How To Fix Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint

Image of wood painted with chalk paint. Do you know How To Fix Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint?Many painters prefer to use wax as a sealant for chalk-painted furniture because it is easy to apply. However, the waxing process takes a lot of practice to master, and most novice painters always end up with a poor-looking finish the first time they try it. Even professional painters sometimes make mistakes along the way and wind up with a blotchy wax job. The discolored spots on a waxed surface are hard to ignore, which is why you need to know how to fix blotchy wax on chalk paint.

Try buffing the spots with a lint-free cloth to even them out. If that doesn’t work, apply some fresh wax over the blotchy areas and polish them to rectify the problem. If the blemishes seem to go a little deeper, remove the wax in those sections without harming the paint, then reapply and blend the fresh finish with the rest of the surface. However, if the flaws are too complex to rectify with the first three methods, strip your piece of all finishes – including the chalk paint – then start afresh. 

With the right steps, you will find it a lot easier to have your blotchy wax on chalk paint fixed. Below are the necessary steps you must follow to fix the blotchiness of wax on your chalk paint.

Causes and Steps for Fixing Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint

Here, we are going to discuss what causes blotchiness whenever you apply them to your surfaces. Also, we will discuss the methods to get such occurrences rectified.

Causes of Blotchinees On Wax

Before learning how to fix a problem, it is best to understand its causes first to know what to do to avoid it in the future. So what causes a wax finish to be blotchy?

  • A Poor Paint Job: One of the many purposes of furniture wax is to intensify the color of chalk paint. Since it is a clear product, it neither hides nor corrects imperfections; instead, it highlights every inch of the surface. So, if you did a shoddy job with the painting, the wax will amplify the blemishes making it look blotchy. 
  • Failure to Blend Waxing Sections: The best way to apply wax efficiently is to put it in small surface sections at a time. Applying it that way makes the work more manageable, and it ensures that you cover the whole surface more evenly. The trick here is to overlap each area with the next one then blend them in at the end of the project. Failure to do so will leave some parts with more wax than others making the finish uneven.
  • Over Wiping Some Sections: After applying wax, you have to wipe over the surface with a clean cloth to remove excess product while massaging the wax deeper into the paint. If you rub on one section for too long or use too much force when wiping, you will remove more wax in some areas than others. Some places will look buffed while others won’t hence the blotchy finish.

How to Fix Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint

Below is an in-depth look into the methods of fixing blotchy wax on chalk paint:

  • Polish the Blemished Area

The easiest way to correct a blotchy wax job is by polishing the surface with a lint-free cloth or a polishing buff brush. Use small circular motions to rub out the spotted area checking every few minutes to see if there are any improvements to the look of the finish.

If you see the spots evening out, keep polishing until they disappear entirely. If the spots don’t fade, apply some fresh wax over the problem area, then keep buffing.

The new wax will rub into the old layer and even it out. Be careful not to use a lot of pressure when polishing to avoid scratches on the surface.

  • Remove the Wax and Start Afresh.

If polishing doesn’t get the job done, it’s time for more drastic measures. You will have to remove the wax finish carefully to not ruin the paint underneath, then apply a fresh coat of wax.

All you need to remove furniture wax are mineral spirits and a clean cloth. Pour mineral spirits generously on the rag, then wipe the surface until the finish comes off.

When all the wax is off the surface, use a damp cloth to remove all traces of mineral spirits, then let it dry for at least 2 hours. Once it dries, reapply the wax, trying your best to avoid making any more mistakes. 

Remember, mineral spirits can also remove paint, so be careful when using it to remove wax. However, if you are worried about ruining your color, I recommend using a mixture of water and white vinegar instead. |This homemade solution is milder than mineral spirits, but it properly dissolves wax all the same.

  • Strip All Finishes, Including the Paint

The two methods above only work if the problem stems from the improper application of wax. However, if the blemishes on your finish result from a poor paint job, you will have to strip your surface entirely and start over by reapplying the chalk paint.

Start by removing the wax with mineral spirits, then sand away all the paint until you reach the bare surface. You could sand off the wax too, but I don’t recommend doing that because it will gum up your sandpaper frequently, thus slowing you down.

Once all the paint comes off, wipe the bare surface with a damp cloth, let it dry, paint it then seal it with wax correctly.

