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  • Writer's pictureAzie

The Tutorialist: Dark Wax

The Tutorialist: Dark Wax

by Azie on July 4, 2015 in Annie Sloan, Chalk Paint, Tutorial

It’s time for another informative post regarding Annie Sloan Dark Wax. Read on below OR come in to either location and we will give you a free waxing demo in person!

Dark Wax Uses

Annie Sloan’s Dark Wax adds visual interest by casting a warm amber tint to your project and by revealing the underlying texture. It’s a distinctively rustic look but the degree to which it achieves that can vary. I personally like a subtle hint of the brown tones when paired with Annie’s palette, and if I do apply it rustically, it’s somewhat rare. But you could be the opposite and like more rustic tones and that’s absolutely alright! As with all of the Chalk Paint® product line, I worked the wax to my own personal aesthetic. I recently painted the storage crates in our store in bright tones and then dark waxed them. It can be a fun and playful look as well as an antiqued look. I concentrated the wax in the corners and I loved the effect.  

Close up of Dark Wax applied over Clear Wax on bright colors

Chalk Paint® mixes on wooden crates with Clear then Dark Wax application

With the exception of using Dark Wax with Graphite, Clear waxing your paint is the recommended precursor step to Dark Waxing your piece. As I last mentioned, Clear Wax is your surface protector, so in the case of Dark Wax, a highly pigmented stain, the Clear Wax will allow it to be a workable tint rather than just look blotchy, dark, and stain your porous surface. On a waxed surface, the Dark Wax will have more potential to be both subtle and controlled. It can even be further lightened/removed with the application of more Clear Wax. Treat it like your Clear Wax in that you should always remove it so it won’t feel sticky. If you want it to look darker, instead of leaving it on longer, do multiple coats so it continues to be easy to remove.

Exceptions: Dark Wax when intentionally placed directly on certain colors can add a heavy dose of age. It doesn’t necessarily look bad, but it’s a desired look. In contrast to my crates, Travis, aimed for a more rustic look and directly stained his Country Grey coat, with Dark Wax. 

However, over Graphite, you get a rich, dark chocolatey charcoal hue that looks absolutely stunning. It still has a European sense to it as it’s not a true black, but it is a bold look that goes well with just about anything, metallic tones, included. 

Dark Wax with Mineral Spirits

You may have heard of some DIYers adding Mineral Spirits to their Dark Wax as it has been a method that some users have liked because it is easier to control if you are a Waxing newbie or if you prefer a glazing method. Instead of sitting in the crevices, it has a thinner, creamier application. It’s lighter and is good for highlighting texture in a very subtle way. 

The Dark Wax is already a wonderful consistency for applying it onto waxes pieces, but if you’re looking to thin the intensity and get an almost glazed over look, that is the aim of adding mineral spirits. 

Helpful tip: if you’re going to make any changes to your wax or experiment at all, transfer small batches into an air tight container.

Tinted Waxes

If you’re in the mindset to play around and love color mixing, try adding a dab of your Chalk Paint® to your waxes.

This works with both Clear and Dark – believe it or not. With Clear Wax, your tints will be more apparent but one of the newest tricks I’ve learned is that adding either Napoleonic Blue or Aubusson Blue into your Dark Wax deepens the color to a rich umber tone. The Dark Wax has an amber hue to it, but the addition of blue reduces the brightness and you’re left with a stunning darkener. Try it directly over the Graphite or over Clear Waxed Napoleonic for an extra pop.

To get some Annie Sloan Dark Wax for yourself check out Annie's Paint Shop!

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