How to Use Antiquing Wax – Different Methods

Have you started painting your furniture with chalkboard paint and decided to figure out how to use antiquing wax?

Antique wax will draw close attention to the furniture and give its shades depth. It penetrates even the most hidden parts of the furniture and brings out its engraving and all the patterns carved into it.

When and How to Use Antiquing Wax

Let’s start by figuring out when to use antiquing wax or dark wax.


Adding Attractiveness to the Appliance

A piece of furniture with beautiful patterns, unusual finishes, and lots of recesses are simply worthy of an antiquing wax.

The antiquing wax or dark wax will soak into all the details and small corners, making the furniture look antique yet sophisticated.

Every curve and trim detail can be highlighted with dark wax, giving them an unforgettable depth.

Many vintage pieces are adorned with incredibly beautiful carved details and patterns, so they are bound to undergo an antique finish.

You should not overlook this opportunity.

Adding Age and Depth

Sometimes you have to apply paint over finishes that you want to take out of sight, such as the cream laminate that is painted on many pieces of French Sixties style furniture.


In that case, using an antiquing wax finish will give a nice vintage feel that you can’t do with distressing.

Why Distress

In addition to adding vintage depth, distressing immediately after painting adds a small amount of contrast and visual style to the painted furniture.

The degree of distressing can vary greatly, from very subtle to more obvious, but even a light sanding of the paint on some elements will help add style and depth, highlighting the positive aspects of the piece of furniture.

Problems with Distressing

When painting wood laminate that you don’t want to stand out much, distressing should not be used. In this case, you should consider dark wax.

So you can beautifully age the object, give its appearance depth and attract the interest of guests to it.

Distressing can’t turn an object into a vintage gimmick, but dark wax can.

Steps for Using Antiquing Wax

Antiquing wax is most commonly used in two common ways.


It can be applied to a piece of furniture that is already pre-coated with soft wax, or antiquing wax can be used as a base coat to cover furniture.

Most often, antiquing wax is used to highlight the corners and various recesses of the piece.

Using Antiquing Wax Over Soft Wax

This method allows the dark wax to go into the corners of the furniture without overshadowing large areas of the piece.

Soft wax is used to thoroughly seal furniture, while antique wax is only used to highlight corners and patterns on wooden pieces.

Step 1 – What to Start With

First, you will need a piece of furniture that you have already painted and coated with soft wax.


We recommend applying the dark wax immediately after the soft wax layer so that the soft wax is not yet completely cured and is slightly viscous.

This will make it easier for you to remove the excess and polish the dark wax thoroughly.

In order to get to the most inaccessible areas of the furniture, we suggest buying a natural bristle brush that is trimmed near the base.

This will give you the ability to keep track of the wax application and get it into the tightest places.

Step 2 – Applying dark wax

Divide the furniture into conditional areas and wax one area, then the next.

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We suggest starting at any corner of the furniture and moving step by step over the entire surface of the piece.

For example, if it is a table, you can start with its leg.

Do not forget not to spare the dark wax when applying.

This way it will be easier for it to penetrate even the smallest cracks in the furniture.

Step 3 – Removing Excess antiquing wax and Polishing

Immediately after the job is done, the excess wax must be removed.


This is to check that a substantial amount of the dark wax has gone into the small corners and not settled on the flat areas of the furniture.

After waxing a small area, take a lint-free rag to remove the excess dark wax near the corners, but leave it in. Then carefully buff that area until the dark wax stops sticking.

Continue around these steps until you have treated all areas of the furniture.

This procedure can be very time consuming, especially if you have a bulky piece of furniture to work on.

Using Antiquated Wax for Furniture Coating

This method is less common, but it is still used and sometimes very effective.

When you use antique wax as the main coating, you apply dark wax all over the piece.

Step 1

Start with a piece of furniture that has just been painted, but is still dry.

Take a wax brush and apply dark wax to your chosen area.

Since this dark wax will accentuate, be careful to make sure the brush strokes are made in the same direction.

For this method, we suggest applying the wax to large areas of furniture at once and then simply getting rid of any excess dark wax.

Step 2

Remove any excess dark wax and proceed to polish until the dark wax no longer sticks.

This method of waxing is similar to soft wax, but the object takes on a darker outline. It is also worth mentioning that brush strokes will also be visible.


Brashering is a time-consuming and complex method of “aging” furniture. It is used in combination with staining, painting, and varnishing.


To work, prepare a grinder, chisels, sandpaper, and a set of stiff metal brushes.

