Tip Talkin’ Tuesday:Post One- Proper Cleaning, Favorite Tools, and Wax Tips

I’m squealing like a school girl over the first ever, Tip Talkin’ Tuesday Post!!! I am always honored when folks ask me questions and really look forward to sharing some advice here! I won’t lie, this serves me well too! It’s like blog discipline! I stink at consistently writing so this will force me to post at least one blog a week!

Ready for some Tip Talkin’? I’ve chosen three questions that are constantly asked of me!

QUESTION ONE: Misty from Greenbrier, AR wrote:

I have been buying Websters from you and I really like it but I can’t seem to get my finish smooth like yours! What brand of brush do you use?

Misty, I LOVE Chinex bristled brushes and actually use several different brands! My favorites brands are Corona {from Sterling Paint} and Wooster {Home Depot}.

corona brush wooster brush

Chinex bristles are soft but stiff so it makes leveling full bodied paints a lot easier. The bristles also clean up really well! Good brushes do make a difference but you can still get brush strokes with high quality ones. The first bit of advice I give during workshops is lighten your touch. Most brush strokes are from too much pressure. Also, if your paint is really thick, you are likely to see more strokes. If your paint seems a bit thick, add a little water {about 10% of your total} and see if that helps!

You can also use a fine grit paper between coats to eliminate brush strokes. Hand painted furniture will never be perfect Misty! Sometimes you just gotta work what you got! Add some dark wax and those brush strokes become rich character ;)


QUESTION TWO: David from Dayton, OH said:

I’ve been playing around with different chalk paints. All of them say no prep but I keep getting weird stains come through my paint. What am I doing wrong?

Well, maybe nothing David! Sometimes, no matter what brand of paint you use, tannins from the existing finish will rise up! I call it “Beast Bleed Thru” and you can read more about him here!

No matter the claims of paint manufacturers, I clean EVERYTHING! Proper prep is essential and can save you from the Beast! I use TSP {Trisodium phosphate} on everything I plan to paint. It lifts dirt and grease and gives the surface a bit of grit. You can buy it in pre-mixed, ready to use spray bottles from most home improvement stores. I buy the powder and mix my own as I go thru a lot of it!


Spray your piece down with TSP and give it a good scrub! I use a non abrasive scrubber for extra dirty pieces and a stiff bristled brush for the detailed areas. Although it’s not necessary, I go back with a clean wet cloth…twice!

If this doesn’t keep the Beast away and spots show up after your first coat, simply paint that area with Zinsser Shellac. That will block the tannins from bleeding thru to your next layer!

Your finished work is only as good as your prep work! T.S.P is your friend ;)


QUESTION THREE- Kim from Benton, AR wrote:

How do you make the wax so shiny? I’ve tried to wax over painted furniture but it always looks blotchy. I’ve tried Annie Sloan and Minwax Paste Wax and they both look this way. Please help!

The answer is complex as blotchy wax can be caused by several factors. I just want to say, up front, wax is not ALWAYS the best choice! Some manufacturers of chalk based paints would have you believe it’s necessary to wax your piece. That is simply not true. I personally love the way wax looks but it is something that takes a bit of practice to make it look right and it does require maintenance. You can protect your painted furniture with a number of top coats, including, polycrylic, polyurethane, and even lacquer!

If you choose wax, choose a high quality one that is soft and easy to spread. I’ve used several different brands and they all have something different to offer. Among the easiest to use are Daddy Van’s All Natural Furniture Polish {my newest obsession}, Cece Caldwell’s and Maison Blanche’s Antique Wax. All of those are butter soft and spread well. They all have a good working time too so you aren’t so rushed. Fiddes and Sons is a good wax too but it dries really fast! That’s good for folks that have mastered waxing but the quick dry time can be tricky if you are just starting out. The only wax I can say I did not like was Minwax. It was very tough to spread and yellowed too much!

How much wax you apply and how you apply it are the most common causes for the blotchy appearance. Pre mixed chalk based paints are very absorbent and a little tougher to get your wax even. That’s one of the reasons I love Webster’s Chalk Paint Powder. It gives the look of chalk based paints with the latex properties so it’s not so absorbent. That makes it easier to apply wax! Your goal is to work the wax into the paint. I prefer a wax brush as it makes for quick work and more even distribution. The round wax brushes work best but you can use any soft bristled brush.

Wax Brushes

I work in 2-3 ft sections, working the wax into the paint. You want to adequately cover the area but remove the excess. Too little product and you’ll get blotchiness. Too much and you’ll never be able to buff it out! The amount needed varies by brand. For Fiddes and Sons, I use about a quarter size amount for each section. For Daddy Van’s, I use about a dime sized amount for that same sized section. Follow the set time as specified on your specific product then buff. For Fiddes and Sons, I can go back and buff in 20 minutes.

For a high sheen, I use this drill brush attachment.

Buffing Brush Attachment

For a softer luster, I use this buffer from Home Depot.


Wax on, wax off and buff, buff, buff!

A big thanks for participating in Tip Talkin’ Tuesday! I am seriously so humbled and honored that you’ve come to me for advice! Do you have a question you’d like to have answered? Send it to me!  angela@atozcustomcreations.net  Your question could be featured in next week’s blog post! Happy Prepping, Painting and Waxing {or not}!!


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  1. Wow . What a great and informative piece. I have been on the fence with my first painting project. Your article gave some great tips. Thank you

    • Oh! Thank you for taking the time to comment Angela! I’m so glad you found the post helpful and hope you come back often! All the best with your project! Be fearless ;) Angela

  2. Perhaps you might like to (someday) share my post or portions of it: Tips for Removing India Ink from Wood. I’d be happy to share.

    Small House / Big Sky Donna / White Oak Studio Designs / SW Michigan
    Hand-Painted Vintage Furniture Transformations
    Blog: http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com
    Facebook: donnaallgaierlamberti@facebook.com (for portfolio of chalk painted work)

  3. Susan Haney says:

    Can Webster’s Chalk Paint be used in latex paint that has a primer in it? The first quart I got did not have primer. Went back for another quart,same color,got home with it and it was Paint and Primer in One. Help!

  4. I was getting blotchiness with wax over milk paint until just recently I took a 400 grit sandpaper and gently went over my painted piece that I had applied wax to. Not only did it eliminate blotches but also gave a really awesome shiny finish.

  5. Megan Rodriguez says:

    Hey Angela! Question about buffing. Do you buff the entire piece? And also go over the hard to reach corners and undersides, etc with the buffer? Or do you buff just the top surface? And the purpose of buffing is it makes the wax become shiny and sealed right? Does this make the surface waterproof? Do you prefer this method as opposed to other top coating methods? Sorry for the barrage of questions lol…

    • Hi Megan! Buffing is different for each wax. For a solvent based wax, it’s necessary to make it shine. For a natural wax, like Daddy Van’s, the buffing is really just removing any excess wax from the surface after it’s saturated the paint. In either case, you buff it everywhere. Wax will create a waterproof surface but if the piece will be getting lots of love, especially wet love, I prefer to use a clear coat. Thank you for your questions! They help me service my little community all the better! All the best! xo


  1. […] Tuesday! I’d like to start by saying thank you for all the positvive feedback on last week’s post! It brings me great joy to have helped you out! I want to say thank you for all the tips you guys […]

  2. […]  After a quick wipe with plain water to knock off the gunk, I give them a good washing with T.S.P. That will release the hidden oils and tannins and help prevent bleed through. You can read more about that here. […]

  3. […] Tip Talkin’ Tuesday:Post One- Proper Cleaning, Favorite Tools, and Wax Tips […]

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