Tuesday, September 10, 2013

White Wax, Liming Wax: Make your own

French Bed with white wax finish Liming Lilyfield Life

Did you know that you can tint furniture wax for a different look? You probably know that furniture wax usually comes in clear and brown wax. You can also buy white wax - often called Liming wax - a clear wax with an added white pigment that gives a white grained finish, white washed faded effect to your bare or stained wood or painted furniture. Liming works best on either open grained wood such as oak, pine or ash but it also looks great on ornately carved furniture where the white wax will settle in the crevices and give a soft worn look (like antiquing with dark wax but cleaner and more gentle). Traditionally this look was achieved with lime which is pretty caustic. Using a white wax will give you a similar look but it is safe to use even with bare hands and will also protect your furniture at the same time and make it smooth to touch.

Miss Mustard Seed has also recently launched a white wax to extend her product range. Check out this review by The Vintage Farmhouse for how to use white wax to make paint colour more subtle.

But did you know that you can easily make your own?



For the French wicker bed I painted recently I wanted a very authentic look of layered paint and colour. I primed the bed in a dark grey primer, then painted a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris grey, then a wash of Paris Grey and White mix. Once it was all dry I made some white wax and waxed then bed. The overall effect is really beautiful - soft and elegant and looking time worn (but with out the grime and wear of actual age and use - not what you want on your daughter's bed).


French Bed with white wax finish

Close up of layered paint look and white wax

Close up of layered paint look and white wax

To make your own white wax, or any coloured wax, take some clear wax - a couple of tablespoons will normally be more than enough for a piece of furniture. I used one tablespoon of paint for 3 tablespoons of wax but this is definitely not an exact science. I used Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Pure White paint because that is what I had on hand. Any acrylic paint will work. I just wouldn't use too much paint as you want the main ingredient to be wax. I then took a teaspoon and really mixed the wax and paint together well. 


DIY white wax tutorial, lilyfield life

Using a wax brush, I applied the home made white wax as you normally would. I then wiped the wax, let it dry, reapplied a second coat and then buffed for a gentle sheen. I have had many people ask me about waxing and I notice that many people do not apply enough wax. If your furniture is not smooth to touch after applying wax, you need another coat. It should* no longer feel chalky. I will usually apply at least two thin coats of wax. This build up of layers will give your furniture extra durability. *You may like the chalky feel and I'm not saying it is wrong for you, but it will mean your furniture is more prone to marking and chipping. I get asked all the time how I finish my furniture so thought I'd pass on my preference and thoughts. 


DIY white wax tutorial, lilyfield life

I have been using a beautiful Waxwell wax brush that I bought in the United States last year. Sandy from Paint Me White has recently started stocking these fantastic wax brushes in Australia. Well worth the investment if you are serious about painting furniture and you use wax as a top coat.


Waxwell waxine wax brushes, worth the investment

White wax further softened the colour of the bed although it is hard to tell what is the whitewash paint and what is the white wax. All the layers work well together to give the overall time worn effect.


Lilyfield Life french painted wicker bed

To best show you this liming white wax effect, I found a scrap piece of wood in my shed. It was raw stained timber. I quickly applied one coat of white wax with my brush and wiped it off with some paper towel (not my normal rag but I was working in the kitchen and it was what I had on hand). Here you can see the white in the grain. I love this effect especially on tabletops.

Tutorial for liming white wax wood


Not only is this a lovely visual effect, a subtle sheen, you also end up with super smooth timber.

French style girls bedroom Lilyfield Life

French style girls bedroom Lilyfield Life

So what do you think of Sasha's bedroom now? She is so excited to have this bed and woke up the first morning and said she'd had the best sleep ever!

Just so you know I want to take nothing away from Marian (Miss Mustard Seed) (especially as her wax is divine for painted furniture) or other manufacturers of liming white wax but as we find it hard to buy these speciality products here in Australia I thought I'd pass on how you can make it yourself if you need. This isn't about saving money as the clear wax you need for this is probably the same price as white wax, more just about using what you have on hand when you can't access ready made products. If you are in the States then by all means, buy Miss Mustard Seed's white wax and give it a go.

