My dark wax disaster!

{After I removed the paper holders, outdated trim and sanded}


Vintage, aged painted desk

In my attempt to create an authentic aged look on a painted grey colored desk I used a homemade dark wax mix over chalk paint. It was Johnson’s paste wax and I mixed with a black craft paint. I covered the whole desk in my DIY mixture. It was truly stunning. I then posted this piece on my website to sell and it went fast! Everyone loved it.

I’m pretty excited at this point and decided my desk needed one more coat of wax on the top for me to feel comfortable selling it. I was concerned about the durability of the waxed finish. I didn’t want the top to scratch or a pen to leave an indent on the top of the piece.  As I began to brush on the wax, I use a brush because I think it’s easier, the dark wax started to come off. I was panicking! I let the desk sit until the next day and decided to try to buff the piece.  As the dark wax warmed under the buffer it started to lift and come off to  :/

Now, what’s a girl to do in this predicament??  I fixed my spots with MORE dark wax. Let the piece cure for 2 days..but I was still out of ideas.  I refused to sell something that wouldn’t last and a desk is going to get a lot of wear on the top.

I have read all the information about applying poly on top of wax, it says DON’T DO IT!  But, me being a “show me kinda gal” thought that can’t be true!  So I sprayed the desk, wax and all, with the poly. It looked amazing! I was really shocked! While cleaning up I had dripped a few little water drops on the desk by accident so I quickly wiped them off.
Here’s the fun part!
The next day where the water had hit the top of my beautiful grey desk the poly had flaked off. It left little holes in my top coat. What a bummer:(

In the end I was forced to sand the whole thing and repaint! NO FUN>>>>This time I aged my desk with glaze. Why on earth I ever thought to age with wax is beyond me! The finish looked identical!
No different. And I was able to properly seal my piece, with poly, to endure a lot of wear and heat from a laptop.  I did take a fine grit sandpaper to the poly to reduce the sheen of the finish.  I prefer a matte finish over a gloss.


I have done some more research on wax and think I may have used it to heavily.  Wax is meant to be applied and then wiped down.

I am not against trying this technique again for highlighting certain areas of my pieces.

The issues I see with using the dark wax is that clear wax activates it when applied on top.  This means you are removing the dark wax with every stroke of the fresh clear wax.
Also wax is activated by heat so a hot laptop will melt the wax right off.

I love a waxed finish! I really do..However I am very skeptical about the durability of it.  I feel like the waxed finish is a fad..I am not sure that is has the properties to properly seal a finished piece of furniture.  It’s like a temporary tattoo, it doesn’t last forever.  Wax needs to be reapplied every few months. It is meant to enhance the finish not seal it.
With that being said, I love the semi-flat finish it gives so I have ordered a flat poly that I am excited to try!! I will let you know how it finishes as soon as I get the chance to use it:)

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Thank you for reading!!

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