Chalk paint finish is fun to work with, but it can quickly cause the wax to become blotchy. This often occurs as a result of improper application of a finish.
Whatever may be causing the waxy look on your chalk paint, this article will help you figure it out and fix it.
In this article we will cover:
Why is the Wax Streaky – Different Ways to Fix?
There are two main reasons why the wax may look this way: you waited too long to remove the excess wax, you applied too much wax or both.
There is a chance that you didn’t do a good job when painting with chalk paint, and the wax only made it worse or you worked in sections and then didn’t blend them at the end.
To remedy the streaky appearance regardless of its source, you can apply thin coats of wax to the surface of the wood and move it evenly using a wax brush or lint-free cloth, working on one small section at a time.
Then, put on more wax and remove any excess using long back and forth gestures to prevent brush strokes.
If this method doesn’t work, you can try to wipe it off using a clean cloth and mineral spirits. Once you have the desired results, you can put a thin coat of wax down to seal the chalk paint again.
1. Buff Out the Blotches
This is thought to be the easiest way to solve the blotchy wax situation.
You will need to let the wax dry totally for about 24 hours when you’re done to ensure it doesn’t have a tacky feel when touched and that it doesn’t shrink.
You will need a polishing buff brush and a lint-free cloth that you can use to buff the blotchiness.
Once you’re certain the wax is dry, you can use firm pressure to rub over the blotchy area. If you are too firm, you may scratch the surface of the wax.
Buff the area using either back and forth motion or in circles. Check as you go to see if the blotch is evening out or fading.
If this process is fixing it, then continue to buff the rest of the wood to achieve an even finish. If it doesn’t work, then you can try other methods.
2. Apply a Fresh Coat of Wax Over the Old
You can choose this method to fix the blotchy look on a chalk-painted surface. To do so, you’ll need to use a chalk paint wax brush or lint-free rag and some wax. Just apply a thin layer of the soft wax over the old wax.
Regardless of the way you choose to apply it, you’ll need to make sure the new wax coat is evenly spread across the entire piece of wood.
Usually, applying a new coat of soft wax can be enough to fix the blotchy look of the wax, but if the blotchy wax still looks obvious even after these two methods, there are others you could try.
3. Remove the Old Wax and Reapply a Brand-new Coat
Gather of the materials you will need to remove the wax from the product and then start at square one. A clean rag and mineral spirits are good for removing any wax from the wood.
Put a generous amount of white spirits on the cloth and then use it to remove all of the wax.
You’ll know you’re done when you can run your fingers over the surface and feel the chalk paint and its unique texture.
At this point, you can wipe the surface down using a damp rag. This will remove any lingering traces of the spirits.
Let the surface dry for about one hour, and then get a wax brush or clean cloth and reapply the wax to the wood, making sure to spread it out evenly.
Let the first coat dry entirely before going back over it with the second layer.
If this still hasn’t solved your problem, you may want to think outside the box.
4. Get Creative and Think Out of the Box
You can just get crafty and deal with the blotchiness by making it a part of the furniture somehow.
If your furniture has some wax you just can’t fix, you could cover the spot with a paper scrap or fabric and use the area as a decoration instead.
You could also allow the blotchy wax to dry for 24 hours and stencil around it using a darker or brighter color of chalk paint than the one you used on the furniture.
Pick a flat or raised stencil pattern depending on what looks best on the blotchy wax. Be sure to let the stencil dry completely before you seal it with wax.
5. Strip the Chalk Paint and Start all Over Again
This can be your last resort option if the other methods haven’t left you satisfied with the results.
It is labor-intensive and time-consuming, so be sure you try the other methods first before giving this a shot.
This method involves removing the blotchy wax later followed by the chalk paint beneath it.
This will offer a clean, smooth slate for you to begin again and fix the problem at the base. You can remove the wax from the chalk-painted surface using a rag and mineral spirits.
Next, you can use your power sander and lightly sand the chalk paint. If you try to sand it with the wax still in place, it will clog the sandpaper and make the process slower.
Clean the sanded wood using a damp cloth and then apply a coat of fresh paint. Finally, you can wax it again.
If you notice the blotchy wax is only on one section of the project, such as on a drawer or cabinet door, you could just remove the paint and wax from this area, refinish it and leave the rest alone.
Just be sure to match it to the rest of the appearance of the waxed and painted furnishing.
That said, if the problematic blotchy wax is found all over the product, you will have to redo the entire furnishing.
Wax blotchiness on top of chalk-painted wooden furniture can leave you unsatisfied with the finished result of your project.
Many things can cause this, from improper application of wax to not blending it after working in sections on the project.
Even if it is frustrating, you don’t have to feel disheartened or as if the entire project is now a waste; no matter what caused the blotchy wax, fortunately, there are ways to fix it.
Above, we outlined several ways for you to remedy the issue of blotchy wax on chalk paint.
Give each a try, and if they don’t work, you could always completely strip the entire furnishing of wax and paint and begin the process anew.
Next time, keep in mind that the best way to avoid blotchy wax in the future is to apply it in thin, light coats evenly spread out and give them time to dry between each layer.
This will help you avoid ending up where you are now during your next wooden furniture project.
Hi, I am Mark Garner a professional carpenter, woodworker, and DIY painter. I live in the small city of Peoria, Arizona as a semi-retired woodworker. I have started this blog with a simple motive to help you with my wood experience in this sector. If you like to know more about what I love doing and how it all got started, you can check more about me here.