Do I have to remove liquid wax before painting with latex?

I bought a dresser that someone has painted with chalkpaint and sealed with liquid wax. I want to repaint the piece with latex. What is the best way to proceed? Can I just sand it a bit and then get to painting? Do I have to remove all the wax first? If so, what's the best method? Sanding? Mineral spirits? TSP?
  9 answers
  • Diana of all Trades Diana of all Trades on Mar 19, 2016
    The big benefit of chalk based paint is that you don't have to sand. I would recommend staying with chalk based paint. I know when I tried putting acrylic over a waxed piece, it just peeled right off (and you couldn't even hardly feel the wax anymore).

  • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Mar 19, 2016
    I use chalk paint all the time and I clean my wax brush with Murphy's Oil Soap. It does an amazing job getting dried wax off my brush so I think it's worth a try to give your dresser a good clean with that soap and then rinse with clear warm water afterwards and allow to completely dry before you paint. I would try a small test area 1st and let it dry to make sure your paint is going to adhere to the dresser. if it doesn't you're going to have to sand and/or prime. your 2nd option is to make your own chalk paint with the latex that you plan to use.There are several recipes on Pinterest. I prefer the one that contains Calcium Carbonate. If you decide on the one that contains Plaster of Paris, please be sure to wear a mask as the plaster dust is a health hazard if you breathe it into your lungs! Good luck with your project!

    • See 4 previous
    • Sandra Hellewell Sandra Hellewell on Mar 19, 2016
      @Allison Smith I'm glad I could help! I'm sure you'll be happy with the results from Murphy's Oil Soap. In the future, if you want a much more durable top coat for finishing furniture, I recommend BM Hardwood Stay Clear Coat; Use a mix of 1/2 Low Lustre and 1/2 Flat to recreate the lovely sheen of the wax finish with a much stronger and long lasting finish as it is meant for hardwood floors! I used it on my coffee table with excellent results and plan to use it on my kitchen cabinets once I've painted them.

  • Janet metzger Janet metzger on Mar 19, 2016
    Hello Allison, wax is the definitive topcoat and the only thing that will stick to it is Annie Sloan paint. You cannot paint latex over wax, you need to use some odorless mineral spirits on a rag and remove all of the wax before you continue. Or just buy yourself some fabulous Annie Sloan and paint right over that wax. Janet Annie Sloan Stockist The Empty Nest

  • Janet metzger Janet metzger on Mar 19, 2016
    Allison.... I see you live in Haymarket Virginia! My Annie Sloan shop is right next to you in Warrenton Virginia, come visit! 92 Main Street!

  • Allison, you can apply a good latex primer over the wax ( Zinsser, Glidden Gripper, Kilz) then use the latex paint of your choice.

  • Marilee H Marilee H on Mar 19, 2016
    I wouldn't try anything till I'd cleaned. Murphy's Oil soap might work, but TSP might do a better job. I use the real thing for special jobs, as it seems to work better than the phosphate free version. I only use this very rarely!!

  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Mar 19, 2016
    First I wouldn't use Murphys Oil soap to clean, you'll just be introducing more wax/oil to your surface. Lightly sand with a very find sandpaper or steel wool just to scuff the surface and then wipe the whole thing down with mineral spirits to give you a clean surface to start on. If you start to paint in a small area and notice the latex paint is separating on your surface of not adhering very well then you need to prime before you paint.

  • Red Red on Mar 19, 2016
    Worked at Home Depot forever and I would have pointed you to TSP and then Glidden Gripper. Then anything would stick :)

  • Arenda Villarreal Arenda Villarreal on Mar 19, 2016
    Would you use the same thing as you would stripping wax off a floor? I would personally clean it down so as not to have so many coats of paint it you are trying to see the features of the desk.