Why Is the Wax On My Chalk Paint Streaky?

Streaky wax is often the result of a mistake you made during the sealing process. It could happen as you prepare the paint for waxing or during the waxing process itself. The following are the most common reasons for streaky wax on chalk paint:

  • Waxing Over Dirty Chalk Paint

Before applying wax on chalk paint, the best thing is to scuff the last coat with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Chalk paint produces a lot of dust when sanding, and the dust is pure paint particles.

So if you seal the color without removing the dirt properly, the wax will trap the particles. And as you wipe the wax onto the paint, you will also be smearing paint particles, thus leaving ugly streaks behind.

The best way to avoid such a blunder is to vacuum away the paint particles and then wipe them with a damp rag to ensure no dust remains.  

  • Applying the Wax Too Thick

One of the ways to achieve a flawless finish with wax is to apply it in thin layers giving each layer time to harden properly before the next. Many painters use thick coats of wax on chalk paint as a shortcut to avoid waiting for it to dry between layers. This, however, is a mistake because thick wax leaves opaque lumps on the surface as it hardens, giving the finish a streaky effect.

If you notice the thick wax before it hardens entirely, you’ll be able to wipe off the excess wax quickly. However, if the wax is dry, put some fresh wax on it to make it soft, then wipe off the surplus with a lint-free cloth.

  • Waiting too Long Before Wiping Off Excess Wax

After applying a layer of wax on chalk paint, it is best to go back over that layer with a cloth immediately to remove excess formula. This way, removing the product will be more manageable because it is still fresh.

If you allow it to sit for too long, the wax will begin to harden and set into the paint, so removing the excess becomes harder. If you try to remove the surplus product forcefully, you will scratch parts of the hardened wax, leaving streaks behind.

  • Using a Dirty Wax Applicator

Some painters tend to overlook the proper care and storage of waxing cloths and brushes. Most of them fail to clean the applicators after a job, and soon dry wax builds up and covers the tool.

Dry wax can hold debris, and it is super abrasive. So when you use the applicator without cleaning it, the hard wax will scratch your paint, leaving streaks on the surface.

You can avoid this problem by cleaning all your rags and brushes after each waxing session. Furthermore, always check your brushes for debris that may have clung to them in storage and remove them before applying the wax.

  • Applying the Wax Under Direct Sunlight

Waxing over chalk paint under direct sunlight will never breed good results. It takes a short time for the wax to start hardening in normal conditions, so if you apply it under the scorching sun, it will dry even faster.

The sun will “bake” the wax into the chalk paint, and you may lift small parts of the paint coat when you remove excess wax. You can avoid this problem by waxing your furniture indoors or in a shaded area.

Note

The mistakes mentioned above are avoidable if you take extra precautions when sealing chalk paint. If you are keener during the sealing process,  you’ll notice the errors immediately and rectify them in time. However, if you see the streaks after the wax has dried a little, there’s a way around it. So how do you remove lines from wax on chalk paint?

You can correct streaky wax by applying a thin layer of fresh wax over the streaks then rubbing it until the lines disappear. However, if the problem stems from using dirty applicators or waxing over messy paint, you will have to remove the wax altogether and apply a fresh layer properly.

How Long Do You Wait to Buff Chalk Paint Wax?

I recommend giving chalk paint wax at least 24 hours to dry before buffing. Even though it takes as little as 20 minutes for furniture wax to dry to the touch, it will still be soft beneath.

So if you attempt to buff it at that point, you risk removing the wax and spreading it around the surface. And as a result, your finish will end up with streaks on it instead of the shine you desire.

Twenty-four hours may seem like an eternity but letting the wax sit for that long reduces the risks of ruining your finish at this last stage. If you have a time-sensitive project and cannot wait all day for the wax to harden, you can wax over the chalk paint during the day then leave it to cure overnight before buffing.

Don’t wait for more than 24 hours before buffing wax on chalk paint, either. I’ve seen some novice painters leaving the wax on the surface for longer hours to stay on the safer side, but that only adds more work when buffing.

After 24 hours, the wax will have hardened too much, and it will take a lot more effort to buff out. To make the process more manageable, apply a thin layer of fresh wax over the hardened coat. The solvents in the new wax will soften the hardened finish coat then you can buff it out with ease. 

