Annie Sloan, the line of paint and wax I use on all my furniture, recently came out with several new products including waxes tinted in white and black. I've been making my own white wax for years now, simply combining a bit of paint with clear wax. Black wax was something I hadn't dabbled in, and I was apt to give it a try.
Rather than starting with something too contrasting, I thought I'd start with a combination I knew well. I've darkened Annie Sloan's Graphite paint with a coat of dark wax to try in and create a deeper, almost black tone.
I like the look, but a couple things have kept me from using it more frequently: dark wax has a strong chemical odor and stains my hands terribly! I'm not sure why it stains so badly, but I always finish a piece looking like a hasty chimney sweep.
Dark wax also has a rich brown hue, and warms up any paint color it's used with. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is a subtle difference between brown and black wax that changes the look of furniture.
For this vintage dresser, I painted the entire piece in two coats, a combination of equal parts Graphite and French Linen. I sanded it with a fine grit paper, and rubbed on a light coat of clear wax, buffing it into the surface.
I left the drawer fronts as is, and went over the entire frame with a coat of black wax, rubbing it in a back and forth motion along the grain of the wood. The black deepened the dark gray color, creating a charcoal haze along the surface.
Unlike dark wax, I immediately noticed the black wax had no strong odor and didn't seem to stain my hands either. What sorcery is this?!
I lightly buffed in the dark wax, again keeping in line with the grain, but wanted to keep the look as matte as possible. It would be easy to create a more sleek look simply by thoroughly buffing in the wax until a sheen forms.
I love what the black wax did to the dark gray. The color became rich and dimensional, cooler in tone than my usual dark wax. It looked more like a true black, with flecks of deep blue.
Using a colored wax always brings attention to the details of a dresser. This piece has unique diamond detailing, and a lovely curvature to the top two drawers. I didn't need to do any distressing to this piece, the black wax added more than enough interest to it.
I love how the brightly hued peaches and yellowish green mango contrast against the dark surface. I really ought to style with fruit more often! I also used a few clippings from my long leaf magnolia tree for this shoot. I tried to pick up colors from the Italian travel poster hung on the wall.