Using tinted wax on furniture with Jill of All Trades

This week on Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn introduces us to the magic of using tinted waxes on furniture. 

Jill says a tinted wax can renew an antique piece or give a little Old World character to a new piece.

Jill started with an antique pine bench that has lots of natural wear and distressing. The wax settles into the cracks, scratches and scuffs that accumulate on an aged piece of furniture and highlights all those spots that give the piece character. Jill brushes the wax on with an inexpensive chip brush, or spreads it with a soft rag, and lets it soak in and dry for several minutes.  

Then she comes back with a shoe shine brush (or a clean soft rag) and buffs it up, going with the grain of the wood, to bring up a soft shine. That is all you need to do. You can do a second coat, if you’re looking for additional color or added shine.

Jill says that tinted wax is also great on painted pieces, particularly the one with great carved details. The wax will settle into the low spots and show off the details. Keep in mind that the wax will take a bright white down to a softer, creamier color and give the piece a more antiqued look. You can also use it over darker colors; greens, blues, reds, even black. It will give all of them a more aged look.

Jill says her favorite wax is BriWax. It comes in several tints, ranging from clear to dark brown and spreads easily. Jill almost always uses the light brown. The darker the color, the more careful you have to be in terms of getting an even finish. Also, Jill cautions that waxes that are thicker and harder are generally tougher to work with.

Jill says that wax finishes are not permanent, but they are fairly durable. They will wear over time, but they can be renewed. Pieces can be re-coated or touched up, as needed. And, wax finishes are buildable, meaning that you can add another coat to get a darker and/or shinier finish. Many hardware stores carry the wax, as do many antique dealers and some furniture stores. BriWax runs around $20.00/can and Jill says that a can goes a long way.

You can watch how Jill uses tinted wax by clicking on the video player above.