More questions answered about Polyacrylic vs. Paste wax on furniture….
Even though I published the post about which product to use, such as poly vs. paste wax on furniture, over a year ago, I still get a lot of questions.
I have been painting furniture for almost 15 years now, professionally for about 8 years, and have used most of the products out there. I love both products for different applications.I wanted to address the questions you have had so you can decided what is the right product to finish furniture with.I am also always open to some one’s feedback who has had a different experience as well. I found in the comments section, it was kind of hot debate. And don’t forget we are talking paste wax vs. water based poly,not oil. Where you live weather wise can effect both products and your experience.
So we’ll call this Polyarylic va. paste wax part 2.
So,What is the right finish for my painted furniture?Welcome. I hope we’ve answered your questions.
Q.Hi! Have a quick question, I painted cabinet with a flat black paint, it looked really nice and then added AS dark wax over them and now they look splotchy.. shiny in some spots and dull in others. I did very light wax but right where I put it on is dark and shiny. Don’t know where I went wrong, I’m thinking I should have put a poly on them. Whats your thoughts?
A.Wax is probably a better option on black paint unless it’s a high traffic piece(i.e. your kids like to stick forks in the top.)..I would try to make sure the wax is on evenly and then give the entire cabinet a really good buffing. It could just be the wax is not rubbed in all of the way in some spots, or heavier in others.Give that a try and see if that helps.
Q.Do you use the spray or brush on kind?
A. I like Spray Poly most of the time. It gives a more even coat especially along long surfaces. And it feed my impatience.
Q. Can I wax over latex paint? Or is that just for chalk paint?
A.I wax over flat latex paint all of the time,it really brings out the depth of color.
Q.Is it possible to paint poly over wax? I waxed a table after painting with chalk paint and I am not satisfied. I am wondering if I can poly over the top?
A.Not with water-based Poly unless you remove the wax. Wax is an oil based product and is a natural repellent. That’s why I am not a huge wax fan when I want to repaint something.However, wax can give you an amazingly creamy and soft looking finish you can’t get with Poly. Wax eventually breaks down (hence using a candle to distress paint.). ON the plus side,there’s a good chance unless something is heavily waxed it won’t take much to remove it.
Q.I see in your chart that it DOES yellow over time. I have painted it on so much white. Do cleaning products have anything to do with it? I’ll stick to wiping tops with a wet rag & no cleaner. Maybe that will prolong the yellowing process.
A. While Water-based Poly does yellow over time. I have found it takes YEARS.however, oil-based yellows immediately.
Q. I like the look of dark wax.How do you get that aged effect with poly or is it possible? Also do you know if it is important then using wax to use a clear wax first and then use the darker wax to age it?
If you want an aged look,but are using poly, you are going to want to use a glaze or brown paint instead to age it. The effect won’t be as creamy,but with a glaze it will harden under the poly. You can also wax over poly, so you could always poly the heck out of it and then use the dark paste wax over the top and wax on top of that.I believe with AS wax you need to use the clear and then use the brown.I have a post about aging with glaze if you want to look at that.
Q.How long do you have to wait to poly over chalk paint?
A.About 24 hours for the paint to cure.But it does take a full 30 days for any paint to totally cure and to have the solvent in it evaporate off and is more susceptible to dings and chips in that time.
Q. You mentioned you can Wax over Poly. When would do that?
A. I actually do that on my kitchen table. I spray Poly the living heck out of it, then I give it a few good coats of wax. That way when mu kids get marker or crayon on it, it buffs right out and I know there is a protective coat underneath when the little heathens decide it’s a great idea to dig their forks into it.
Q. You mentioned you need to redo wax every so often, why?
Wax is an organic product containing things like beeswax,caranuba wax, etc. in a solvent. where Poly is a plastic product in a solvent. Over time with wiping,the wax is more easily worn away at. Poly makes a harder,but less forgiving coating there’s no buffing marks out.
Q. I brushed up against a piece of my furniture and it left dark marks on my sleeve.It’s been 3 months. Did I do something wrong?
A. No. The wax will be cured by now, unless it’s in a super sunny room.Any ASCP rep will tel you to never put a waxed piece of furniture in a window with full sun. It will melt the wax causing wax transfer.
Q. Have you ever used Poly on milk paint?
A. I have used both. I actually like wax on milk paint better. I think it brings out the vibrancy of the color so much more and adds a depth to paint that poly can’t.
Q. Help! I used Poly on my white furniture and now dark yellow patches are bleeding through! I use crystal clear Poly!
A. I’ve never had that happen on any pieces I have used the water-based poly with. If the furniture underneath is a dark mahogany, it’s the old stain bleeding through, It can also come through as reddish blotches. The only remedy is to prime the heck out of it and re-paint. I always recommend to contact the company to have them help your troubleshoot if you have some weird out of the normal reaction.
Q.SO what is your opinion on both? When do I use them?
I’ll add the chart again at the bottom, but here are my general rules.
-I like Poly on pieces of really high use,like kitchen tables, coffee tables etc. I will also use wax over Poly sometimes, but plain Poly is fine.I like clear wax on black paint better than Poly.
-Anything my kids are going to deal with ,I like to use Poly.
-I love paste wax on furniture for pieces painted a rich color,for less used-pieces, pieces with art work and for painted signs that are going to be indoors.
Please feel free to comment in the comments section or share any of your experiences or insights!