Sanding Chalk Paint® Before OR After Waxing?

The question to sand and distress Chalk Paint® before versus after applying clear wax is a very common question. I asked it too, when I first started using Annie Sloan products. So, I hope this small post about this cute dresser helps you.

I love the combination of Versailles, Antoinette and Old White Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan.

Versailles Sample Board

Antoinette Sample Board

Old White Sample Board

I decided to use them all on a vintage dresser we are painting. Although I did mix a little Old White & Pure White into the Antoinette to soften the pink even more.

Versailles Antoinette dresser The Purple Painted Lady close up

Once the was all dry, I grabbed a “Medium to fine” sanding block because I wanted to soften the look of paint and give the piece a weathered/worn look.

The question many ask- is should I distress a piece before or after applying clear wax?

Personally, I like to sand Chalk Paint® before waxing. The reason I prefer that, is to me- it is less effort. I typically will sand using 200 or 220 grit sandpaper or sand sponge. I never use a power sander. I like to “feel” the piece and it does not take much effort (muscle power) at all to do this step. I like how the Chalk Paint® is polished and the end result, is a silky smooth surface.

Another reason I prefer to sand before applying clear wax, is that often- for pieces I am keeping in my one home, I usually only apply one coat of wax (two on the top though.) So, because I only apply one coat of wax over the sides of the dresser and drawers- I do not want to sand that one coat off- which will mean I need to apply another coat of wax.

For pieces that we sell at my shop though, I always do a minimum of 2 coats of wax since I do not know how the piece will be treated once it is sold. (I sometimes say there are people who use furniture, and then there are people who abuse furniture.)

Now- if you sand before applying a coat of wax- keep in mind- it will create more dust.

See how much is on my shop floor?

Versailles Antoinette dresser The Purple Painted Lady with dust

So, because of this I strongly recommend that you use a drop cloth at home because if you try to mop up that PAINT DUST, guess what you will create? …Yep, you guessed it, a beautiful wash all over your floor. So, don’t do that!

Again, since I sometimes like to apply one coat of wax- so I do not like to distress once it is on.

Now with that all shared, I will still sometimes take some triple zero steel wool and rub that over a finished piece that has been waxed. This changes the sheen of the waxed surface to more of a high sheen and it will feel smooth as glass.

I also like to use a sand block or sand paper to remove paint that accidentally gets onto a spot that it should not be. For example, on the top of a drawer or side of a drawer.

The Purple Painted Lady Versailles Antoinette sanding block drawer BEFOREThe Purple Painted Lady Versailles Antoinette sanding block drawer AFTER 2

The Purple Painted Lady sells Chalk Paint® on-line and we always ship same day! In fact- there are many reasons we think buying through us is the best. Read THIS little post about what sets The Purple Painted Lady apart from the rest.

To visit our on-line store- click HERE.

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Thanks again,
Tricia Migliore Kuntz ~The Purple Painted Lady ~
Design/Consulting, Kitchen Cabinet Refurbishing, Custom Painted Furniture, Chalk Paint® & MMS Milk Paint Retailer & herRochester Blogger

PHONE: 585-750-6056

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PicMonkey Collage The Purple Painted Lady Sandinf Block sponge drawer clean chalk paint

Distress Before OR After Waxing…. that is the question.

Distress before OR after waxing, that is the question.

You can distress prior to waxing or after. There are reasons on when you might want to distress after, however, I typically distress before. >br>
If you sand before waxing- it will be less work since you are not sanding through the wax application. If you sand before waxing though- the Chalk Paint® that you are removing with the sand paper will turn into a fine powder and settle down on the floor…put a drop cloth down to save on mess. AND never- use a damp mop to clean up the particles! The moisture will turn the powder into a wash and you will get the color all over your floor.

If you sand AFTER waxing- it takes a bit more elbow grease, and you will probably want to add another layer of clear wax to protect the raw areas you sanded…but if this is your first time ever painting and distressing…by having a wax application on the painted piece first- you won’t accidentally take off too much paint, as you learn how to finesse the sand paper with the right amount of pressure.

Also-(and for example) if you painted a piece in Graphite while it is sitting in an all white room that has white carpet, I would still put a drop cloth down and distress after waxing. If you sand after waxing, you will see you have less dust since the wax and paint removed seem to stick more onto your sandpaper.