Ok I need some new podcast recommendations. I have been listening to a lot of true crime and the other night I had a serious anxiety attack that I was going to be killed in my sleep. So no more murder for me. Ugh.
Things have been a little weird the past week. I have been kinda sick and my dog has been acting like a %100 lunatic. So between that and trying to keep my life together I haven’t had a lot of time to work on my next build. I can deal with the sick, but if you don’t know we recently rescued a cattle dog mix. LOVE. HER. But cattle dogs are super smart and need a lot of stimulation/activity/attention. So we are spending a lot of time working with her and making sure she doesn’t destroy our house or kill the cat. She really is great, but this fence can’t get installed soon enough.
Lets talk about my latest obsession. The last project I finished was a HUGE coffee table. It was a really easy build and I really put my day off work to good use and finished the whole thing. You can find the plans HERE. I had a really hard time picking a stain for it because there are a lot of different wood tones in my den (which is where the table is supposed to go). We went with sunbleached by Varathane. My light researching didn’t find much, but I liked what I saw. After the stain, I was going to try a dark antiquing wax on it for a different kind of finish. So the table was built, stain was dry, hardware was on and I decided it was ready to go with just the clear wax on it. We put it in the room for the big reveal.
I. HATED. IT.
It was the fucking worst. I may have cried for like a second. AND I couldn’t restain it because I had already put on a coat of clear wax to finish it. My test wood with the dark antiquing wax looked like sad pair of underwear and I was pretty much in a state of borderline rage. But guess what. I did the whole table in the antiquing wax. AND I LOVE IT! Seriously my favorite piece so far. The whole reason I was so hesitant is because I couldn’t find a good tutorial or review of how to use the wax. So I am going to write a completely comprehensive “How To” for you!
VALSPAR DARK ANTIQUING WAX TUTORIAL:
- Varathane Sunbleached stain
- Lambskin applicator/ brushes/ cloth
- Valspar (step 2) clear sealing wax
- Valspar (step 3) Dark antiquing wax
- Polyester brush
- latex gloves
- Rags/T Shirts
I will break this into steps the best I can, and provide some tips at the end!
STEP ONE: Sand your project (80, 150, 220). It sucks but please do it, it makes a huge difference. After you can condition the wood if you choose. I did not because the evenness of the stain doesn’t matter in this project.
STEP TWO: Wipe and vacuum all sawdust so nothing gets stuck in your stain. With a spray bottle, mist your entire project. Wipe with a dry cloth after 10 seconds. Wetting the wood like this will open the pores and it will stain more evenly. Apply your stain as directed. I prefer to use a lamb’s wool applicator for large surfaces like this, but you can also use a cloth or sponge brushes.
STEP 3: When the stain is dry you are ready to apply the 1st coat of clear wax! DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. You have to apply the dark wax over the clear wax coat. I used a polyester (small, round, used for crafts) brush to apply the wax. I found one in the paint section at Lowes attached to the service desk after searching for hours. Paint the wax on so the was is fully covering the surface but not obviously white or in large globs. Were getting technical here, I know. Work in small sections. The wax will NOT work with you if you let it get too dry. So work small and follow the time frame the can gives you. Once the wax is on for a few minutes use a clean/ dust bunny free cloth to easily wipe the excess wax off. Work in smooth lines and even swipes. You will be able to see where the wax was swiped away harshly so take your time.
STEP 4: After your first coat of clear is dry, I recommend applying another clear coat. The top and bottom of my table look slightly different because I applied two coats of clear to the table top and not the rest of it. Apply two. You will understand why.
STEP 5: Time for the dark wax! Time to buy some rubber gloves. Unless you are like me and don’t mind being a complete mess. Again, work in small sections. This is even mor important with the dark wax. Paint on a section, wait 2-3 minutes and then wipe in smooth clean lines. Different sections of the table will darken at different rates depending on your sanding job and how the clear wax was applied. Be patient! If a section isn’t darkening or keeps wiping off almost completely… relax. As long as you let it dry, you can always do another coat over top. Continue the process in SMALL SECTIONS until you reach your desired look! You will love it!
STEP 6: Put your hardware on (if you want to) and you are finished! I used standard silver corner braces that I spray painted black. SURPRISE they card you when you buy spray paint. Total Wine hardly ever cards me and I look like im 15. I also got 4 awesome industrial looking casters from Amazon that I also painted black. Ever have a coffee table on wheels?!?! Totally changes your vacuum game!
- If you make a mistake you can apply wax overtop and wipe away the drips or accidents.
- If your rag gets to saturated with wax, it will destroy your pretty surface. change rags as needed.
- I can not say this enough. Work in small sections. Think 1-2 boards at a time.
- Your brush will clean easily with dish soap. Your rags are a lost cause.
- Pull your hair back. Have you ever tried to get something white and sticky out of your hair? Exactly.
- Dark wax will play with your emotions. Work slowly. It will not bend to your will. If you let it dry and come back later for another coat it will come out perfect.
If you use this tutorial to make a project I would love to see it! Post a pic in the comments or email me so I can shout it out!