…a girl can change her mind, can’t she?

So, there’s a little secret I’ve been keeping from you. I’ve found myself straying from my thick oval clear wax brush and using my DH’s old t-shirts.



The large clear wax brushes are great, but they do take alot of arm muscle and really working the brush to get the coverage that you need. When using the clear wax you want to be very liberal. You will see the color of your piece deepen with the application and you want to make sure the entire piece is really coated.


Sometimes it is a bit more work to achieve this with a brush. Recently, I’ve taken a few scraps of a SOFT t-shirt, scooped up a glob of wax and rub it onto the piece, working back and forth and really pushing the wax in with a strong hand. It is also easier to get into those details with a soft rag.



Again, to achieve a smoother, softer surface you need your clear wax. Every piece should have this application. Do not skip the clear wax step.


Now, the dark wax on the other hand is OPTIONAL. You don’t need to have the dark wax to have a beautiful & functioning piece. It will simply add an aged look. I DO use my little brush with my dark wax and am still happy with it. I’ll let you know if I change my mind on that 🙂




  1. First let me say that I’ve “stalked ” you quite awhile now and your blog is just beautiful . Everything about it is a class act! This business we’re in is hard but a labor of love .
    I actually started with soft cloths before the oval brushes even came out . Boy are you right about the muscle it takes . At this point I could probably challenge my son to an arm wrestle and win ! Lol .
    Doing a large surface like a dresser top I actually prefer the cloth . I’m a little OCD with the finish and that does the best job . But, when it comes to spindle legs you can’t beat the oval brush .
    So of course you can change your mind ! It’s a woman’s perrogitive !!
    Happy waxing

  2. Hi Christen,

    This is so perfect! I have been asking myself lately what I should do with the rags after I use them? I really do not want to wash in my washing machine and also do not think it is right to use the laundry mat ( why use someone else’s machine if I think it will l ruin my machine.) What do you do? Throw them away each time? I think I will run out of old t shirts and bags of rags from home depot will get expensive!


    • Elaine Harris says:

      Tuck them under the lid of the can of wax. Used to do this in the ‘olden days’ with floor wax cloths.

    • I was wondering the same thing. I often thought about soaking them in hot water bath and then rinsing before throwing them in the washing machine with hot water and hot water rinse. I go through many old t-shirts and my boys underwear that they have out grown.

  3. Kristin says:

    I have been using cloths for clear wax too! I find that my clear wax brush dries up too quickly in between uses and then drops wax crumbs.

  4. Christine says:

    Hi Christen! I just discovered your blog and videos this past week, and I love them! You are adorable, and your pieces are just gorgeous. You’ve inspired me to start painting my old tired-looking furniture. My question is — is there an inexpensive alternative to the Annie Sloan dark wax brush? Can I use an old t-shirt or inexpensive brush for that? And do you have any suggestions for usage when not using the AS brush for dark wax? Thanks!

    • Olivia Cagle says:

      Hi there,

      I thought I would share my two cents. I’ve used T-shirts with the dark wax as well and it worked great! I did a fireplace mantle and a built-in-book shelf. I think they turned our beautiful. You could always play around with it on a scrap piece of wood or something to see if you like it. 🙂

  5. I’ve stopped using my wax brush too. I use men’s tube socks. Much more user friendly. 🙂

  6. Meghann Wandrocke says:

    I honestly hate the feel of the wax on the paint. Am I doing something wrong? What would happen if I just skipped the wax?

    • Hi Meghann,,

      I think that if you do not wax, then the surface will not have any protection. Maybe you are not buffing enough?? I do not like that “chalky” feeling that you get when you do not wax!! Good luck!

      Pam Alexander

  7. I have to agree with you – I have been using the brush and then one day – I just used the cheese cloth for drawer fronts and the side of dressers and it was so much easier! I still like to use the brush for the top!

  8. Michon Touchstone says:

    I have been looking for a site or some more knowledge on the AS painting….so glad I found you! I have enjoyed watching your videos. I have learned alot without spending a ton of money on the classes that I don’t really even have time to do! so shout out to U!!
    I have done alot of drawing and painting for people on ornaments…which I love & never really wanted to do any furniture becaused I thought about all the stripping,etc…. but this looks so easy, creative & fun…So I will be adventuring out some for my new cabin now!
    thanks for all the info!

  9. Beth Adkins says:

    Love everything you do! The videos have been so helpful. You have amazing taste. I too us a rag to apply wax, and I get old t-shirts at the thrift stores for 25 cents. Then I don’t feel bad about throwing them away. Quick question. I’ve sold several tables painted in old white. One I did for my Mom and last time I visited I noticed that the finish didn’t look too good. You could see a lot of wear on the top. Do I need to apply 2 coats of wax or am I doing something wrong? I need to top surface to be durable! Help!

  10. I have a question about buffing the clear wax. Once you have applied with an old cloth, when do you buff? Straight away or after a few hours / overnight once its had time to dry / set a little??

  11. I agree…I tend to lean more towards a soft cloth, too. If I have detailed woodwork to get the wax into, I prefer the brush. But, for big, flat pieces, I use a cloth. Thanks for the washing/storing tips. I’ve been tossing the used rags/cloths out.


  12. Christen, after you painted your cane chairs, did you use the clear wax over the chair? I would think the wax would get caught in the holes. Please let us know – wax or no.

    Love your furniture and tutorials. You inspire me!

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