Have you used white wax? 
If not, are you tempted to now?

Fiona xx

See here for the before photos of the bed


French style girls bedroom Lilyfield Life




27 comments:

  1. Her bed is just gorgeous!!!
    I often add white paint to my clear wax -
    I'm working on a mirror right now that would fit in her bedroom beautifully :) .....
    Beautiful transformation!
    XOX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Suzan, I think the white paint wax mix takes longer to dry but it works well. Would be good to try it with white paint powder. Less wet. Want to send me the mirror? LOL.
      cheers Fiona

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  2. The bed is gorgeous, the whole room is gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial.

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    Replies
    1. much appreciated Jemma. the room is coming together.
      Fiona x

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  3. Hi Fiona

    I've used Liming Wax for years but had seen my upholsterer in NZ use paint in clear wax to make his own...clever trick if you need some instantly to finish off a piece :) I'd wonder if it makes the wax too wet, particularly the AS wax which is already quite a lot more buttery than other brands? I guess not if you've used it successfully.

    Glad Sasha loves her bed...it would be interesting to see it in the flesh.

    I have a big painting day today...waiting for the courier to arrive with some more Old White, and my first tin of French Linen :)

    xx Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It did take a while to dry, Karen. But I just let it sit for a while and now it’s nice and hard. The actual bed was a nightmare – full of borer holes. I wouldn't have bought it if I’d realised! But it’s all good now.
      Enjoy your painting. You will love French Linen also. Can’t wait to see what you do wit it.
      Hope the courier arrives early for ou.
      Fiona x

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  4. I attempted to make some white/liming wax last week using Maison Banche clear wax and some white chalk paint from American Paint Co. It didn't mix in well and left small clumps of the paint in the finish....I'm thinking because APC is a completely natural mineral/clay paint, it wasn't a good choice. I"ll try acrylic next time. Beautiful bed....looks very authentic and feminine! What a luck girl your daughter is :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting that it didn't mix well Cindy - perhaps the paint in lumpier than ASCP. You could always try with a powdered paint form? or just buy MMS White wax? thanks about the bed
      cheers Fiona

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  5. Your daughter's bedroom is very beautiful Fiona, You are so talented. She's a lucky little girl. Thanks again for being so generous with your knowledge.
    Beth x

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  6. I like this white wax idea ..Your daugthers room is beautiful.I love the colour you have used instead of the normal "pink" that gets used -love dee x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sasha doesn't like pink! me much either. The room is a pale blue and works well with our colour palette. The grey bed fits the room perfectly. Love it more than I thought I would,
      cheers Fiona

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  7. Love it all!
    xx Julia

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  8. dying over the gorgeousness!!!! i am in love with that bed! and thanks for sharing great tips!

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    Replies
    1. aww thanks Cassie. I love the bed in the room, much more than I expected now i'm over the horror of repairing and painting it!
      have a good week
      Fiona

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  9. Replies
    1. thank you Monica, this was a challenge due to the damage but it turned out well.
      Fiona x

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  10. o beautiful bed ...Iam definitely tempted to try this
    Bec x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh do it Bec, just make sure you don't add too much paint, it needs to be lots of wax and it will take some time to dry. but it turns out beautifully. Fiona

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  11. Love this finish, the bed is absolutely gorgeous. So clever!

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  12. I think what you do is wonderful and I just love your blog. That is why I have nominated you for a Liebster Award! Take a look at why I think you should be nominated at http://littlebrownharevintage.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/its-liebster-time/

    Join the party!

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  13. What great info and tips on wax! I'm featuring your gorgeous bed in the Power of Paint Party Spotlight this week. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  14. Wow, great look. Can you tell me how to make the look more cream/off white? Would that be in the layers of paint underneath? It is exactly the look I want for my bedroom and loungeroom pieces, but also the distressed look of years of different coloured paints showing through. How do I get that look?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Deborah, yes you would need to use cream/white paint underneath instead of the layers of grey that i used.
      good luck with it.
      Fiona

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