Thursday, May 16, 2013

Use dark wax to bring out the best in a piece!

 Its been awhile since I blogged about a piece I painted at the shop~
we have had a vanity in the shop for almost a year, and it has not sold. 
 So that always gets me to thinking that it must need a paint job. 
 My inspiration for this particular piece came to me when I saw 
one of my first official Annie Sloan samples I made with
 Annie in Boston a year ago.  It was lovely Antoinette with a dark wax finish. 
The gold you see is actually the gold of the molding distressed to reveal itself, 
but I could achieve this same result using gilding wax.  
The glamour girl vanity! Do you remember this piece? 
It really was a beauty and I thought it would sell au natural~but it did not. 
 The amber glass mirror pieces were the hardest part of the puzzle
 when choosing a Chalk Paint color.  What would go nicely with
Amber glass and yet work with this  feminine powerhouse of a style? 
It had to be Antoinette with a deep gold color gilding! And it had
to be dark waxed to bring out all the details and raise the 
elegance level of the color from sweet to sophisticated.
 After two coats of Antoinette~looking like a pink ghost.
 Read to be waxed!
When I wax and plan to dark wax I do it in tandem in sections at a time.
So I get all my supplies at the ready~
my clear and dark waxes and my clear and dark wax brushes
 as well as two clean rags.
 On a piece like this I will use a soft rag to apply the wax 
into the crevices where the brush cannot reach.
 Put it on and wipe it off all in one swipe.
 Then I move on with the dark wax. I like to put it on
 my brush and off load it onto a plate and then apply.
 Our hog bristle brush is a bit softer than our ultimate wax brush 
and that works really well with the dark wax as it is softer than the clear.
Ideally you want a brush for each color wax~
as you can see if I didn't use a brush to get
this dark wax on, I would have a terrible time getting 
it into the recesses of the carved areas.
I move right along quickly...a section at time, making sure
 there is a first layer of clear wax before I dark wax.
 When you encounter an area where the wax might settle in too 
much I like to use a tiny screw driver and insert it into my
 wiping rag and use it to rub away the excess dark wax. 
 Works like a charm.
 I do each drawer one at at a time, first clear, then dark wax, 
then wipe away. Don't be afraid of how dark it is and scary!
 It can wipe right down to give a nice aged look and 
it takes your piece from good to GREAT!
 At this point the whole piece has been waxed. 
It looks pretty good but I have one more step.
 Because of the amber glass I decide to use the 
only gilding wax I think has the deep rich gold color of 
florentine pieces~and its the Renaissance gilding wax 
which we sell in our online shop.
 I applied it with my finger tip and decided where it should go~
 It needed to be on the heavy side because
 of the big expanses of amber gold mirror.
This way it will feel balanced.
 Almost done....
Looking pretty!
And that's the way to use dark wax to bring a piece to life! 
Don't forget the gilding wax if it needs a little
 boost in the luxe department!
 We are proud to be in the June issue of Romantic Homes magazine!
 While I was working on the piece Justin came to the shop fresh off the T (subway).
He and Colin had to pickup an auction load of furniture today~
 Working with them is a lot of fun. The mood is
 generally light and sometimes pretty goofy.
I wanted to grab a shot of this dresser and told them 
to strike a out comes the muscles!!
Then they both started laughing...its fun like that around here.
I am loving having them both full time now.
The next time I write I will have the whole story on our 
new store and all that jazz!!
Have a great day everybody and thanks for reading.



  1. It looks fantastic, Amy. It should fly now.

  2. It looks beautiful, Amy! I think the dark wax and the gilding really made this piece stand out. I'm sure it will go fast now!

  3. This may sound like a silly question but how did you apply the guilding wax?

  4. The Antoinette and gilding wax was a wonderful choice! Looks fabulous!!

  5. The perfect finish for this piece and a PERFECT JOB! Gorgeous!

  6. love this post.. might have to redo my pink dresser! How great to have your boys with you on this journey..take care, Maryann

  7. Amy, you are so blessed to be able to work with your sons. What a gift.
    Oh ya, the vanity turned out great. It will be interesting to see if it now sells. I'm actually surprised it hasn't already sold--it is gorgeous and has such lovely lines.

  8. Stunning piece. Love it.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  9. Just gorgeous! What a great vanity, so glamourous!!

    Amy, I want to thank you for being such an inspiration to me. As a result, I now co-own a painted furniture shop in Hamilton, Ontario called The Painted Bench, we opened 2 weeks ago and we have just been approved to sell ASCP!! I am beyond thrilled and still pinching myself.

    I might see you at next year's meeting!

    You and your boys have a lovely week-end.


  10. Have to say that I thought it was gorgeous the way it was, but the waxed, gilded pink is amazing! Can't wait to see the new shop :)

  11. Ohhh Myyy Gosh! That was brilliant to use the pink and gold color combination on the vanity. It is amazing, fabulous now! What a work of art... i enjoyed seeing you use the waxes too, what a difference they make... wow


  12. Amy - thank you so very much for sharing tips and advice on the different techniques you use. They really help me figure out what I'm doing wrong and how to do something better! You're so sweet to help us all out! :) The vanity is just sooo elegant now. Love the mix of pink and gold! I can't imagine a better job to have....working with family creating beautiful treasures! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. I agree that dark wax makes a piece of painted furniture look so much better. I think it gives it more dimension (like an extra layer). Your dresser turned out great. Now let's hope someone else thinks so too and buys it!

  14. Amy, Congratulations on your spread in Romantic Home! I'm so happy for you!!!
    You really brought life into the vanity... oh my goodness so regal!!!! Thanks for sharing your painting tips!

  15. Hello Amy, this piece came out so pretty. Love all the details.

    Congratulations, I enjoyed reading about your store in Romantic homes.
    All you do is just lovely!

    Have a wonderful day, Angela


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