It's the product your great-grandma used on her wooden countertops, floors, stairs, and yes, furniture.
With the popularity of painted furniture it is now back in the spotlight!
Why? Because most chalk paint is a flat-finish, porous paint. So, it requires a topcoat to seal and upgrade the finish to a more matte or satin looking finish.
Paste wax is now being marketed as an option for chalk paint and milk paint projects. Using a paste wax will give you a very different finish than poly, but it is a good option. Furniture wax settles down into the porous chalk paint finish and "cures" over time.
When scratched, it won’t flake off in big chunks like poly because it really becomes part of the paint finish.
There are many brands of paste wax. Products from your local Home Depot or other hardware stores to expensive boutique specialty waxes sold and marketed with famous name-brand chalk paint lines. We've found the biggest difference is in the softness (consistency) and price!
So began the experimenting trying several different waxes including Annie Sloan, Minwax and others found on the market. We also used different waxing techniques and found what we liked and what we thought worked best for our furniture painting business.
It's a personal preference but we like using Johnson's Paste Wax. Yes, it does have a pungent smell at first but I love the consistency and "workability" of it. And, it's a heck of a lot cheaper!
Everyone has their own way of applying wax. Again, it's personal preference. We like brushing it instead of rubbing it on. We use our old short handled Wooster brushes after we quit using them for painting. After brushing it into the furniture piece we go over it again with a soft dry brush to remove excess wax and to push it in a little more. After letting it dry, typically overnight, we use a soft white cloth to rub and buff it in for a shinier, smoother finish.
Furniture paste wax should be re-applied after a few months.