How to Remove Wax from Chalk Painted Furniture

Using wax to seal chalk paint is easy; however, it is not as permanent as using varnishes. After a while, the wax will start wearing out in some areas, and the only way to bring back the beauty of your piece is to strip the old wax and apply a fresh coat. But, how do you remove wax safely from chalk-painted furniture?

Several solvents in the market can dissolve furniture wax, but painters commonly use mineral spirits. The following is a step by step guide to stripping chalk paint wax with mineral spirits:

  • Pour warm water in a bucket, then add some regular house cleaner.
  • Dip a clean towel into the solution, squeeze out excess liquid then wipe the surface to remove dust, grease, and debris.

It is essential to remove the dust and debris on a waxed surface before stripping the wax, especially when there’s chalk paint underneath it. As the mineral spirits dissolve the finish, they will mix with the particles on the surface. So when you start rubbing the finish to get it off, you will be rubbing the debris on the paint; hence you risk leaving scratches on the color.

  • Once all the dirt comes off, wet another rag with mineral spirits, then start rubbing the wax to remove it. The finish will saturate the rag you’re using as it comes off. So keep switching to clean rags every time until all the wax comes off.

You will know that the wax has come off when you notice a slight change in the intensity of the color of your chalk paint. If the difference is too small to see with the naked eye, run your bare hand on the surface after rubbing for some time. You will know the wax has come off when you start to feel the chalk paint texture.

Note

If you run out of mineral spirits, you can mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bucket to make a homemade solvent, then use it in the same ways you used the mineral spirits.

However, if you don’t have mineral spirits or white vinegar on hand,  put a fresh coat of wax on the old finish. After a while, the old wax will soften then you’ll be able to wipe it off.

The disadvantage of this approach is that it takes longer to get rid of the wax, and it requires more elbow grease than using mineral spirits. Because of the shortcomings, layering old wax with fresh wax is best left for rectifying waxing mistakes or for stripping finish from smaller pieces.

How Do You Fix Chalk Paint Mistakes?

Chalk paint mistakes can be a menace, especially when they start showing after you finish your painting project. There are several types of errors, each with its cause and specific way to rectify them.

Some stem from poor surface preparation before painting, while others are caused by poor chalk paint or chalk paint sealant application techniques. The following is a comprehensive look into all types of chalk paint mistakes and how to fix them.

  • Bleedthrough

The most common problem that painters encounter with chalk paint is bleedthrough. Bleedthrough is when something seeps through your painted surface, tarnishing the color coat in different spots. The contaminants could be tannins from the wood or a stain that failed to come off properly as you prepared the surface for painting. 

The upside of bleedthrough error is that it typically shows up in the early stages of applying chalk paint. It may show after the first coat of paint dries, so you can fix it quickly before your project turns disastrous. So how do you fix a bleedthrough problem on chalk paint?

The most efficient way to fix this problem is by blocking the stain before applying the next coat of paint. The best product to use is clear shellac because it will not alter the color of your paint. Additionally, you can apply it quickly with a brush or a lint-free cloth, depending on your preference. To fix chalk paint bleedthrough:

  • Dip a clean cloth or brush into the clear shellac
  • Rub it onto the distinct spots on the paint coat and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Once it dries, apply the next coat of chalk paint as usual.

Even though fixing bleedthrough is easy, you can easily avoid it and save yourself the trouble of the extra steps. After cleaning the surface, you want to color, apply a coat of shellac over the entire piece before putting on the paint. This way, the shellac will block all stains before they reach the paint.

  • Brushstrokes

Visible brushstrokes on chalk paint are a common mistake usually caused by poor application techniques, using the wrong painting tools, or a combination of both.

Like bleedthrough, they are easily avoidable if you pay attention to your application approach and use tools recommended for chalk paint. Below are details on the most common causes for brushstrokes on chalk paint.

