Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | January 18, 2013

Using Dark Wax Directly Over Chalk Paint


Dark wax used directly over ASCP Old White and Paris gray created a wonderful silver and gold tone patina on this vintage bedside table. That’s my handmade plant paper peeking out of the drawer.

I understand there is a “rule” in the furniture painting world about always using clear wax on a project before applying dark wax.

As an artist I like to experiment and sometimes I choose to intentionally “break the rules.” And sometimes, if I am willing to take the consequences for what might happen, what happens sometimes a really wonderful and elegant surprise.

Maybe I am being arrogant (which is truly not my intent at all) but I feel that my many years as a writer, art photographer and later as a studio artist (I’m age 62 and have been working as a artist for over 40 years now) has given me permission to experiment and try things in a different way. Believe me some very successful artists like Andy Warhol (and many others) knew that breaking the rules was the way to go and the way to create something totally unique and new.

I get that a beginner might get discouraged if dark wax covered the paint in such a wax that they get frustrated, discouraged and that rules are usually there for a reason. However, my experience is that a powerful and often very pleasant piece of art can be created just because a rule was broken!

It may not be anyone else’s cup of tea but I happen to love the look. Perhaps the idea is having enough experience to know when to use dark directly over chalk paint and when not to.

Here’s several jpeg of projects that have dark wax directly painted over the chalk paint. I happen to love the final look! What do you think?


ASCP dark wax was used here directly over Coco and Graphite.

PicMonkey Collage blue cabinet jpeg

Dark wax used directly over CCC Maine Blue and a custom mix blue/green paint.

PicMonkey Collage Dressing Table

Dark wax used directly over Coco and Graphite again. My handmade papers on the dressing table top.


Dark wax over ASCP Emperor’s silk and a custom green paint.


Dark wax on legs, clear wax on shelf over ASCP Graphite.


Dark wax over CCC Maine Blue and a custom mix blue/green color.

By the way, I use both Annie Sloan and CeCe Caldwell paints on a single piece of furniture and, sometimes, I even mix the colors together. Imagine the scandel that revelation is going to bring! lol!

Small House / Big Sky Donna



  1. Great post. I’m all for breaking the rules. And you do it very well!

    • Thanks, I consider that a great compliment! Your comment also made me laugh out loud. If you only knew how many years I followed the rules closely and never ever dared to break any of them you would realize it’s a miracle that I do so now! Lol.

      Small House / Big Sky Donna


  3. Hi Donna…I’ve been catching up on your posts…I love the look of dark wax directly over the paint, especially with the Graphite or Vermont Slate. Looks like you are getting some cool pieces done…I’m just starting to get back into doing some bigger furniture pieces…I’ve felt uninspired lately and it’s hard to be creative when your in a lull. Happy painting and I hope you don’t get too buried in all the snow…lol

    • Good to hear from you. Must be that foot is healed up pretty well. Are you back at work? I though for being down with an injury you had a pretty prolific few months!

      Yes, we have had a lot of snow the past two days. Maybe 10-12″? My poor husband has to drive home today from South Haven-2 miles.

      Tonya (furniture painter from Caladonia that I met a Shelly’s workshop) was suppose to come over this Thursday for a sharing day but at this rate looks like it will be postponed!

      Take care, and drive safe.


  4. You are a rebel!
    I have tried it too, but I add paint thinner and it works more like a glaze. It is one of my favorite techniques!

    • Love your rebel comment – made me laugh out loud. Love your glaze technique idea too, I’ll have to try that one. Thanks for sharing.

      Small House / Big Sky Donna

    • I am definitely going to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Beautiful pieces! I love the way you break the rules!

    • Thanks Cathy, I appreciate your visit and your comments. I love the work you and your creative husband produce too. Small House / Big Sky Donna

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog fellow chalk paint lover! 😉
    I use a little bit of everything too! Even do the things that go against what we are “supposed to do”…but it works for me so??? I have tried CCCP and I do like the paint and I love the idea of their wax (natural) but it just hasn’t worked out as well for me! I would have to rank ASCP as my favorite in every way at this point!
    Beautiful piece! Can’t wait to take a look around a bit more. 🙂

    • Thanks for the affirmation of my painting style, it does work for me. And, even Annie Sloan commented to me that she liked that I mixed products! Thanks for stopping by the Small House. I’m working on my blog this winter so hopefully it will be a bit easier to navigate in the coming months.


      Small House / Big Sky Donna

  7. I love that you experiment, I do too 🙂 Your furniture transformations are great

    • Thanks Kathy, I appreciate the comment. I’ve been following your work and blog for sometime now as well. You are very prolific! Your work is very interesting and unique as well. I still love your “technical specialist” statement!

      Small House / Big Sky Donna

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