Chalk Paint Over Wax: (Can You Do it & How To?)

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Reviewed by
Eral Kadrija

Tony Adams

Chalk paint has impressive bonding qualities and sticks to most surfaces. So, can you apply chalk paint over wax?

You shouldn’t apply chalk paint over a waxed surface. That’s because wax forms a high-gloss coating that repels liquid, including paint. So, if you apply chalk paint over it, the paint won’t stick. 

To apply chalk paint, you must sand or remove the high-gloss wax coating. Sanding will remove some parts of it, allowing the paint to penetrate the surface and stick. 


Chalk paint doesn’t stick to waxed surfaces. That’s because when dry, wax produces a high-gloss coating that repels liquid, including paint. So, if you paint over it, the high-gloss coating of wax won’t allow the paint to penetrate the surface, so it won’t stick.

Chalk paint must penetrate the surface to stick. But, since wax doesn’t allow liquid to penetrate its coating, the paint won’t stick. Also, wax has a slick surface, meaning the paint will slide off.

Even if the wax was applied over bare wood, you still can’t paint over it. That’s because wax penetrates the wood pores, and the paint can’t penetrate the surface or stick since the wood pores are full.

How To Apply Chalk Paint Over Wax?

Applying chalk paint over wax is hard because you must remove (or sand) the wax coating first. If you don’t remove it properly, the paint won’t stick. 

Here are the tools you need:

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint Scrapper
  • Mineral Spirit
  • Paint Remover
  • Chalk Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Drop Sheet
  • Clean Rags
  • A Soft Brush
  • Dish Soap

1. Clean The Surface

Sweep or Clean The Waxed Surface

Wax has a tacky (or sticky) appearance. This tacky appearance attracts dust, grease, and debris to stick over its coating. So, before applying a paint stripping paste over it, you must clean it.

Dust will prevent the paint stripping paste from removing the wax. So, you must remove dust and filth and then apply the removing compound. 

To clean a waxed coating:

  1. Mix soap with water.
  2. Pour the mixture over the waxed surface. 
  3. Use a soft brush to wipe the dust off the surface. 
  4. Clean the surface with clean water. 

2. Apply Mineral Spirit

Apply Mineral Spirit to The Waxed Surface

Once the waxed surface is clean, apply mineral spirits over it. Mineral spirits will penetrate its coating, dissolve the paint particles, and liquefy the wax, allowing you to wipe it off the surface. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Damp a clean rag with mineral spirits. 
  2. Use the dampened rag to wipe the surface.
  3. Wait 10-15 minutes. 
  4. After a few minutes, the wax will change its form. It will become blurry, wrinkled, or discolored.
  5. Use a rag to wipe it off the surface.
  6. Remove the residue of the mineral spirit from the surface. 

If there’s some wax left on the surface, use a paint-stripping compound. The paint-stripping compound will penetrate the wood surface and remove the penetrated wax. Apply stripping compound using a rag. Once the compound dries, use a paint scraper to scrape off the paint. 

3. Sand The Surface

Sand The Surface

After you remove the it, sand the surface. Sanding will remove imperfections from the surface, smooth out the surface and make it ready for paint.

To sand it, use 220-grit sandpaper. Fine-grit sandpaper won’t damage the wood. Once you sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper, finish it with 320-grit sandpaper. The ultrafine-grit sandpaper will smoothen the surface and help the paint stick better. 

Related Read: How To Sand Chalk Paint?

4. Apply The Chalk Paint

Apply The Chalk Paint

Using a paintbrush, roller, or sprayer, apply the chalk paint. You don’t need to prime before chalk paint because the paint has impressive bonding qualities. Plus, the surface is sanded, so it will stick regardless. 

Apply 3 coats of chalk paint. Wait until one coat dries before applying the next one. You don’t need to sand between coats. Wait until the last (final) coat cures before using the surface. 

Optionally, you can seal it with wax or polyurethane. 

Mixing Chalk Paint With Wax

You can mix chalk paint with wax to get a colorful durable finish. Wax is a clear coat with no paint pigments, so it has a transparent finish. To get a colored finish, you can mix (tint) wax with chalk paint.

The paint pigments of chalk paint will mix with wax and give it a colorful finish. However, the mixture must have more wax than chalk paint. To mix them, use a ratio of 5:1 (5 parts wax to 1 part chalk paint). The paint is only used for its paint pigments. 

If you use more paint than wax, the mixture won’t be as durable, and the finish won’t dry properly. Also, you can apply chalk paint first, let it dry, and then apply a wax coating. This gives you a colorful and durable finish.

Final Words

You can’t apply chalk paint over a waxed finish. That’s because the wax coating repels all liquids, including paint. So, if you apply it, the paint won’t stick and will peel off. The only way to apply it is to remove the wax coating first.

Tony Adams

Tony Adams

Woodworker, Interior and Exterior Painter, Flooring Specialist

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about.

Eral Kadrija

Eral Kadrija

Lead Editor, Home Renovator

Eral has a passion for home renovation and repair. Over the years, he has bought, renovated, and sold 7 old homes. Using his experience from different DIY projects he created DIY Geeks.

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