Take furniture renovation DIY projects to the next level by using dark wax to highlight furniture details with these great tips. Whether you’re refinishing a vintage piece or want to give a newer one an antiqued, aged look, using dark wax on furniture adds a gorgeous patina that meshes seamlessly with farmhouse, country, and shabby-chic home decor schemes. When you want to bring out the fine details in everything from garage sale dressers to handmade kitchen cabinets, The Real Milk Paint Co. offers soft wax that goes on smoothly for easy use and Zero VOC wax for environmentally friendly restorations.
Uses for Dark Furniture Wax
Dark wax offers a quick, easy way to achieve vintage flair in furniture projects, and it works especially well on items with lots of carved details and recessed areas. When used on lighter furnishings painted with Real Milk Paint, it brings an antiquing effect to your work by settling into deeper spaces, even when you wipe it away after wax application. It also makes a great choice for items you wish to have a distressed look but can’t due to material limitations like construction with laminate or a finish that you can’t strip off the piece.
Another reason for using dark wax on a piece of furniture is to blend areas painted with different paint colors so the detailing looks beautifully uniform. Additionally, dark wax imparts warmth to cool-toned hues of Real Milk Paint while bringing out the wood grain in lightly finished pieces. Lastly, dark waxes can help you fix common restoration issues, such as items with areas sanded down past the original stain. When you end up sanding down too far and expose raw wood, dark wax evens out the finish so that the darker elements look natural rather than like a mistake.
Benefits of Colored Wax
Dark wax from The Real Milk Paint Co. offers multiple benefits, aside from the cosmetic advantages. Our soft wax provides long-term protection for the surfaces it covers, making it an excellent way to seal projects painted with Real Milk Paint, and it comes in Clear, Ebony, Dark Brown, White, and even Gray giving you options for completing the look of natural wood and various deeper paint hues. Made from beeswax with a bit of carnauba wax, our soft wax has a long working time and dries to a matte sheen that’s tough and hard. Additionally, our soft wax goes on smoothly with a rag or wax brush and has no solvent smell for pleasant use.
Zero VOC wax from The Real Milk Paint Co. comes in Chestnut Brown wax and Warm Black wax, making it an excellent choice for any furniture hue. This soft formulation brushes or wipes on smoothly for easy application, and it works over numerous finishes, including Real Milk Paint and burnishing paste, for added versatility in your restoration projects. The biggest benefit of Zero VOC dark wax is its eco-friendliness. It contains no volatile organic compounds, with its formulation comprising natural ingredients, such as walnut oil, beeswax, carnauba wax, and pigments. Designed to set in 24 hours and cure in 2 to 3 days, Zero VOC dark wax doesn’t melt or come off during cleaning for enduring quality.
Highlighting Furniture Detailing: Dark Wax Tutorial
Using dark wax on furniture is a fairly straightforward process that’s accessible to both novice and expert restorers alike. For restoration projects with products from The Real Milk Paint Co., you need a few things besides the dark wax itself, including a coat of clear wax to coast the surface first. You also need both brushes designed for waxing application and a few soft lint–free rag or cloth for wiping excess wax. Mineral spirits also make the process easier and help you clean your brushes when you finish your dark wax job.
The next step is covering your entire piece with clear wax to protect every inch of it. Since you only want to use dark wax to highlight furniture details, the clear wax ensures that the areas you don’t want to accent are protected. The finish created by clear wax also aids the application of dark wax by giving you a smooth surface to cover. Keep in mind that you need to let the clear wax set and cure completely before using dark wax on furniture.
To start, scoop some dark wax out of its container and put it in another container that can withstand mineral spirits.One option is to add some mineral spirits to the dark wax, then use your brush to mix them together. This makes the naturally hard wax a bit softer and easier to apply to surfaces in a smooth, even fashion. If you want your wax to stay dark and rich, add a small amount, but if you want to tone it down a bit, add more. To ensure you get the look you want, you can try testing your mixture on a less visible location and change up the ingredient ratios as needed. If it’s too light, add more dark wax, and if it’s too thick and dark ,, add more mineral spirits.
Mineral spirits have the advantage of extending your work time so you don’t have to rush through your renovation project. Still, if it’s your first restoration, you might need to work in smaller sections until you get a feel for the products you’re using and gain some application experience. With this method, choose smaller areas like one side or a drawer front and mix just what you need for that area, let it dry when finished, then move on to the next area. The application itself is simple — just brush or rub dark wax over the entire area, making sure you get it into every recessed detail following the same paint brush strokes you used.
Once you apply it to your satisfaction, use one of the clean lint-free cloths to wipe the dark wax off your furniture piece, then use another clean cloth to ensure you properly evened out the finish. If you’re satisfied with your results, you’re done. But if you want to create a more aged patina, you can add more dark wax in areas like corners, edges and nicks or imperfections on your piece. When building up these areas, consider places that would acquire more dirt and wear with natural use, such as around handles and hardware and along the edges. With that in mind, focus your efforts on those areas to mimic the look of an actual antique.
Once you finish using dark wax on furniture, you’re done as it serves as the final topcoat for your project. The mineral spirits you used to thin down the dark wax also works great for cleaning your brushes so they’re ready when a new project arises.