About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Painting Furniture......to wax or not to wax, that is the question!

People often ask me 'how do you know which way to finish a piece of painted furniture?' My reply ... 'it depends on what look you are trying to achieve'.

Recently whilst painting this dresser I thought I would photograph it with and without wax so you could see what I mean. The dresser was that 'lovely' orange shade of pine to begin with, not particularly old (20 years maximum). I painted it with Autentico vintage chalk paint, colour scandinavian blue.As you can see the dark wax that I applied to the base alters the colour quite a lot.
If you like the colour when you have finished painting it then simply seal it with something colourless, either a water-based varnish, sealer or clear wax. If you would have preferred it a little lighter then finish with a white wax (particularly effective over darker colours).
I felt that the dresser had an antique look about it with the lovely ogee bracket feet and arched panels in the door, so I opted for an aged or antiqued effect, and although this can be achieved several ways, applying a dark wax is the simplest way to do it. A photograph of the wax being applied will demonstrate.....

You can buy a special waxing brush to apply the wax but I tend to use an old paintbrush. It needs to be applied quite liberally so that the finish is even, then if it is too dark it can be re-waxed with a clear wax which will remove some of the darker wax, in a gentle way. However if you are impatient the excess can be removed with some turpentine or white spirits.Dampen a soft cloth with the spirits and wipe over your furniture as if you were polishing it, this technique takes a little practice as it can get a little messy, but take your time, and don't get your cloth too wet and it will be fine. Keep folding the cloth over so that you don't get the cloth too clogged with wax. You may need another clean cloth for the final buffing up.
Once happy with the finish buff up with a clean cloth (I like to use old towelling for this).It is quite physical as you need to apply a little pressure to get a sheen. Some people leave the wax on for a period of time or overnight before they buff it off, but I think it is easier to do it right away.
To keep your furniture in tip-top condition it can be waxed once a year and over the years will build up to a lovely patina. If you have varnished your piece you can still apply wax on top to soften the effect, a dark wax will still alter the colour but to a much lesser degree.

The finished dresser.
I painted the insides of the dresser with Autentico versante eggshell colour dolphin (a grey/beige colour) so that it would look clean  and fresh and would show up whatever is displayed in the top cupboards.
Some say that they really love the chalky look of the paint and would prefer not to seal it at all. This is fine for mirrors or things that won't be handled. I admit to having left furniture unsealed in the past but it will eventually mark. The other option is to use Autentico's white wax which contains chalk and so you get the chalky finish once more.
I hope this will be helpful to anyone attempting to finish their masterpiece, or just thinking about having a go at painting that bedside cupboard or coffee table.
Apologies to anyone who has popped in here to find me not at home, it is difficult to keep all the balls in the air! Looking forward to visiting my blogging friends and catching up.
Have a happy week ahead, love Linda xx


  1. Hello Linda
    Nice to see you posting again. This is a very interesting project and I love how you have demonstrated the different wax finishes. Seems like a lot of elbow grease is need too
    Hope all is great with you and family

    Helen xx

  2. Hello Linda lovely to see you here again....and how fresh and colourful it is looking! I loved reading about your furniture painting.....you always make such a good job of it. Wishing you a happy week.
    Helen xox


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