Thursday, 21 August 2014

How To Seal Painted Furniture with Paste Wax



With our super awesome (and don't forget extra-large) kitchen island almost done, I wanted to paint some counter-height stools to go with it. I redid the two numbered stools from a few years ago, they were getting a bit beat up and in need of a fresh coat of paint. And I also painted two new unfinished wooden stools that we got on sale (for $10 each) at Canadian Tire. A big counter like this, means cooking for company, and that means we need lots of seating!

I've been practicing my skills at refinishing and upcycling furniture for a few years now, and I'll admit that painted pieces gave me trouble for a long time. After painting a piece I could never find a proper finish that would seal and protect, and keep my nice coat of paint from chipping and scratching. I tried varnish, polycrylics, and spray finishes, but nothing worked well. Some finishes left yellow or white streaks on my coat of paint, others just didn't serve as any sort of real protection, and I was left constantly doing touch-ups and feeling like I could never gift or sell a piece for fear that the finish would be ruined within the week! 

Well, it took me awhile, but I finally found my miracle finishing product for painted furniture: paste wax! Last year I painted a kitchen shelving unit that takes a lot of wear and tear, and I coated it with Minwax Finishing Paste (paste wax). I applied the wax with a rub on/ rub off method, loaded the newly painted and sealed shelf up with cookbooks, pantry jars, and even a heavy stone mortar and pestle, and for the first time, I had a piece of painted furniture that didn't scratch and chip! The wax worked! 

In this post I will show you how to apply paste wax to newly painted furniture. First, here are a few photos of the stools being painted and made-over!

The 'before' photos of the two sets of stools: 
Remember those numbered stools? It seems like just yesterday I was working away on that project! 


For the unfinished new wood stools, I decided to go with this trend of 'dip painting' or doing a combo of both paint and wood finishes.

I started by taping off the areas that I did not want to paint. 

I also used a piece of a cheap plastic drop cloth to cover areas not to be painted. 
Then I primed the wood using a spray paint primer. 

The hardest part of refinishing the old stools was taking off these awful 'dust collector' feet.
And the worst part? I put them on there! To remove sticky feet, use a putty knife to pry off the majority, then remove any dirt of reside using a piece of steel wool wetted with varsol. And in the future, use rubber protectors, if anything.

Once the numbered stools were sanded and cleaned, I coated them with a spray paint primer.

I decided to paint out the second two stools in solid colours, blue and grey.
Here, I'm spray painting the grey one, and you can see the finished white dip painted stool as well. 

How To Seal Painted Furniture with PASTE WAX

 Once the stools were all painted, I needed to seal and protect them.
I let the paint dry and cure (24-48 hrs) and then I was ready to apply my wax.
In the past I have recommended Minwax Finishing Paste Wax to coat your painted or stained piece. Minwax paste comes in two shades, a light orangey colour and a darker brown colour (both great for the many shades of stained wood). But for colourful or bright white painted surfaces, I have just discovered this Trewax CLEAR paste wax! It doesn't impart any colour to my paint job, which I love! 
 Here's how to use it: It will look solid when you open the tin.
 Just use an old spoon to scoop out the wax, and place a few ounces on a piece of cheesecloth. 
 Bundle the cheesecloth around the wax (the idea is that the wax will seep through the cloth), and apply to the surface of the wood using a circular motion. The heat of your hands will warm the wax and it will coat the surface well. 
Leave for about an hour, or until the surface feels fairly dry and less waxy or sticky. 
Buff with a rag to remove any excess and leave a smooth, shiny finish.

And that's it! All done! You may repeat the waxing process two or three times to build up a shiny and hard coat of wax. But even one coat will protect very well, and will help your paint job stand the test of time.


Thanks for reading!

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