  1. Use a metal brush to comb out the soft fibers of the wood, wet with water to avoid dust and dry.
  2. Remove debris and crumbs.
  3. Use a chisel or drill bit to leave worm holes in some places.
  4. Polish with a sisal roller.
  5. Apply wax or oil.

A special compound, which includes varnish and powdered pigment, will create gray or gold shades, giving the product an “aged” tarnished look.

A thick coat of stain with a sponge immediately removing the excess will help to achieve a contrasting pattern.

Add scuffs with a grinder and fine sandpaper.

The method is suitable for wood, where the annual rings are strongly pronounced: pine and oak, larch, ash, and walnut.

Teak, maple, beech, birch, alder, and fruit trees are not suitable.

Pros and Сons of Waxing

Furniture dark wax does not remain on the surface but penetrates into the structure of wood or other raw wood-based materials.


It does not spoil the texture, but it soaks into the pores of the wood, repelling moisture and reducing the material’s rate of deterioration. Other advantages and some disadvantages of using dark wax:

  • A pleasant to the touch, velvety finish after the product dries,
  • Color and pattern enhancement,
  • Availability of different shades, the possibility of changing the natural tone of things,
  • Reliable filling of all defects – chips, cracks, scratches.
  • Compared with waxes, waxes have less protective power, and you will have to renew the dark wax layer more often.
  • Some types deteriorate from the action of ultraviolet light and burn out, so you will need to carry out restoration work on a regular basis.


How to Choose Dark Wax

The color, type, and composition affect the choice of one or another furniture restorer end. Furniture wax can be found on sale in a wide variety of shades.


Most types contain the following natural components:

  • beeswax or carnauba dark wax;
  • essential oils of conifers;
  • tree resin;
  • oils (linseed, olive, and others);
  • varnish.

If the choice is based on the consistency of the product, then everything will depend on the extent of damage, including the depth of the cracks, and holes.

The use of liquid wax is recommended for numerous shallow scratches. But the hard type of wax should be purchased to repair large chips, and cracks, where a thorough restoration is required.

Soft wax is popular due to its rich color palette (white, yellow, brown, blue, green, and dark wax) and ease of use.

On sale, the dark wax is presented in different forms. To remove minor damage, it is enough to choose a wax pencil.

And for the restoration of a large area, it is more profitable to buy a volumetric container.

Video: How to Use Antiquing Wax

Wanna know how to use antiquing wax and learn how to use Amy Howard at Home’s Light and Dark Antique Waxes? Watch this video.

What Other Waxes Can Be Used

Waxes are applied in 2-3 layers with synthetic cloths or brushes on a well-dried surface. After waxing, remove excess wax with a synthetic cloth.


Cotton fabrics, including old jeans, are not used in waxing, as the lint that separates from them gets into the dark wax structure and is impossible to remove.

The tool is easily washed with soapy water after waxing, and the synthetic fabric is left as is until the next time.

It is important to keep in mind that all decorative waxes, especially dark ones, in one way or another sterilize the painted surface and make it look more vintage.

If you decide to use dark wax, it is advisable to use it all together with clear wax. First, the furniture is completely treated with clear wax, and only then with dark wax.

Dark waxes are applied only in those places that need to darken: cracks, corners, dents, indentations, and joints, but not on flat surfaces, and then troweled with synthetic.

For a more precise application of dark wax, non-widespread, small brushes are used.

Complete dark waxing can only be done if you want fully patinated furniture and you are completely confident in your decision.

The final decision on the color is up to you, but you definitely shouldn’t rush into dark waxing!

Before waxing, it is advisable to apply a test surface to make sure of the result.

Apply dark waxes a little at a time, as they are easier to add than to remove. If you accidentally add too much dark wax, you can only remove it using clear wax.


To do this, put some clear wax on a synthetic cloth and use circular motions to remove the dark wax from the surface.

Those who want to experiment with light patinas can mix small amounts of dark and clear wax.

This allows you to vary the shades of the patina, obtaining light beige colors or grayish patinas.

The wax can make the surface matt or glossy. The degree of gloss depends on the degree of polishing.

If light polishing is done immediately after application, the surface will be matt or semi-glossy. If you wait for a longer polymerization (more than a day), you can polish the surface to gloss.

Polishing can be done with a synthetic cloth, metal wool, or drill with a felt or furring wheel.

It is advisable to start using the furniture after waxing for at least one week after the work has been done. Ideally, at least 20 days should pass.

This is the time for the dark wax to soak into the paint layer, soak into the wood surface and harden sufficiently.

Until then, the furniture can only be used sparingly – no hot cups or metal objects can be placed. Take your time, you will get great furniture. Here is how to get wax off hardwood floor.

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