Asked on Dec 16, 2015

A table that I painted with chalk paint is still tacky

Laura brown
by Laura brown
I painted a table with chalk paint and then clear wax and then dark wax about a month ago. It is still tacky. What can I do?
  9 answers
  • I guess it depends in part on what brand of chalk paint. I will assume this to be Annie Sloan. But tackiness this long after the fact means that you put too much wax on, which is easy to do. Since you have applied the dark wax, it may be impossible to correct without ruining the stain (dark wax) finish. First, try buffing it in steady consistent movements for 60 seconds. I mean really give some elbow grease scrubbing. I have even used scotch green scrubbers before to lift off excess wax. See if that helps to remove the tackiness. Just don't scrub through the paint. You can always reapply more wax to even out the wax layer after you get rid of the tacky buildup.If not, the next step would be to use a very, very thin layer of clear wax to refresh the old layer. Apply it, and then start removing as much wax as will come off. (you can never take off too much wax, but it is easy to apply too much). Again, this will likely mess up the dark wax. Hopefully, you will be able to correct it after it dries. Last option, use turpentine to remove the wax. wipe and scrub as needed. Be gentle so that you don't take off the paint. Hope that helps. Maybe someone else has come across a better solution, but this is what I do in the event that I mess up.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Dec 17, 2015
    Since you have a couple of coats of wax on there, you will definitely need some elbow grease to buff it off. I have also used the green scrubby pads, which work well but do make a globby kind of mess. Also, I have used heat (either a blow dryer or heat gun on low) to soften the wax to make it easier to remove. Good luck!
  • Lynn Foreman Lynn Foreman on Dec 17, 2015
    Maybe you should try using a hair dryer set on cool or warm.
  • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Dec 17, 2015
    definitely sounds like over-waxing. I can't tell you how easy it is to make this mistake. All the previous suggestions will work and here is one more. You can paint right over the tacky wax. That's right, if you're using ASCP you can! Then you are back to square one and can begin again. And this time when you apply your clear wax remove as much as you can. Wax on - Wax off. (remember the Karate Kid?). Once the wax is dry, give it a good buffing with a clean rag. The result should be a smooth finish with a lovely luster. Good luck - it's so frustrating, trust me, I know. Been there, done that.
  • Teri Broberg Teri Broberg on Dec 17, 2015
    painting over the wax is actually a good idea. When you reapply your wax, wipe it back right away so that there is no tackiness. If you don't want to repaint, you can try removing the wax with mineral spirits.
  • Patricia Patricia on Dec 17, 2015
    I agree with the others that you can repaint it. However, you could also try an orbital buffer (I use a Ryobi 6"). I've also used fine grit sand paper over the wax and then wiped it down -- test in an inconspicuous spot first and see if you like the result. It will make the finish shine. One other method that could help is to put the piece in a cold area like a garage and let the cooler temperatures harden the wax.
    • See 2 previous
    • Mamajeannette Mamajeannette on Apr 21, 2018

      Jessica, DO NOT try to apply a top coat on top of a wax! The wax MUST be totally removed with mineral spirits before using any poly type of topcoat.

  • Madame painter Madame painter on Oct 04, 2017

    mineral spirits really works and doesn't take the paint off. I used the clear the dark wax but the weather was too humid and the wax did not set right. I'm starting over with a thinner amount of wax. Does any one know when to apply the dark after the clear? I read that you apply the dark while the clear is very fresh soon after.

  • Kimberley Meise Kimberley Meise on Dec 12, 2019

    is there any other way to take the tackiness away other than mineral spirits? I have tried to rub off with a t-shirt but still tacky :( if I sand lightly will it ruin the finish? It is a table top. PLEASE HELP