When it comes to applying wax on painted furniture it can be tricky for a beginner. I know when I first used wax I was pretty confused, I was researching step by step what to do and I was still hitting my head against the wall.
After giving it a shot you might come across a few issues that you just couldn’t figure out, sometimes you apply wax and your paint might rub off, or your piece doesn’t look like it should anymore. Anyways, to the point, the issue you’re having today and what has brought you here is that your waxed furniture looks blotchy.
The easiest way to fix blotchy wax on chalk paint is to grab a clean rag and apply “fresh wax”, then polish over the blotchy area, this new wax will rub into the existing wax creating a new looking finish.
Of course, there are a few ways to fix up wax mistakes on furniture, but if you are seeking the easiest and most time-friendly choice try polishing over the blotchy area. If this doesn’t work you might have to try another way, which I will mention below along with a more detailed version of the polishing technique.
3 Ways to Fix Blotchy Wax on Chalk Paint
1. Polish with Fresh Wax
As mentioned above, if you are looking for a quick but successful fix to blotchy wax on your furniture, try applying more wax over the blotchy area. Realistically, wax can be buffed out and this gives it a smooth even-looking finish. You don’t always have to buff using electric tools, but if you’re having issues using a wax buffing tool that connects to a drill can fix these areas nicely.
Remember that when using this tool on your drill it can quickly eat through existing wax and if applying enough pressure it can eat through your paint. Lightly apply this tool and you can remove the blotchy wax. If you wanted to avoid using the wax buffing brush that attaches to a drill you can opt-out for a handheld wax buffing brush that can provide you with similar results. If you have neither, use a clean rag and apply decent pressure to buff and polish the blotchy area.
2. Remove Wax from Furniture
If you want to fix the blotchy waxed area you might have to completely remove the wax, but how do you remove wax? Well, there are a few different ways to remove wax from furniture:
One way to remove wax from furniture is to grab some mineral spirits and a rag, pour some mineral spirits on your rag, and scrub the waxed area. Like applying wax, you want to work the mineral spirits into the surface to remove the layer of wax. Do your best to rub with the grain of the wood to minimize creating scratches on your piece of furniture. But remember that mineral spirits could also remove paint, so be careful of this, you might want to use option 2 if you do not want to remove areas of paint.
Another way to remove wax from furniture is by creating a solution of 1 cup water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Similarly to the mineral spirits, apply the solution onto a clean rag and begin scrubbing into the waxed surface. The vinegar is meant to dissolve the wax, so never use it as a cleaning source on wax.
3. Restarting the Area (or the project)
If all goes wrong and these steps above haven’t fixed your issue you might want to consider restarting the area that you are having issues. This might mean to go and grab the sander and start sanding off the blotchy waxed surface. However, if you are sanding you are likely removing the paint and the wax. This means you are back to square one.
You can get lucky with this option depending on your furniture type. For example, if you are refinishing a dresser and your blotchy area is located on one drawer only, just sand it down and redo the process. Just make sure you match it up to what you already have, or your time will be wasted…
If you aren’t so fortunate to have a smaller area to touch up, you might have to sand everything down and begin the project over. I never recommend doing this, only if it’s your last resort. This is time-consuming and typically not necessary. Blotchy wax should be able to be buffed and cleaned up before this step is even considered. Restarting is only the option if there’s literally no way to fix what you have done. Keep trying to buff and apply another layer of wax to make it look right. Or you can try applying a darker wax over everything to hide the mistakes, get creative because you don’t want to redo a project unless you need too.
How I Fixed Blotchy Dark Wax on Chalk Paint?
I recently refinished an older end table with Coastal Blue Chalk paint and used wax as a topcoat. I applied a clear wax and then thought my piece wasn’t as dark enough. So I then took out my dark wax to apply over my clear wax, which is the recommended way to apply dark wax.
Anyways, I was using HomeDepots Behr finishing wax and I followed the directions, which is usually the best thing to do when using a new product. But I applied it in a circular motion, easily visible to the eye, but in my head, this is how to apply wax. No, it is not. It works for clear wax because you can’t see the circular motion on wood, but dark wax you can. So I created this blotchy uneven surface that I let dry for over 2 hours (recommended) and came back to a mess.
So I started buffing the wax with a clean lint-free rag, as you do with all wax finishes, but nothing was happening, the circular blotchy wax marks weren’t going anywhere.
How did I fix this?
I grabbed the initial cloth that I used to apply the wax and followed step number one above. I applied fresh new wax on my cloth and rubbed it into the blotchy waxed surface. Instead of rubbing the wax in a circular motion, I treated it as I was antique glazing. This means I went back and forth in a straight motion, but this was after rubbing out the blotchy areas first, of course.
If you are interested in watching the video where I refinished this end table see it on youtube by clicking here. I hope you decide to give it a like and subscribe to the channel. I am posting videos regularly on furniture makeovers, DIY projects, and much more.
I know its tough if your in this predicament. Wax is a funny product because it’s not like the rest, it works differently than other finishes like polyurethane or lacquer. However, I like to think fixing the mistakes with wax can be rather forgiving because of its slow drying process. You can wipe wax on furniture and if you don’t like how it looks you can wipe it again until you do.
I think the best tip on how to fix blotchy wax on chalk furniture is to avoid it from the start. Don’t apply too much wax at once. Apply lightly and buff it into the surface, then let it dry until round 2.
Following the steps and being careful is what refinishing furniture is all about, if there’s one thing I learned when I started painting furniture is that it almost 100% of the time the project will take longer than you thought. So prepare for these mistakes as best you can and deal with them as best you can, there’s no hiding from it!
Good luck and don’t be afraid to reach out and ask me some questions.