How to Fix Blotchy Wax on Chalk Paint? (3 Methods)

It’s common to notice that the wax coating on your chalk paint has turned blotchy. So, how do you fix it?

To fix blotchy wax on chalk paint, start by buffing the blotchy wax with a buffing pad but only do this after the coating has fully dried. Buffing will remove imperfections and even out the blotchy appearance.

You can also dissolve the wax with mineral spirits or vinegar mix, wipe off the excess, or remove the sealant and re-apply it.

Why Does Wax Turn Blotchy?

The main reason why wax turns blotchy is because you applied too much of it. Since there’s too much of it, chalk paint won’t absorb it evenly; some parts will absorb it more than others, leading to uneven absorption of it.

Here are other possible causes:

1. You Didn’t Wipe Off The Excess

After applying the required number of wax coats, manufacturers advise leaving it for about 30 minutes so the chalk paint can absorb it. After 30 minutes, you must wipe the excess that hasn’t penetrated the surface with a clean rag. 

If you don’t wipe the excess, there will be too much wax on the surface and that can lead to a sticky finish. 

2. Improper Prep Work

The chalk-painted surface has to be dry, clean, and properly sanded before sealing. If any of these requirements aren’t met, the wax will not be absorbed evenly.

For instance, if the finish is filthy, the dirt and debris on the paint will not allow proper adhesion. Since there isn’t proper adhesion between the coats, the wax can’t be absorbed evenly.

3. The Drying Conditions Aren’t Optimal

Wax has to be applied when the room temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and when the humidity is between 40 and 50%. If these requirements aren’t met, the sealant will not dry properly. Some parts of it will dry while others will remain tacky.

How To Fix Blotchy Wax On Chalk Paint? 

Fixing blotchy wax is a hard task since it can become messy easily. However, we will reveal 3 methods you can use to fix. 

But first, here are the tools you need:

  • Wax
  • Clean lint-free rags
  • Safety goggles.
  • A vacuum or duster
  • Buffing pads
  • Mineral spirits or vinegar
  • Wire sponges
  • Drop sheets
  • A portable sander (for large surfaces)

1. Use a Buffing Pad

Buff The Blotchy Wax With a Buffing Pad

Buffing the wax means rubbing it repeatedly with a buffing pad or rag. Doing this will gradually wear off its blotchy appearance and reveal a smooth finish.

However, this method should only be used after the blotchy wax has dried. Usually, this takes 24 – 48 hours. If the coating is still wet or tacky, this method will not work because the buffing pad will get clogged.

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Feel the texture of the wax to know if it is sticky or wet – if it’s wet, allow it to dry before trying this method.
  2. Wipe off dust and dirt from its surface with a rag.
  3. Put on a pair of gloves and take out a buffing pad – ensure the buffing pad is recommended for waxed surfaces.
  4. Gradually move the buffing pad across the finish in a circular motion – you’ll need a bit of pressure.
  5. Continue buffing it till you see that the blotchy appearance is smooth.
  6. When the finish is smooth, stop buffing it.
  7. Wipe the surface with a clean rag and let the finish settle.

Tip: If you start buffing it and you notice that there aren’t changes on the finish, stop buffing and try out another method.

2. Apply a Fresh Coat of Wax

Apply a Fresh Coat of Wax

The idea here is to touch up the blotchy wax with a new coat so the new coat can blend into the existing coat and even out the finish. This works best if the coating is still wet. If it has dried, you must dissolve it with a small amount of mineral spirits. 

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Feel the texture of the finish to know if it is damp or dry.
  2. For dry finishes, wipe it with a rag soaked in mineral spirits – if the finish is still damp, you don’t need to use mineral spirits.
  3. Wait 15-30 minutes. 
  4. Wipe off the excess using a rag. 
  5. Touch up the finish with a fresh coat. You can apply it using a cloth or paintbrush. 
  6. If there is excess, wipe it off of the surface after 30 minutes.
  7. Wait for the wax to dry.
  8. Buff it with a buffing pad.
  9. Remove dust and leave the finish to settle.

Tip: If you don’t have mineral spirits, you can use vinegar. To do this, mix some vinegar in warm water and use the mixture to wipe the finish.

3. Remove and Re-apply The Wax

Remove and Re-apply The Wax

If nothing works, remove the entire finish, find and fix the cause, and re-apply it. You can remove wax using mineral spirits, vinegar mix, acetone, or a chemical-based paint stripper. For this method, we will use mineral spirits.

Here is a guide for this method:

  1. Pour some mineral spirits directly over the finish.
  2. Wait 30 minutes, or until the finish liquefies. 
  3. Use a paint scraper and rag to remove the finish.
  4. Re-apply mineral spirits for the leftovers and scape again after 30 minutes. 
  5. Clean the surface.
  6. Sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper. 
  7. Remove dust. 
  8. Re-apply chalk paint and leave it to dry for 24 hours.
  9. Sand with fine-grit sandpaper.
  10. Re-apply wax and wipe off the excess after 30 minutes. 
  11. Buff the finish with a buffing pad. 

Tip: You should know that removing the wax will most likely remove the chalk paint too or at least parts of it. So, you’ll need to reapply the entire finish.

How To Avoid Blotchy Wax?

Here are expert tips to avoid it from happening again:

  1. Apply the wax only when the chalk paint has dried fully – This takes about 24 hours after applying it.
  2. Always wipe off the excess after application and do this on time too – within 30 minutes of applying it. 
  3. Do not apply more than the required number of coats.
  4. Only apply it when the room temperature and drying conditions are ideal.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Prep the chalk paint by cleaning and sanding it before sealing it. 
  7. Apply thin coats because thicker coats will not be absorbed evenly.
  8. Scuff the chalk paint with 320-400 grit sandpaper to create tiny ridges and holes for the wax to be absorbed through.
  9. Do not re-coat the wax unless the existing coat has dried.
  10. Use the right type of wax on the chalk paint – A good choice is Annie Sloan wax.

Final Words

In summary, you can fix the blotchiness by removing excess, buffing it, or removing the entire coating and re-apply it. Finally, remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying it so it doesn’t turn blotchy. If you can prevent it, you wouldn’t need to fix it.

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

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,

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