Hello sweet friends! Have you tried gilding wax on any of your makeovers yet? If not, I hope today’s post inspires you to give it a go!
I’ve been applying metallic accents to a lot of my work and I’m loving the effect. The best part, depending on how the gilding wax is applied, it can add subtle elegance, an old-world flair, or as in the case of today’s thrift store makeover, a bold dramatic punch.
Today, I’m sharing a few of my how-to tips and techniques I’ve been using to create different looks with gilding wax.
Here’s what I started with. A plain but good quality thrift store find I picked up on sale for $30. Can’t get better than that, right?!
For the base, I used a brand new Dixie Belle color called “In The Navy”. If you’re looking for a gorgeous rich TRUE navy blue, this is it! It’s highly pigmented and has amazing coverage. Here’s the coverage after just one coat and I even used water to thin it down a little.
After the base coat, I mixed some spackling with a small amount of Savannah Mist and applied a raised stencil design onto the drawer fronts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this stencil. It’s small, but one of my favorites!
I’ll link some of the other furniture makeovers I’ve used it on in the “Related Posts” below so you can check out how it looks in different styles and colors.
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Tallboy Dresser – SALVAGED
- Sandpaper 150-320 grit
- Paint Brushes
- DAP Spackling
- Prima Marketing Stencil ( I used this one here)
- In The Navy Chalk Mineral Paint
- Savannah Mist Chalk Mineral Paint
- Terracotta Chalk Mineral Paint
- Spray on Wax
- Dixie Belle’s Gator Hide
- Hammered Copper Gilding Wax
HOW TO USE GILDING WAX | TIPS & TECHNIQUES::
Tip #1:: How To Apply Gilding Wax
I’ve applied gilding wax with my fingers, a shop towel, Q-Tip, soft rag, and paintbrush. I have a few designated paint brushes I use for metallics because the bristles will stain as you can see below.
I also apply the Gilding Wax AFTER I’ve painted and top coated the furniture with clear or dark wax. You could wait until the wax is fully dry if you prefer but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I’m not sure if you can use gilding wax over a poly topcoat. If anyone has tried or knows the answer to this, I’d love to know too!
Tip #2:: No Sealing Required
There’s no need to seal the gilding wax. I find it dries really well and hasn’t rubbed off any of my pieces. If you find it fades over the years, it can easily be touched up by applying a little more.
Tip #3:: Works on Almost Anything!
Gilding Wax can be used on almost anything! I’ve seen it used it on pumpkins, resin, all sorts of craft projects, plastic, paper, metal, and wood. My sister has used it for scrapbooking and cards (her handcrafted cards are phenomenal btw – a real work of art!) and of course my favorite – FURNITURE! It’s typically used for highlighting details on furniture like moldings, appliques, castings, engravings etc. but can be used equally well to create some drama.
Tip #4:: Mix and Match
Mix and match different gilding waxes. I haven’t tried mixing gilding waxes yet, but you can get really creative using different colors and metallics to create your own unique masterpiece.
Tip #5:: Less is More
As with all wax application, LESS is more! I like to start with a very small amount and then build up the layers. I’ve used this Hammered Copper on a few other projects and now this dresser. You can see it looks like it’s barely been used. It’s my guess it will take exactly 126 furniture makeovers to finish this small container. Okay, not really….. just checking if you’re still reading. 😉
Tip #6:: Create Pristine Lines
Create pristine metallic lines on drawers. If you’d like to create metallic pristine straight lines, no problem. Just mask off the section with painters tape and apply the gilding wax to the exposed area only. Remove the tape and voila!
Tip #7:: Made a Mistake – NP
If you don’t like the look, no problem. Supposedly gilding wax is forgiving and can be easily removed with clear wax. I say “supposedly” because I’ve never tried removing it. Lucky for me I have always liked the look. That said, if any of you have a tip on how to successfully remove gilding wax, I’d love to hear about it.
