We get asked this question about one hundred times a day ; )
What can I use to make my piece more durable? What should I use on my kitchen cabinets?
Our answer is always…WAX!
Wax is very durable once it cures and so easy to touch up at any point you feel like your finish is looking a little dull.
Here’s a perfect, quick example.
About a month ago, we decided to move around the Brooklyn shop. We’ve been here a little over a year (yayyy!) and realized we weren’t using this tiny jewel box to its full capacity. We came up with a plan and went to work. Here’s a snapshot of the new space. What do you think?
Valeria painted our new counter in the Brooklyn shop in Pure White with Graphite accents. We love it ; ) Have you met Valeria yet?? She’s awesome! You’ll find her in our Brooklyn shop holding down the fort. Stop by and say hello!
Here she is prepping the piece so you can see the before. Oh and by the way…the Suite Pieces family is expecting our first bambino…and no, it’s not me people (you do want that third location, right?!)!! You can’t tell because she looks so fab, but Valeria will be bringing an adorable baby girl into this world in January. We can’t wait to meet her ; )
We waxed it with 1 thin coat, and had customers in the shop about 5 minutes later. This wax didn’t even have a chance to cure or even dry. Paint cans scratching across the top, merchandise sliding across, credit card receipts being signed…you get the picture. This counter is probably going to see more use than your bedroom dresser or side table will ever see ; )
After about a month, here’s a close up of what it looked like when I got to the shop this morning.
I thought, this baby needs a touch up. I got out my can of wax, a small Annie Sloan brush and one of our favorite waxing rags (which of course we sell in the shop for just a buck ; )
Now mind you…this counter never had a chance to cure. It was used immediately. The wax takes about 28 days to cure to its full hardness. That doesn’t mean you can’t use your piece for 28 days, it just means I wouldn’t recommend sliding paint cans or other items on a constant basis right away. Can you put your lamp back in place or your jewelry box? Yes, no problem.
If it’s a desk, don’t start your thesis the day after you finish your project. And if it’s your kitchen cabinets, don’t cook Grandma’s famous sauce recipe the night after waxing…if it’s your dining table, don’t do Thanksgiving dinner in the first week of use ; ) You get the point right? You’re creating a fine piece of hand painted furniture, treat it with love & respect for a few weeks before you put it to the test. And if you don’t have that kind of time…well then, wax is your friend, you can easily touch it up at any time ; )
In about 5 minutes, here is the result. A shiny, clean surface. What?? “You mean to tell me, the wax will even clean itself?” Yup! It will! If you see any kind of grime or marks on your wax, what’s the cure? Wax! First, I would try to clean it with a soft cloth and some gentle cleaner (sprayed on the rag), but if that doesn’t work, just get out your can and invest 60 seconds in that gorgeous piece you worked so hard on (well, not too hard if you used Annie’s paint ; ) and freshen her up! So simple!
We say this all the time in our classes, wax reactivates wax. When you put another coat on top of a previous coat, the wax will reactivate the micro layer on top and pull up anything that isn’t wax…dirt, grime, crayon, or whatever else your kiddos have gotten on there.
Give her a quick buff and you’re good to go!
Need more reassurance in the wax? Check out this blog post, and this one a year later blog post, by Jessica of Paint in my Hair. She has 5 kids…that all use her dining table to eat, do homework & craft. Check it out. And let us know what you think! How has your wax held up? Do you need a freshen up??
Happy Painting! We hope to see you soon ; )