How to use white wax on furniture

White wax on furniture creates a faded or whitewashed look over paint or natural wood. It’s a simple process and how dramatic it looks is dependant on how many coats of wax there are.

My friend, Katherine, asked if I would like this mirror before she put it on Freecycle. Of course, I said yes because it had pretty details and I thought it could be even more charming with some fresh paint.

Through friends and family is one way that I recommend finding free furniture. Check out the other ways!

The mirror before using white wax

Time to clean

The trouble with pretty details though, as lovely as they are, they also collect dust.

So, to start I gave it a quick clean using my usual cleaner, Dixie Belle’s White Lightning. It’s diluted in warm water and then I give the piece another quick wash with plain water to get rid of any leftover soap.

It’s never the fun bit but it’s only worth painting a clean piece, otherwise, it just won’t last.

Cleaning with White Lightning

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint for partnering with me on this project.

A touch of paint

I took this photo because I was so impressed with the coverage of the paint.

Can you believe that this first coat of the mirror frame was done using only the paint in the lid after I opened it?

It also shows how the paint would look if I hadn’t added white wax. It’s a beautiful soft blue-grey called Quiet Cove by Dixie Belle.

First coat on the frame in Quiet Cove

I removed the screws on the back, hoping that the mirror would easily come out. Then I wouldn’t need to tape off the mirror to protect it when painting.

Unfortunately, after taking all the screws out, I found several pieces of additional wood keeping the mirror in place. Good for the mirror, not good for me.

Removing the back of the mirror

So, I went with the path of least resistance and decided to paint with the mirror in place.

I’d already done a layer of paint avoiding the mirror edge but I went back and painted to the edge too. I wasn’t too careful as I knew I would have to clean the mirror when I was finished anyway.

Painting the edge of the mirror in Quiet Cove

Sometimes if there’s a slight gap you can fit playing cards around the edge and that protects the mirror from paint too.

I have lots of different tricks like that in my tips using household items post.

How to use white wax on furniture

This paint is from Dixie Belle’s all-in-one range, so it doesn’t need a primer or sealer.

Wax is a sealer but it’s not an issue to add it over paint that doesn’t require it, it just gives it added protection.

But I wanted to add white wax to give more dimension to the mirror. It has nice details like the central circle and ridges on the frame.

White wax in the details of the mirror

Wax settles well into nooks and crannies so is best used to make an ornate piece more interesting.

I label my wax brushes so I know what colour wax I use them for. I do that so I don’t accidentally get the wrong colour wax on a different project if it’s not washed perfectly.

This is after adding one coat of wax. You can see all the details that it’s settling into.

White wax before buffing

This is after buffing with a cloth to take off the excess and leave a more subtle whitewash across the piece.

The buffed white wax on furniture

You don’t need to buff if you like the heavier waxed look. Or you can add a second layer of wax after buffing to make the white stand out more.

There’s always one

You might have seen my Instagram reel where I realised that I’d forgotten to paint the mirror knobs. Doh! Fortunately a quick fix!

Instagram reel of my painting mistake

I did two coats of paint and one coat of white wax and was happy with how it looked.

As wax is a sealer it doesn’t need (and can’t have) a top coat on it. So, I was done!

Take a look at another wax project here!

Work smart, not hard

Except… time to clean the mirror.

Fortunately, I know a great way to clean it quickly…

Finished piece with a painted mirror

Shaving foam and a razor blade!

Razor blade and shaving foam on the mirror

And done! It’s that simple. Just add the shaving foam and gently use the blade to slice off the paint from the surface. Wipe off the excess foam afterwards.

The cleaned up mirror

Waxed and finished

And here she is. I think the blue paint and white wax create such a delicate, soft effect.

Doesn’t hurt having other beautiful pieces at Homemade at The Barn to help stage the mirror!

The finished piece

See how it settles into the details and ridges?

White wax on the mirror frame

The wax just enhances the delicate details that it started with.

White wax in the circular detail

I think it makes the mirror more interesting without being overly feminine or cute. Just a soft, beachy vibe. I’m really happy with it.

Finished piece of white wax on furniture

What do you think? Do you like the heavier waxed look or the original colour of the Quiet Cove paint? Both give a different character but you can’t go wrong.

If you like using white wax on furniture, you might also enjoy this post about using black wax.


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Cindy
10 days ago

Love it and blue with white wax is one of my favorite combinations. I love working with different waxes.

Paula@SweetPea
10 days ago

The end result of this makeover is so good! Enjoy your new mirror.