  • The first and most common mistake that some painters make when applying chalk paint is putting too much pressure on the brush. When you press your paintbrush too hard into the surface while putting on color, the bristles will create dents in the coat that will show up as strokes when the paint dries.
  • Brushstrokes also show up on chalk paint when you apply the product too thickly or when you use a chalk paint brand that is a bit thicker than usual. A thick coat of paint will not show the strokes immediately; instead, they stand out once the paint dries. You can avoid this problem by thinning out your chalk paint before applying it on the surface or dipping your paintbrush frequently in water during the application process.
  • The final mistake that causes brushstrokes on chalk paint is using the wrong paintbrush to apply the color. I recommend using a thin, flexible paintbrush with synthetic bristles when applying chalk paint to avoid ruining your finish. Rigid or tightly packed brushes such as waxing brushes will always leave streaks in chalk paint, so it is best to avoid them.

The switches you have to make to your technique and tools are pretty straightforward, but what if the paint has already developed brushstrokes? How do you fix brushstrokes on chalk paint?

The best way to fix brushstrokes in chalk paint is by sanding away the streaks with a fine-grit sandpaper. The scuffing will knock down the dents on the paint coats that appear as streaks, leaving you with a smooth finish.

You can leave the paint as it is and seal it after sanding, or you can carefully apply another layer of chalk paint to be safe.

  • Peeling Chalk Paint

Peeling chalk paint is often a result of poor surface preparation. If you fail to clean your surface correctly before putting on paint, the dust and debris will prevent the color from sticking to the surface properly.

As a result, the paint coat will start to peel as soon as the solvents in it evaporate fully. You may also experience peeling chalk paint if you apply it on a surface that is too sleek such as laminate or melamine, without putting a special bonding primer before the color.

Unfortunately, unlike the other chalk paint mistakes on this list, you cannot fix peeling chalk paint easily – you will have to strip the whole coating because it is already peeling off the surface and start afresh.

After you strip the color, make sure that you clean the surface thoroughly and use the right products on sleek surfaces before applying a fresh coat of chalk paint.

How Do You Buff Furniture After Waxing?

After the final layer of furniture wax has dried for 24 hours, take a clean, wax-free rag and gently rub your furniture until the wax coating starts to shine.

Move the rag over the surface in circular motions or from side to side while applying steady pressure until you achieve a consistent glaze across your furniture.

Remember, buffing furniture wax is not like painting, so you don’t need to worry about the direction of the wood grain when waxing.

I recommend using the softest cotton cloth you can find to buff furniture wax because it will help you achieve a glossier finish. You can also use a cotton diaper, an old cotton t-shirt, or a terry cloth if you do not have the professional-recommended buffing rags. If you’re well adjusted to using power tools, you can also utilize a buffer drill attachment to make your work go faster.

How Many Coats of Wax Should You Put On Chalk Paint?

The number of wax coats you apply on chalk paint will depend on the brand of wax you’re using. Many waxing products manufacturers design for use on chalk paint offers optimal protection with a single coat.

However, several popular products on the market require at least two to three coats to work correctly. So it is essential always to refer to the label on your finish before putting it on chalk paint.

Knowing the number of wax coats to put over chalk paint is vital, but it will not help you if you don’t use the proper procedure to apply it. The following is a step-by-step guide for applying a wax finish over chalk paint the right way.

How to Apply Wax On Chalk Paint Properly

  • Start by purchasing a soft finishing wax that is compatible with chalk paint. I recommend using wax from the same brand as the chalk paint to achieve a beautiful finish. If you made a DIY chalk-style paint at home, I recommend going for a clear finishing wax designed for furniture.
  • Next, use a plastic knife to pick up a lump of the furniture wax, then spread it out on a paper plate to make it easy to pick up with your waxing tool. I recommend putting the polish in a separate container to avoid dipping it directly into the primary tin. Doing this will keep you from picking up too much wax with your brush or contaminating the whole can with paint dust or brush bristles.
  • Scoop up a little wax with the tip of a wax-specific brush or any round brush with stiff bristles. Ensure that you do not scoop up too much wax because a wax coat that is too thick will take longer to dry and increases the risk of leaving streaks on your finish.
  • Move the waxing brush in light circular motions to spread a thin finish layer on the chalk paint. You can also work side to side but ensure that you follow the wood grain and apply a little pressure to massage the wax into the color. Keep rubbing the polish until the brush gets dry, then load it up again.
  • Once you’ve covered the whole surface, use a clean, lint-free rag to wipe over the surface and remove excess wax. Ball up the rag a little, then go over the wax layer in steady sweeps, still following the direction of the wood grain. Not only will this step remove excess wax, but it will also massage the finish into the chalk paint more deeply. As you work, you will notice wax building up on your cloth, switch to a clean side frequently and when the rag gets saturated, use fresh material to keep wiping.
  • Let the first layer of wax dry for about 24 hours, then apply a second and a third coat if you need to. Otherwise, leave the finish like it is, and your chalk-painted furniture is adequately sealed.

