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Have you started painting furniture with chalk paint and now want to learn how to use antiquing wax? Antiquing wax can add depth and interest in a piece of furniture. It builds up in the nook and crannies of the furniture to really bring out any engraving or etching done to the wood.

side tables with antiquing wax

The Simple Steps of How to Use Antiquing Wax

Antiquing wax can be used in two separate ways. It can be added to a piece of furniture that has already been waxed with soft wax, or it can be used as the wax to seal the furniture.ย Using antiquing wax to accent the nooks and crannies of the piece tends to be the most common.

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First Method – Using Antiquing Wax Over Soft Wax

This method allows the dark wax to build up in the nooks and crannies of the furniture without showing up much on the larger areas of the piece. The soft wax is used to seal the furniture and the antiquing wax is used only to accent the corners and etching within the wood.

Related: Chalk Painting For The Beginner

how to use antiquing wax before and after look

How to Achieve This Look

Step 1 – How to Begin

Start with a piece of furniture that has already been painted and sealed with soft wax. I apply the dark wax immediately after the soft wax so that the soft wax is still pliable and not completely set. This allows to dark wax to be wiped and buffed off the furniture more easily.

In order to get in the nooks and crannies of the furniture piece, I use a natural bristle brush that has been cut down close to the base. This allows me to have control of the wax and to push the wax into those hard-to-reach spots.

applying antiquing wax

Step 2 – Applying the Wax

Begin by applying the wax to one area at a time. I start with one corner or area of the furniture and slowly move around the piece. In this instance I started with the leg of this side table.

Be sure to apply the wax liberally. This will ensure that the dark wax makes its way into the cracks of the furniture.

after applying the wax on a grey side table

Step 3 – Removing and Buffing the Wax

Wiping off the wax soon after application is a must. This is to make sure that most of the dark wax is in the nooks and crannies, instead of the larger portions of the furniture piece.

Once a small area of wax has been applied, use a lint free rag to wipe of the wax towards the nooks where you would like to see buildup. Then buff the area well until the furniture is no longer tacky.

Continue the above three steps until the entire piece of furniture is complete. This can be a long process, especially if you chose a large piece of furniture to wax.

Related: How to Care For Your Chalk Painting Brushes

after buffing the wax on a grey side table

Method 2 – Using Antiquing Wax to Seal the Furniture

This method is not as common, however its still rather striking. When using antiquing was as the main sealant, you end up with dark wax throughout your project and, in my example, brush strokes of dark wax.

Step 1

Begin with a piece that has been painted and is completely dry. Use a wax brush to apply the dark antiquing wax onto the furniture piece. Since this wax will be more visible, be sure brush strokes are in the same direction. For this technique, I apply to larger areas at a time before wiping off the excess wax.

Step 2

Wipe off the excess wax and buff until no longer tacky.ย This will seal the same as soft wax, but gives off a darker finish. Please note that brush strokes will be visible.

antiquing wax to seal

Additional Notes

Wax is a safe and non-toxic option for sealing your furniture. Using antiquing wax really provides an interesting affect that many people enjoy. If you’re serious about refinishing furniture, this is an important technique to learn.


How to Use Antiquing Wax Pinnable Image