Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tips and Tricks Tuesday #2 - Wax On Deary

Welcome to the second Tips & Tricks Tuesday linky party.  We're off to a great start with many wonderful tips from other creative bloggers.

Tammy @ Tattered & Timeless shared her beautiful china birdfeeder / birdbath tutorial with a tip on the proper glue to use and even a tip for keeping the water fresh with lavender.

 Have you ever wanted to recover a lampshade?  Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio gave us her very own special tips for making one.

Diane @ Pittypat Paperie had a terrific tutorial for making an entire desk set on the cheap.

It was difficult to choose just one from the various submissions by A Little Lovely blog, but I think the jersey knit flowers were my favorites.

Kelli @ WhimsiKel shared her creative tips on using ribbon swatches to match your decor.

Debbie @ Debbiedoos showed us how drab can be turned to fab.

And Ann @ Make the Best of Things provided her thrifty tips for this wonderful moss garden.

Now it's my turn for another tip & trick.

When you prepare to wax your furniture, do you automatically reach for that spray can that's advertised on TV?

Well, guess what?  Spray polishes and oils are really not the best bet for protecting your furniture.  Not only do they leave an oily residue behind–that actually attracts more dust and dirt–but they may cause your furniture's finish to deteriorate over time.

A good quality paste wax is a far superior product and one that will protect your furniture and keep it's natural patina looking good.

Here at the cottage, we use the three products above for our projects, as well as, our own furnishings at home. 

I thought I would show you an old wooden tool chest that I just finished waxing.  Note the wonderful character that has developed on this piece over time.

For pieces like this–where the finish is not smooth–the wax is best applied with a soft, natural bristle brush.  I occasionally find these old brushes at thrift stores and yard sales and clean them to use for times such as this.

When the finish of the piece is rough and textured–often the case with older pieces–it's best to apply the wax in a circular motion with the brush.  That way, you're sure to get wax in all the cracks and crevices.

Using a cloth would leave areas untouched by the wax and, most likely, leave bits of the cloth behind.

You can see the circular swirls on the left, where I applied the wax.  The area to the right has not been waxed, hence its dull, lifeless appearance. 

In this closer view, you can see how the wax brings out the natural patina of the piece.  I used clear wax, so what you're seeing is the actual color of the old paint coming out.

I waxed the inside of the chest, as well, to bring out the richness of the wood.  Note the difference between the unwaxed state–top image–and waxed–the image just below it.  The paste wax brings out the natural patina and provides a protective barrier for the wood.

You can achieve the same benefits with paste wax on nicer pieces of furniture, too.   Just make sure you use a soft, lint-free cloth instead of a brush.


  1. I need to try wax, Liz. I'm one of those that uses that spray can at the moment. I was thinking of trying it on my kitchen cabinets as a first try.

  2. I love using paste waxes - especially beeswax because it smells so good. Thanks for the tips.

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I have created a laundry stain removal post part deux! I have linked to your party.
    Thanks so much,

  4. Thanks for the great tips. I use wax too on old chippy peely and otherwise vintage wood pieces, it always makes them look soooo good!

  5. WOW and I have a feature too:) Thanks....I joined in on your party, thanks for the reminder...I am not great at remembering all these parties sometimes....:)

  6. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today and for your invitation to join in your weekly parties... I do have a question for the "Yankee" if he knows...
    I painted my furniture with a 'white enamel' and want to put a sealant on it.. What kind?
    Thanks again and will see you next week!

  7. Hello, I really like your blog, I cant believe i havnt stopped by before. Love the Tricks- I have a few but dont have a post on one at the moment- BUT love sharing my mistakes-and what works for me.
    Just became a Follower of yours- Next time Ill have one to share.
    Such a great Idea ...

  8. Thanks so much for this information! I've painted several pieces of furniture and they never seem to "cure" all the way, things stick to them. Will this paste wax solve that problem?



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