Tip #8:: Create Bold Metallic Drama
To create a bold dramatic look, try using a matching paint color UNDER the gilding wax. For instance, on this dresser, I applied some Terracotta around the edges of the drawers to amplify the effect of the Hammered Copper Gilding Wax. The orange/copper undertones of the Terracotta intensifies the metallic copper… it worked beautifully.
If you want to add a little dramatic glitz, subtle elegance or old-world flair, I hope this has given you a few ideas for your painted furniture or project.
ARE YOU A FAN OF GILDING WAX? I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR QUESTIONS AND/OR TIPS AND WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS DRESSER MAKEOVER. FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. 🙂
Happy furniture painting and gilding my friends!
How to Create A Raised Stencil Design
Peek-A-Boo Stenciling With Milk Paint
90’s Laminate Dresser Makeover
How To Paint Furniture Without Brush Marks
Furniture Painting With Wax – Pink Wax!
PIN AND SHARE!
Another beautiful job Denise, thanks for the post and showing me new techniques to try. I do have one question based on seeing your sink and washing of the stencil. It looks like a work or “slop” sink which I unfortunately do not have. Is it safe to wash.paint and spackle down the drain? My home is on a sewer system and I am very conscious of environmental issues..
Thanks, Celia… and ya, mine is a working sink and HAS gotten clogged. If you’re worried about your sewer system I would suggest cleaning outside with a hose or bucket of water. Not so much the paint but especially with the spackle or any bonding products!
Amazing 😉 You really have an incredible sense of color and texture.
Seeing your work is so inspiring… and a bit intimidating. I love that you freely share your art.
The raised stenciling adds the needed texture, but it amazes me that is is still so soft and subtle.
Great eye ! This is a very pretty navy ! The gilding wax does add a beautiful contrast.
Waxes terrify me. If I understand…. they can’t be top coated ? How does this age ?
How is the piece maintained ?
Thanks for sharing ! Your pieces are truly Art. 🙂
Thanks so much P! And your correct, wax is always last and should not be top-coated. That said, the only exception (I’m aware of) is when using Dixie Belle Wax and Topcoats. Their wax is water based and can be used underneath their waterbased topcoats. The waxes may lose a little glimmer as they age and maintenance is as easy as a light wipe down with a damp cloth. 🙂
Denise, you are so creative and your pieces always turn out stunning.
Thank you Cheryl! XOXO
It must be faith finding your blog. I’m doing a couple of side tables and coffee table for a friend. I am so stuck right now. I’ve painted one table red and did a black wash on it. The table has a lot of detail but even with the wash it needs something. I’ve been thinking about gilding wax – I have a copper wax – but not sure how to tackle it. New stuff is scary. The legs on the table have the “lion” foot and the top of leg is very scrollie (?). Any one have thoughts on this? I even considered a gold metallic paint to use a “dipped” look. If anyone has ideas I’d sure appreciate them. Thanks so much and I love the dresser.
Hi Betty! So happy to have you here… a BIG WARM WELCOME to you! New stuff IS scary! Whenever I try new products or painting techniques it feels I have to work up some courage to do it. But I really like the sounds of the gilding wax over the wash. Copper or gold with a red basecoat sounds amazing.
Christina Harper says
WHERE DID YOU FIND THOSE ADORABLE DOORKNOCKER KNOBS?
Hobby Lobby! 🙂
This is STUNNING! Wow!
Thank you, Nicole!
Could gilding wax be applied to furniture if the look you’re going for is whimsical or Alice in Wonderland theme like Mackenzie Childs pieces?
For sure! I think gilding wax can be incorporated into many designs!
Can I stencil on fabric with gliding wax?
You sure can!
Sarah C says
Hi Denise, I have a similar piece of furniture and would like to try the same technique. This is my first time using Dixie Belle products, What size navy blue do you recommend for a piece this size? Thanks! Excited to try this.
