Asked on Mar 02, 2014

How Do I fix My dresser that I have put Dark Wax on ?

Cheryl Doperak
by Cheryl Doperak
I used Annie Sloan"s paint for a dresser I did today and then put the dark wax over it. Now I don't like how the sides of the dresser look. There's light spots and dark spots of the dark wax and I put it on in the same way, with a rag in a circular motion. Now its dry and it
seems like I can't buff it out . What can I do to fix it. ? Any suggestions. Cher
  19 answers
  • Treva Holmlund Treva Holmlund on Mar 03, 2014
    get some clear wax and go over it .... it will take some of the dark off and brighten it up and smooth it out .. but do a little at a time
    • Cheryl Doperak Cheryl Doperak on Mar 03, 2014
      @Treva Holmlund Hi Treva, Thanks for the comment. I didn't use the clear wax under the dark, so is that a bigger problem now. Did I mess the piece up.
  • Kathy Ayers Kathy Ayers on Mar 03, 2014
    As long as you've got the clear wax on first you can go back and use it as an eraser over that dark wax later.
    • See 4 previous
    • Amy Rohde Amy Rohde on Apr 08, 2014
      @Kathy Ayers I'm glad I read this.. You guys saved me from a mistake I surely would have made! :D
  • Diane Diane on Mar 03, 2014
    I think I would try a hairdryer (cautiously!) in one corner & see if that would soften the wax and use an absorbent rag to wipe it off
  • Pat Pat on Mar 03, 2014
    I think I would sand it and then repaint. Using clear wax.
  • Try using mineral spirits to lift the dark wax. Because you didn't seal it with clear wax first, some of the colour may have gone right into the paint. But this should lift the dark wax enough to give you a lighter look. If all else fails, just repaint it. I know that means a lot of work, but sometimes we just have to face the failure. This happened to me with a dresser using Graphite - all smudgy and uneven dark wax. I finally took all the wax off and repainted it, then sealed it with clear wax.
  • Treva Holmlund Treva Holmlund on Mar 04, 2014
    i don't think so..... i've just started doing this also.... and i found out by doing what you did.... applying to much dark and not liking it as much as I thought I did.... so i put on some clear and i was amazed .... lol .... it came out beautiful .... we learn from our mistakes and i don't think we can mess a piece up ever..... lol have fun and just enjoy and it will be fine
  • The Blue Heron Studio The Blue Heron Studio on Mar 04, 2014
    Use mineral spirits. If it is not lifted to your liking, then repaint. Cleaning first with the spirits will get rid of the wax. If not, it could act as a resist!
  • Michele Eures Michele Eures on Mar 04, 2014
    I just did the same thing and came here to see if there were any suggestions. lol This is such a helpful site. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one who makes an oops once in awhile. By the way, I'm painting over it lightly...kind of like dry brushing, to see if I like that.
  • Devon Cretella Devon Cretella on Mar 04, 2014
    I did the same thing on my dining room furniture, which had painted an off white color. I tried to use some clear Annie Sloane wax to remove the dark but it wasn't having much effect and I ran out of clear wax in the meantime. I then tried Johnson's paste wax, which I had on hand, and it seemed to work alot better. Johnson's seems to have a more buttery texture to it, which seemed to help pull off the excess dark wax. I have finally achieved the look that I was going for with the dark wax.
  • Tracie Tracie on Mar 04, 2014
    I recently took an ASCP class - one of the things the instructor mentioned was about using dark wax - she said it is better to put the clear wax on 1st BEFORE using the dark wax so it doesn't go quite so dark - We tried this method out in the class and it really does make a difference. Also, as some of the others have pointed out, if you go over it with the clear wax, it softens it and opens it up to work with again. Worse comes to worse, you could always sand it.
  • Patsy Patsy on Mar 05, 2014
    You should never apply dark wax to a light piece without first applying light wax and then not letting the light wax dry. If the wax dries then you can't manipulate how much. I would sand this piece down and start over using the light wax first.
  • LaVerne DeHart LaVerne DeHart on Mar 05, 2014
    I recently went to a class about using Annie sloan's products. I would sand over the wax lightly and then repaint with the original paint. Light wax over that. You can always paint over Annie Sloan's dark wax.
  • Vicki K Vicki K on Mar 05, 2014
    Miss Mustard Seed uses clear wax to take off dark wax, but she always clear waxes first. I'd try the Johnson's to get it off. Otherwise I think you have to start over, remove everything first and start over. And use clear wax over the paint! Then the dark wax (if any - I think it looks muddy and I don't like dark wax myself). Then MSS sands with 320 grit sandpaper at the last, to distress it further. Maybe you could sand the dark wax off if the Johnson's didn't get it, just don't press hard enough to take the paint too??? Then put on the clear wax if you like the results.
  • Junkyard Jezebel Junkyard Jezebel on Jun 27, 2016
    I always use the clear wax first which acts as a catalyst to move and/or remove the dark wax if it is too intense or blotchy.
  • Victoria Michelli Reed Victoria Michelli Reed on Mar 22, 2018

    I dark waxed over a white chalk paint because I felt it was too white. I now know that i should have clear waxed it first but I actually like the rich look of it.

  • Debbie Ridgely Debbie Ridgely on Sep 12, 2018

    Acetone nail polish remover helped me lighten up my gray chalk paint with dark wax. The acetone blended and brightened. I had it in the cabinet and did it first thing in the morning bc I couldn't bear the look of something that I made to look exactly like what I tried to change! Ugh. Looks great now. Will blend more but I see the end in sight. Thanks for this conversation group.

  • Shannon Shannon on Apr 01, 2020

    I was looking for an answer to my similar problem but I decided I want to start over down to the paint, thankfully I just did a dresser drawer to see if I liked it and I decided to change the paint color some to. I used clear wax then went over with the dark, do I just need to sand the wax off and then I should be ok to paint or wipe down with Mineral Spirits, or both? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Deb Deb on Aug 05, 2022

    I'm new to chalk paint and wax use, so when I didn't know to put clear wax under dark wax on a light painted project I was devastated when it was too dark. 😕 I came to this post and read your suggestions. I immediately went back to my project and applied clear wax over three dark wax, it softened up and I was able to remove a lot of it until it came back to the patina that I was originally after!!!! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! The picture is one side of my project, the bottom was how dark and dismal it was and the top is what it lightened up to.

    comment photo
  • I would use mineral spirits to remove the wax. Give it another coat of paint and reseal.