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Rescued Furnishings

Wax or No Wax?

So, I am expecting arguing to commence immediately following this post. People get very protective of their products. 

We Don’t Wax Furniture

People LOVE wax. I get it. You can put it on and be DONE with the furniture and it looks great! (I realize I am making that sound easy...and it's not THAT easy) But you don't need multiple coats with several hours between each like sealer. So…why don’t we use it?!

First, this isn’t to knock people who do use it. Wax is fine, as long as you know what it implies AND its WAY better than nothing at all which is what most people do :/ I digress.  BUT it looks and feels great on stained wood and on chalk/milk paint.

So, let me start a list!

1)      Eventually, no matter how you slice it, the wax will one day HAVE to be re-applied. IF you are telling your customers this or doing this for yourself than I clearly support you. We use the absolute best and MOST durable sealer on the market to avoid this at the customer level and have the space that allows for drying time between coats for sealer.

2)      The furniture can’t be repainted. It will have to be stripped.

3)      If you put too much on, it will be a finger printy mess and…no thanks! 

4)      If you put too little it will wear a lot quicker AND…no thanks!

5)      You can’t seal on top of wax.

6)      AND it is heat sensitive…like it can melt. MELT?!?!! No thanks!

Q: This all sounds terrible! Why do people like it?

A:  Wax has very little shine. So, for antiqued looking pieces it is a great way to provide some kind of top coat with no shine. Yes, it will look good. Yes, it will have to be reapplied (frequency depends on use).  Yes, you have to know what you are doing or else you will end up like a few of our sad clients in no time at all that have a piece of furniture that they bought elsewhere that is borderline ruined…same in the cases of doing nothing. This isn’t to discourage you or make you sad if you have waxed furniture. If your furniture is a finger printy mess you can buff it and get some of that wax off and you can add more if there isn’t enough. There are a few people in St. Louis that do lovely waxed pieces and know what they are doing and talk to their customers about the use of the piece to find out if wax is applicable for what they are wanting, etc.

Q: Can you get the flat finish without wax? 

A: yep! If a customer comes to me and wants a flat finish on their piece I will use a flat sealer on top of the milk paint, glazing or distressing I do.  The sealer I use for flat finishes requires 3-4 coats (this is a pain- and most people aren’t willing to do it) It is made by General Finishes. (I use Modern Masters Supreme Clear on all other pieces). General Finishes Flat Sealer has an awesome finish and doesn’t have any shine and it will hopefully last much longer for the customer than wax. YOU MUST FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. 1 Coat IS NOT enough! Not for a professional, long lasting finish.

There are always options for every look! Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask your painter questions about how it was done or what maintenance is necessary! I love talking about different ways of finishing furniture and my FAVORITE part of doing custom pieces is making the customers vision come true. 

I know all my wax fans out there will proceed to yell at me...but really, I am not anti-wax. I know some of you are great at it and put out a great product! Please stop yelling at me! Ok..what say you?

Mar 11, 2015

I sanded and perimd it first. I used acrylic paint and then a good matt (I don’t like glossy but you might) varnish. It is really pretty easy, give it a try!

Jun 27, 2014

You have no idea how vindicated I feel. Yes, wax can be lovely, but I have avoided using it because of those durability issues, fingerprints, maintenance, etc. I feel I work a lot harder because of my avoidance of it. Thanks for validating me!

Leslie from citygirlarts
Jun 27, 2014

Agreed! I think at this point I have tried every primer and top coat that are in existence and I HATE some! There are only 3 top coats i know of that can give very good protection AND dont turn yellow! GF is one of them!

Nicole @ Rescued Furnishings
Jun 27, 2014

I agree 100%. I’ve been working with furniture, be it built or refinished, for 18 years. In those 18 years I’ve seen how finishes break down over time. Wax is great for small pieces that don’t get much wear and tear like frames or odds and ends, but furniture needs protection. GF is my go to finish for everything and has been for the last 10 years. It holds up and wont turn yellow.

Jen-ReFab Home Furnishing

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