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

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 wax, 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 the wax, allowing chalk paint to penetrate the surface and stick. 

Chalk Paint Doesn’t Stick Over Wax

Chalk paint doesn’t stick to waxed surfaces. That’s because when dry, wax produces a high-gloss coating that repels liquid, including paint. If you apply chalk paint over wax, the 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.

For chalk paint to stick over a waxed surface, you must sand or remove the glossy wax finish. Sanding will remove a few parts of the finish and create tiny scratches for the chalk paint to soak into.

How To Apply Chalk Paint Over Wax?

Applying chalk paint over wax is hard because you must remove (or sand) the wax coating and then apply the chalk paint. If you don’t remove the wax properly, the chalk 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 of wax coating attracts dust, grease, and debris to stick over its coating. Before applying chalk paint, you must clean the waxed coating.

Dust will prevent the paint removal compound 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. Mineral spirits will penetrate the wax coating, dissolve its paint particles, and liquefy the wax, allowing you to wipe it off the surface. 

Here’s how to remove wax with mineral spirits:

  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 off the wax from the surface.
  6. Remove the residue of the mineral spirit from the surface. 

If there’s leftover wax 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 wax, sand the surface. Sanding will remove imperfections from the surface, smooth out the surface and make it ready for chalk paint.

To sand before chalk paint, use 220-grit sandpaper. This 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 chalk 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 chalk paint sticks regardless. 

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

Optionally, you can seal chalk paint 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 the finish has no color. 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 wax with chalk paint, use a ratio of 5:1 (5 parts wax to 1 part chalk paint). The chalk paint is only used for its paint pigments. 

If you use more chalk 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 will repel any liquid, including paint. If you apply chalk paint over a waxed surface, the paint won’t stick and will peel off. 

The only way to apply chalk paint over wax is to remove the wax and then apply the chalk paint. You can also mix chalk paint with wax to get a colorful durable finish. 

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