Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Trouble With Finishes

Many of you have emailed to say you are having trouble with your wax finish. There is nothing worse than getting your piece to look the way you want it and then waxing it....only to hate it.I know how that feels.

I absolutely love chalk paint for its ease and dread when I have to use latex or oil based paints. But...you don't have to use wax on your chalk paint.  To use wax, you need to love a wax finish.  This typically means that you will have a matt finished surface with some streaking in it. It happens.  It's the look.  If you don't want to use wax - there are plenty of easy to use finishes that will make you happy.

One of the easiest finishes to use is a polycrylic from minwax.  Stir this up, use a foam brush (not a roller) and apply two or three thin coats.  It dries fast but you will need to use multiple coats.  The finish comes in a matt, satin, semi or gloss so you have all kinds of options.  It's water based so clean up is a breeze.  One thing to note...if you have a dark paint, this will go on milky but dry clear.  You have to use very very thin coats or else the milky taint will be visible on a dark paint.  You might want to thin it a bit with water.  Both of these tables below have a polycrylic on them and the finish is super smooth.

 I used a satin finish on these so the gloss was minimized.  It kind of looks like a wax without the streaks.  :)
You can also use a polyurethane.  I'm not sure why this freaks people out.  These are easy to use and fast drying.  The first one is an oil based poly which I usually use on a wood stain finish - not paint.

The water based poly below gets a great smooth finish and works great on chalk paint.  I apply both of these with a small foam brush so you don't see any brush marks.
The desk below has a clear gloss polyurethane on it.  You can see how fabulous and glossy the paint looks.  If that is the look you want, then a polyurethane is the way to go.  
I still like the clear wax, but I choose it when I want an aged matt finish.  You can certainly shine and buff it up but it has a different look and feel to it.

This french dresser has a vintage look where the wax finish was perfect and worked for this piece.  
Wax is also great for chairs.  You can apply it with a rag and there is zero chance of having any drip marks.  :)
So....know what your want your piece to look like.  Don't stress over waxing and don't feel bad if you don't like the finish.  There are plenty of other options that are easy and quick to use that will make you super happy with the end product.  Go try one!