…dark wax OPTIONAL

Did you know that using dark wax is optional?

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I get so many questions about how to apply dark wax. Many of us end up with a muddy mess if not applied correctly. I played with it for years. Here are some earlier pieces when I used it for great, surface coverage. It lends itself to a very aged look when used this way.

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When I started doing refinishing work, I tempered my use and used it very minimally for edging and detail work. Clients tend to shy away from anything too distressed.

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I now only use it when requested by clients for their pieces. I do use it for my own pieces that I buy & sell, however. I think it’s a great resource when used correctly.

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Not sure how to apply Annie Sloan Dark Wax? Check out the video I have on YouTube.

Got idea for more Blue Egg Brown Nest Tutorials? Let me know and I’ll try to make it!

…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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

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…brushes

The right tools will make your life easier and will make you want to paint. True. I also know that if you just want to chalk paint a table here and there, you really don’t want to spend a ton of money if you don’t have to.

Annie Sloan makes some beautiful, thick paint brushes in all sizes. They are an investment around $40 a brush from a stockist. If you don’t want to spend the money then go to your hardware store and find a 2 inch bristle brush. I actually like the plastic handled ones because I find they do not shed like the wooden-handled kind. If you plan on doing alot of painting then make your life easier and get at least two. You will thank me later when you carve out a day of painting and you don’t have to run to wash a brush in every time you switch colors or take a coffee break

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Here are some of Annie’s brushes. They are fantastic.

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And the wax brushes. Make sure you wash them at least every few wax applications so the bristles don’t get hard and stuck together. Lye soap works great. I actually soak mine overnight and then scrub.

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To be honest, I am starting to find that a piece of cheesecloth or a rag can sometimes makes the clear wax application a bit easier if you have detail to wax. The brushes can get a bit stiff. I actually just cut up a J.Crew shirt that had some holes in it (because that vintage cotton never seems to last long) and it worked perfectly.

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This is my handy dry brush that I use after sanding. It’s large and does a great job. Reserve it just for this purpose.

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I heart my small wax brush because it does let me control the application. As you know, I also love using a pad of find steel wool behind it to wipe off excess. Yes, you may get steel wool shedding, but just wipe it off with your dry brush.

Here are some other useful tools.

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Love my can opener even though I always seem to misplace it.

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A scraper for those really old pieces or if you get a dried paint clump on a surface.

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Wood filler for obvious reason. Those old pieces sometimes need a bit of TLC.

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A must for scrapping mirrors and glass.

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I usually do not offer stripping when refinishing a piece, but if need be to get off excess peeling on an old piece I will.

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There’s that J.Crew shirt for the clear wax!

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Upholstery.

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Blue tape for taping off pretty metal bits that I want to keep as is.

These tools will make your life a bit easier if you plan on doing alot of work. You may find, as I have, that keeping these items organized is a bit more tricky. If you’ve seen my working garage, you know what I’m talking about:)