We all love chalk paint finish, but what do you do if your wax gets blotchy?

This blog post will teach you How to Fix Blotchy Wax on Chalk Painted Furniture in just a few easy steps.

While it’s not difficult to apply this finish, people make some common mistakes when using it, leading to a less than perfect result.

If you’ve been struggling with getting smooth coverage or achieving the desired look from your project, these tips should help!

How To Fix Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint

First, attempt to buff the blotchy area evenly. Next, consider applying a fresh coat of wax over the blotchy area and even it out. If it doesn’t help, remove the furniture wax and reapply it on the problem area. Or you can creatively decorate over the blotchy appearance. Worst case scenario, strip the waxed furniture and start over from scratch.

What You Will Need

  • Annie Sloan chalk brush (you may also want to see our list of the best paint brush for sealing wax when chalk painting).
  • Annie Sloan clear and dark wax
  • Annie Sloan chalk paint
  • Odorless mineral spirits
  • Clean cloths
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Polishing buff brush
  • Palm sandpaper or a power sander

Methods of Fixing Blotchy Wax on Chalk Painted Furniture

A blotchy wax is never a finish you plan to achieve on your DIY project. But it can happen. 

You might be wondering why the chalk paint in the first place looked perfect, only for the wax sealer to look short of perfect. The problem began with a poor painting job that’s been emphasized by the wax, regardless of how many coats of wax are applied.

Another possible reason could be that you might have applied more wax than necessary or worked in sections and forgot to blend them in the final phase. 

Or over wiping wax which resulted in some areas looking buffed and other areas not. Which means the wax didn’t get fully absorbed into the porous chalk paint.

There’re practical ways to fix this ugly outcome. See details below.

1. Buff the blotchy area

Consider this as the first and easiest method to fix the blotchy wax situation. However, you will need to allow the wax to dry fully for about 24 hours: make sure it doesn’t shrink or feel tacky when you touch it.

Get a lint-free cloth or polishing buff brush that you’ll use for buffing the blotch away. When you are sure the wax is dry enough, rub over the blotchy area using firm pressure but not too hard to scratch the wax. 

Buff the area using either a circular motion or back and forth motions or a combination of both motions. Be sure to check if the blotch is fading or evening out. 

If the buffing process is fixing the blotchy wax, continue buffing the entire painted furniture to get a uniform wax finish.

If buffing doesn’t seem to get rid of the blotchy appearance, consider using the following method.

2. Apply a fresh coat of wax

You can opt for this method to repair the blotchy wax appearance on your painted surface. You will need a lint-free rag or Chalk Paint Wax brush and Annie Sloan Soft wax.

Simply apply a thin layer of the soft wax over the blotchy wax. Regardless of the applicator, you choose to use, ensure you spread the new wax coat all over the entire piece and even it.

Often applying a fresh coat of soft wax adds enough wax to fix a blotchy appearance. It will most likely work for your DIY projects as well.

But, if the area with blotchy wax still appears pronounced despite the two methods, maybe the next method will solve that problem for you. Let’s move on.

Read also: Can you clear coat over wax?

3. Remove the blotchy wax and reapply a fresh coat

Grab the materials you will need and remove the wax altogether and then start all over.

Mineral spirits and a clean rag are what you need to remove the wax from your painted furniture. Apply a generous amount of the white spirits on the rag and apply some elbow grease to remove all the wax.

You will know you’ve removed all the wax once you can feel the textured chalk paint when you run your hand on the surface. Finally, wipe the surface using a damp rag to remove traces of mineral spirits.

Allow the chalk-painted surface to dry for about an hour. Next, get a clean cloth or wax brush, re-apply wax on your furniture, and spread it evenly. Allow the first coat to dry before you go in with the second thin layer. 

Hopefully, this sorts out the blotchy wax problem. But, again, if it doesn’t, or you don’t want to go down this route yet, there’re still methods you can consider.

Related: Beeswax wood finish disadvantages

4. Get crafty!

Don’t be afraid to get creative! For example, if you are making a chalk-painted piece of furniture, the idea is to make it uniquely yours, so why not make this small “problem” work for you?

For example, if your piece has an area with blotches that you don’t want, simply cover the spot with something fun like fabric or paper scrap. You can then use that area as a sort of decoration instead! 

Alternatively, leave the blotchy wax to dry thoroughly for about 24 hours and then stencil the part. You can use a brighter or darker color of chalk paint from the flat paint on the base of the furniture.

Choose a raised or flat stencil pattern depending on what works best to seal the imperfection occasioned by blotchy wax. Remember to allow the stencil to dry thoroughly, then seal it with a coat of clear wax.

I recognize that even though sometimes these problems happen by accident. They aren’t ideal but remember, mistakes are opportunities for us to learn and grow. So embrace them instead of fussing over them!                     

5. Strip your chalk painted furniture and start over from scratch 

Go for this option as your last resort if the previous methods haven’t done justice for your waxed piece of furniture. Also, remember it’s pretty time-consuming and labor-intensive. So make sure it is necessary.

This option means you first remove the blotchy wax and then remove the chalk paint from your wood furniture. This gives you a clean slate to start over and fix the error at its root.