Dixie Belle has excellent coverage so an 8oz would probably do it. If you want to be on the safe side – a 16oz will be plenty and you’ll probably have left over for another project. Have fun Sarah. 🙂
Sheila Cochrane says
Hi Denise I was just reading your comments on how to remove wax, I wonder if heat would help as wax melts at low temperatures. Maybe a hairdryer and thick tissue or even a craft hot gun held at a distance from the piece. I haven’t tried it myself yet. Many times when I have spilt wax from candles on my table I cover it wilth kitchen roll (thick tissue) and get the iron on medium and just hold it on the area for a few seconds, the wax then melts and soaks into the tissue BUT be carefull not to hold it for too long and always clean your iron once it’s cooled. Just a thought. The problem would be in the deep grooves I guess.
kind regards Sheila C. Cochrane.
Mineral Sprits removes Gliding Wax without damaging paint
Paula M says
Another amazing piece to inspire me! I love that you used so many different techniques to achieve this stunning look, yet it all works so well. As someone above commented, it certainly is not a $30 salvaged piece of furniture. My question is, how does Dixie Belle Guilding Wax compare to Rub ‘n Buff? I’ve always use the Rub ”n Buff and I like it, except the tubes get all crinkled and sometimes I put holes in them?!? Also, is it available in many colors? I’m all about the bling! Love your work and bookmark just about everything!!
Hi Paula! Dixie Belle’s Gilding Wax comes in all these colors and does differ from Rub’N Buff. Rub’n Buff is oil-petroleum based (I believe) and feels more like a wet paint when I apply it. DB Gilding wax is drier and wax-like so the effect can be super subtle or built up by adding layers. Thanks for bookmarking btw. 🙂
Hi. I’m not sure where the Teriracotta and Savanna Mist come into play Could you tell me how ?
This is beautiful
Thanks Elizabeth! The Savanna Mist paint was used to mix into the spackling. The Terracotta paint was lightly and randomly dabbed on around the drawers BEFORE the bronze gilding wax was applied. The amplifies the look of the gilding wax. Hope this helps. 🙂
That is just gorgeous! I am in process of remodeling a navy and copper kitchen, and might try this for the vintage storage piece in the kitchen. Can I aks where you got the glass knobs on the dresser? They are exactly what I was looking for!
Thank you Karen! 🙂 The glass knobs are from Hobby Lobby.
I just bought a few different gilding wax from Prima. I took a wood plank painted with Navy n other side fluff. What a difference it makes to what you have underneath the gliding wax. I just rubbed all different waxes on this board, just testing each color I love the Navy side it really brought out the colors in the gilding. I loved the board so much I put some stenciling on there n Im gonna hang in my craft room. Thanks for this. Love what you did with that piece. .Gorgeous!!😃🎨
Hi Lynn! It really does make a BIG difference, doesn’t it!? And that’s inspiring…your ‘test’ board is now art in your craftroom…love it! 🙂
Marie-The Interior Frugalista says
I love your application of the gilding wax, Denise! I’ve used it around edges on furniture by applying it with my finger but never a brush and never so much. I must expand my gilding horizons! I love the copper contrast with the dark blue, so pretty. I’m currently working on a raised stencil piece and enjoying the process. Pinned this lovely dresser😍
Thanks Marie! The Terracotta underneath the copper gilding wax really makes a HUGE difference. I wish I had taken a pic of what it looked like with the Terracotta paint around the edges (before applying the copper) but I got so involved with the process I forgot. Can’t wait to see your raised stencil piece and thanks for the PIN! 🙂
Beautiful combination with the raised stencil and the metallic embellishing Denise. It doesn’t look like a $30 thrift find anymore! 🙂
Aw, thanks Nicki! 🙂 XO
Another fabulous furniture makeover Denise!!!! Love the navy color and raised stenciling. The copper wax makes this dresser pop. BEAUTIFUL 🙂
Thanks Monique! I’m really liking this navy too!!! 🙂
Carli Eitnier says
Can a top coat be used over the Metallic Wax? I am going to use Mineral Paint and Metallic Paint on a
up coming project and wanted to use a Poly Top Coat as a finish…???
