Dressing It Up: The Uses of Gilding Wax

Red Wind Studio
by Red Wind Studio
I had seen some advertisements for gilding wax and wasn't sure if I could use it on anything that I had. Was I wrong. There are so many ways to use gilding wax and I am only going to touch the surface with what you can do.
Let's start by saying a little bit goes a long way. I have used much more of the silver than the gold. I am not big on gold and prefer silver but that is my preference. I typically use a stiff bristle artist brush to apply gilding wax. Usually it would be the last thing you do to a piece due to the fact if you apply a clear or dark wax later it will act like an eraser and take off some to most of the gilding wax.
This small ceiling light was easily brought from ugly 1970's sort of tarnished gold to a more contemporary finish by first painting it with ASCP Graphite ™ then brushing the entire surface with the gilding wax after I had rubbed a coat of clear wax on it. I did not do a thick covering but brushed a thin layer so some of the paint would still show through which gave it more of an aged pewter look.
Gilding the original hardware is a great way of updating and bringing the piece together. Each handle above has been redone with paint and gilding wax. These are truly amazing transformations from blah to wow. Again I just used a stiff bristled artist brush and applied either a little or a lot depending on the look I was trying to achieve.
Painting a design on a table is another way to use the wax. I traced the image I wanted onto the table using chalk on the back of the paper then laying it on the table I then traced the image using a pencil. When I lift the paper I have the image in chalk on the table which easily wipes away when I am done. I then painted the image over the chalk outline. I left the edges a little rough and did not apply it evenly. I wanted the image to look worn. I also added the silver gilding wax along the outer edge and skirt of the table.
Ornate frames are perfect for gilding wax. The wax allows you to highlight the details of the frame. I have only used small amounts of wax on my frames so far. Most of these frames needed was just a light dusting to give depth and distinction to the frame. The bottom centre frame painted in Fat Paint Red Barchetta ™ I did use a significant amount on the inner oval frame but then used a dark wax to partially remove and dull the wax giving it an aged patina.
Here is an example of how the gilding wax just adds that extra little thing this retro side table needed. Now imagine just having the blue and ochre, it would be okay but nothing special. The silver brings it up a notch giving it a con
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  • Lynne Lynne on Feb 17, 2014
    where do you buy this wax?..makes things look lovely
    • See 2 previous
    • Karen Rossman Clark Karen Rossman Clark on Feb 18, 2014
      I found it on Amazon.com also. I ordered some. Whahoo!!
  • Connie K Connie K on Feb 20, 2014
    I've never tried the gilding wax but I certainly intend to do so. I have a trunk with the decorative tin on it which needs to be redone to work with new color scheme. I used the Rub and Buff just to highlight the the decorative trim and it worked really well. But since I like to try new things I think I'll try the gilding wax.