Have your mineral spirits and a rag at hand and remove all the wax from your chalk-painted piece.

Next, get your power sander and lightly sand down the chalk paint. You could sand the wax, but it will only clog your sandpaper and slow you down. Clean your sanded wood with a damp cloth. Then go over painting furniture with fresh chalk paint, which is as durable as latex paint and re-wax it.

If the blotchy appearance is on a section of the project, such as the drawers of a bathroom vanity, you could remove the wax and chalk paint on the affected part alone and refinish it. Make sure to match it up with the rest of the painted and waxed surface.

However, if the affected part is on larger sections of your furniture makeovers, such as the kitchen table, you will have to redo the entire project.

Why is the Wax on my Chalk Paint streaky?

There’re two possible reasons: you applied too much wax, or you waited too long to wipe off excess wax, or both.

To fix this streaky wax appearance on chalk paint, apply thin coats of wax over it and spread it evenly using a lint-free cloth or a wax brush. Work on a small section at a time. Then, apply wax and remove the excess in long back and forth motions to avoid brush strokes.

If the above method fails, try wiping the streaky wax using mineral spirits and a clean cloth. Then, when you have the desired results, apply a thin coat of wax to seal the potentially exposed chalk paint. 

Interesting read: Can I wax on polyurethane?

How to Remove Wax from Chalk Painted Furniture

Using mineral spirits is the most common and effective way to remove wax chalk-painted furniture. Soak a clean cloth in mineral spirits and use the wet cloth to rub the wax off a chalk-painted surface.

Use more spirits and more clean clothes until all the wax comes off. Remember to wear rubber gloves since mineral spirits can be caustic. Also, use it in a well-ventilated space or opt for the odorless type. 

An alternative to mineral spirits is using white vinegar. This product dissolves wax, making it easy to wipe off. You can mix this with equal parts of water or use it without diluting. Use it in the same way you would use mineral spirits. However, remember there is no waterproof chalk paint, so the paint might be damaged.

In the absence of the above options, there’s one more option at your disposal. Apply a fresh coat of wax over the wax you want to remove. The oil in the new wax will activate and soften the older wax for easy removal.

Apply some elbow grease to rub off the wax using a clean rag. You will need more rags to use as soon as the others get clogged with wax.

You could also use a paint scraper and gently push it against the thick layers of wax. Once you’ve removed the most layers, apply an additional coat of wax and then rub it off using a clean rag for a smooth finish.

Recommended Reading: How to remove chalk paint from wood.


How to remove dark wax from chalk paint

Use a clean cloth to wipe off as much as possible if the dark wax is freshly applied. You can also apply a coat of clear wax and then wipe it off using a lint-free cloth. Alternatively, put a little bit of mineral spirits on a clean cloth and use it to remove the dark wax from chalk paint.

Read also: How to keep chalk paint from rubbing off.

Can you touch up Chalk Paint after waxing?

Yes, you can touch up chalk paint after waxing. However, ensure that the wax dries completely to the touch before you paint over it. The touch-up chalk paint makes an easy spread and will dry smoothly since the Chalk Paint Wax by Annie Sloan is created to work together in perfect harmony.

What happens if you put too much wax on chalk paint?

If you put too much wax on the paint, you will have opaque lumps or white streaks on your furniture. These can easily give a blotchy wax effect. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe off the excess wax while still fresh. If the wax has dried, use mineral spirits and a clean cloth to remove the white lumps. 

How to buff chalk paint wax

Using a lint-free cloth or a polishing buff brush, apply firm pressure and buff the wax using circular or back and forth motions. Buff a waxed spot at a time until you get the amount of shine you like. Repeat the same on your entire furniture. If you want more shine, you need to buff the wax for longer.

Read: How to buff wax on chalk paint

What to use to buff wax on chalk paint?

You can either use a lint-free cloth or a polishing brush to buff wax on chalk paint. You can use a polishing hand buff brush or a Polishing drill buff brush

How long do you wait to buff Chalk Paint wax?

It is recommended you leave your waxed furniture overnight to allow the wax enough time to cure or harden before you buff. If you attempt to buff the wax before 24 hours of drying time, you risk removing the wax and simply spreading it around: you’ll end up with an ugly streak instead of a desired durable finish.

How do you use dark wax on chalk paint?

Use dark wax on chalk paint to create an instant aged look. First, apply the chalk paint color of your choice, let it dry. Next, apply a coat of clear wax using a lint-free cloth or Chalk Paint Wax Brush. Before the clear wax dries out, apply a liberal coat of dark wax.  This will give a dark color to the chalk paint used.

What’s next?

I hope these tips on how to fix blotchy wax on chalk paint help you achieve the desired smooth and perfect top coat for chalk-painted surfaces.

If you encounter this predicament on your first chalk paint and wax project, don’t get disheartened. The advantage is that this type of problem has five methods you can use to remedy the mistake.

The best way to fix blotchy wax on chalk paint is to avoid applying wax in thick coats at a go. Instead, apply light coats and spread them evenly; let them dry before applying the second coat.

Good luck with your project, fellow painters!

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