Hi Carli! I don’t suggest putting a water-based top coat on top of ANY wax, but if you’re using a metallic paint, that will work just fine. 🙂
Melanie Brooks says
Maybe gilding wax on top of the poly topcoat?
Yes, I’m guessing that will work. Tracy (previous comment) said Rub’N Buff works well over poly so I’m going to try the gilding wax too. 🙂
Sue at The Sparrows Nest says
I have retired from selling furniture for profit but I love this dresser so much (sigh) that it might just be inspiration for a piece to call my own. I’m a pushover for dark blue and the gilding wax adds some pizazz. And I’ve been wanting to try doing a raised stencil. I think I’ve talked myself into redoing the old bare bones dresser in my bedroom!
Sue, this makes me SUPER happy! Even if you’re not selling furniture for profit anymore, creating a unique piece for your own home will be SO MUCH FUN! … and ya, this navy blue is gorgeous. 🙂
Tania Nye says
Hi, I love the look. Could you tell me what spackling is? I’m from U.K. so it’s probably called something else over here!
Hi Tania! Ya, I believe Polyfilla is the same thing as Spackling in the UK. It’s a multi-purpose filler that can be used on walls etc, and it adheres well without cracking or shrinking. It will work great for raised stencils. 🙂
Thank you! I’m definitely going to give this a go x
kate boschetto says
Just Stunning !!! Luv everything about this Bureau !!!!
Thanks so much Kate! xo
Pat Malan says
You are amazing! I love your work and am so inspired by you! Your blogs are awesome too!
Aw, thanks Pat! I think you’re awesome for dropping by. Have a great day! 🙂
Cindy D says
You never cease to amaze me with your creativity. I just love your work. I have an old dresser that was my husbands when he was a baby, then to my children, who are grown. Now it’s in my studio, still boasting the racing stickers my son put on it when he was young. I haven’t decided, until now, what I’m going to do with it for paint. Love the raised stencil you did. Thank you for all you do, Denise. Cindy
Hi Cindy!!! 🙂 I love this. It’s amazing how good quality furniture can be passed down and still be functional (with stickers and all…lol) after years of use. If/when you decide to give it a new look, raised stencils are fun and they don’t have to be perfect to give a really nice effect.
Sorry I need to learn how to spell *gilding
Linda at q is for quandie says
First of all, that dresser turned out gorgeous! Second, funny, I have that same stencil. I’ve also had it for ages and strangely enough I never realized it was a Prima Marketing stencil until this past weekend when I noticed the tiny little logo in the corner. Now I might have to try using it to add some texture because I love how it looks on your dresser!
Thanks, and that is too funny…I just noticed it was a PRIMA MARKETING stencil too Linda!!!…lol
I just purchased a can of the Dixie Belle guilding Wax this weekend. So glad I saw this on Facebook because I wasn’t sure how to use it! Now I know ❤️
Ahhhaaa, you’re going to LOVE it Christina! You can get so creative and even if you just use a little for highlighting, its amazing stuff. And as for the spelling of gilding/guilding… I was just as confused…lol. I think it can be spelled both ways but my spell check kept wanting to replace without the “u” so I just went with it…lol.
That’s a really nice different look. Love how the stencil work takes on a haphazard look. I’ve used Rub-N-Buff over poly, so maybe gilding wax would work too.. LOL 126 furniture makeovers!
…someone was reading…lol. 😉 You’re the best Tracy. Hugs. 🙂 And very interesting. Maybe I should try adding a little to the top that was sealed with poly and see how it works. If you’ve had success with Rub’N Buff I’m guessing it just might. Thank YOU!