Painting and Waxing Over Painted Furniture

One of my standard rules as a furniture recycler is that I really only want to touch (paint) a piece of furniture once.  I usually put too much work into it the first time that I do not want to think about changing it another time.  However, I do get asked, “Can you repaint a piece of furniture that you have already painted?”  The answer is yes!   I have done it to several pieces, but I usually do it “kicking and screaming.”  I try to not do this much but sometimes it is just easier than trying to find something new, especially if  it is a solid piece you love.

You may remember a previous blog that I did on this wood yard sale coffee table that went from medium brown wood to white which made it look “shabby chic French” style with distressed areas.

The coffee table was white for several years and worked pretty well in the space.  However, recently I spotted a couch on a local Swip Swap sale site that I purchased and put in my family room to replace my other dark leather couch and it is a cream color. I fell in love with it and had been looking for this type of sofa for a while now.

When I put the two pieces together, something just wasn’t right.  Everything in that room was a vanilla color with no contrasting colors.  I now needed to get the table to contrast but still work in that room at least until I find something else I like better.  I started by taking some dark brown paint and dry brushing some strokes on the top (photo below.). It just wasn’t looking right and still had too much of a white background.  I knew I needed to make it darker to work with the new couch.

I found this dark wax in my garage that I had bought at Lowes and had never really used it on anything.  At one point I must have bought it for a project I had but never used it.  I also pulled out my Polycrylic to put on as a seal coat to protect it when it was the way I wanted it.

I took the brush and started very lightly brushing on the dark wax and wiping it lengthwise with a clean cloth which made some interesting stroke marks.  This was going to be totally experimental for me and I didn’t know what I was doing not having used this type of wax before.  This was a tedious, but necessary job to get the look I was wanting.  I stopped a couple of times just to give myself a break and come back to it for another look.  I liked where this was going!  The color it was becoming was exactly what I wanted.  It had a brown tint but I still wanted some lighter areas showing through.  I started rubbing the wax on the sides and legs with just the rag and it worked great.  After I had finished the look I wanted, I let it try for about an hour.  I then put two coats of polycyclic on with a brush to protect it letting it dry fully in between coats.  The thing to remember with the dark wax is to just apply it and wipe it off right away.  Don’t worry too much about getting things perfect.  It’s not supposed to look perfect.  It is supposed to look blotchy, worn and old.  I finished it in one day so it really did not take long at all.

I think it turned out sort of in a Restoration Hardware look.

I just love the carved detail in this piece of furniture.

Here is the final outcome.  I will definitely use that can of dark wax again on another piece.  The table contrasts and blends in so well now with the new cream couch and I am so happy I was able to give this table a new look and keep it.


Sunrise photo taken from our balcony on vacation this summer.

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