Do You Have To Buff Chalk Paint Wax?

You do not have to buff chalk paint wax unless you want a glossy finish for your painted piece. Dried wax usually has a soft matte finish, so if you prefer that, you can apply the wax, let it dry then leave it as it is.

However, if you want your furniture to reflect a bit of light, allow it to harden for 24 hours, then buff it to achieve a sheen.

If you look to achieve a highly reflective gloss finish on waxed furniture as you see in cars, you will be highly disappointed. A well-buffed wax finish will only produce a soft pearly glow, but that doesn’t mean that your furniture won’t stand out.

How Do You Remove Brush Marks from Chalk Paint?

Things You Will Need

  • 2 Towels
  • 3 Lint-free cloths
  • Rubber gloves
  • A dust mask
  • Regular household cleaner
  • High-grit sandpaper (200 and above)
  • Handheld sander/sanding block
  • Bucket

Step 1: Start by putting on a dust mask to protect you from breathing in the large amounts of dust created by sanding chalk paint. 

Step 2: Secure a 220-grit sandpaper sheet to an electrical sander, then begin scuffing down the brushstrokes. Ensure that you move the sander in circular motions starting from the lower side of your piece going up. If you have never worked with a handheld sander, I recommend using a sanding block instead. Wrap your sandpaper around the block, then sand as instructed above.

Step 3: After each sanding pass, brush your hand over the freshly sanded area to feel how smooth it is. Keep sanding until the area feels “silky,” and the brushstrokes are faded. Next, vacuum the surface and the areas around it to remove sanding most of the paint dust.

Step 4: Mix water and regular cleaning soap in a bucket to make a cleaning solution, then dip a clean towel into the liquid. Wring out the excess liquid to leave the towel slightly damp, then carefully wipe the surface to remove any remaining paint dust.

Why Is My Chalk Paint Scratching Off?

Your chalk paint is scratching off because you did not apply a clear sealant to protect it, or the finish you used is wearing off. 

Chalk paint produces beautiful furniture pieces, but unlike other paint types, you must add a layer of clear sealant over it to protect it from scratches and water damage. The most commonly used chalk paint sealant is wax; however, wax is not permanent; hence you need to apply it again every few months to keep your furniture in good shape.

On the bright side, you don’t always have to use wax to protect chalk paint. You can also use a more permanent finish like polyurethane; however, most polyurethanes will turn amber over time and change the tint of your paint. But if you prefer better protection over color tint, go for it.

How Does Chalk Paint Get Rid of Brush Strokes?

The thick consistency of chalk paint helps it keep off brush strokes. When you apply chalk paint on a surface the right way, the liquid will flow out to clover the surface evenly, and in the process, it will self-level, thus getting rid of brush strokes.

If you are still unsure about using a paintbrush to color your surface with chalk paint, you can use a sprayer instead. Since chalk paint is thick, you will have to thin it a little with some water to achieve the right consistency for a spray gun. 

Spraying chalk paint onto a surface takes a lot of preparation, but on the bright side, you will not have to deal with brushstrokes at the end of your project.

Here’s How to Go About Finishing With Chalk Paint

Conclusion

Putting wax over chalk paint is the best way of protecting the color from scratches and moisture damage. However, without adequately mastering the application procedure and technique, you’re likely to end up with a blotchy wax coat.

Several factors can cause a blotchy wax job. These include a poor paint job, failure to blend waxing sections, and over wiping when removing excess wax.

These mishaps, however, don’t only happen to novice painters. Even professional painters sometimes encounter blotchy wax in their work, so I’m here to show you…

How To Fix Botchy Wax on Chalk Paint.

You can quickly fix blotchy wax by applying fresh wax over the spotted area and rubbing it until the spots disappear. If that doesn’t work, use mineral spirits to remove the wax in the spotty places, then reapply and blend. However, if the cause of the spots is a poor paint job, you will have to strip your surface of all finishes then start over from repainting the surface.

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