. And, most importantly, keep wiping, wiping, wiping. This helps to move the wax into the paint so you won't get "streaks". 

4) Let dry and buff as you normally would using a soft cloth.

Paris Grey with Dark Soft Wax

The finished product should look as if there is a discernible color difference, with some Dark Soft Wax in the grooves or niches or the wood, but not streaked or smeared on. 

Versailles with Dark Wax
Paloma with Dark Wax

Still afraid of the Dark? Then, only place the Dark Wax in areas where you want the wood to look a little aged. This works well with lighter colors such as the Old White or Pure White when you don't want the wood to look too dark. I have to say though, that Dark Wax over some of the lighter colors like Versailles and Paloma (see above) are quite beautiful!

Old White with Dark Wax Glaze

Or, use a Dark Wax Glaze. Combine 1/2 part Dark Wax with 1/2 part no-odor mineral spirits. Brush the mixture over your wood for a "lighter" look. This thins the wax and makes it easier to apply to the wood. I have used this technique often in my painting, but confess that I am now going "bolder" and applying the Dark Wax straight!

PaintTip: I like to clean my Ultimate Wax brushes with a gentle lye soap such as the one we sell in the shops. 

Happy Painting!