From dressers, to kitchen cabinets, to your floors, we know you love painting EVERYTHING. This can make for some tricky decision-making when choosing how to seal your piece. Dark or clear wax? To lacquer, or not to lacquer? What if I want a glossy finish? Will my piece be durable enough? These are the questions, we have the answers! If you have any questions left unanswered, please comment below and we will be happy to help you out!

In this post we will talk about Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax, Dark Soft Wax and Annie Sloan Lacquer as well as Clear Topcoat Sealer and Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements.

P.S. After you’ve decided which topcoat you need, you can check out these tutorials to learn how to use it! How to Apply Annie Sloan Soft WaxHow to Apply Annie Sloan LacquerHow to Apply Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoats. We also recommend our post How to Choose a Topcoat if you’d like to learn about General Finishes topcoats or are looking for a sealer for something other than Chalk Paint™.

Our most common choice for finishing furniture is Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Developed to work together with Chalk Paint™, they make perfect partners. Soft Wax is formulated with two of the purest and hardest natural waxes available; carnauba wax and beeswax, with a small amount of white spirit added to help the wax spread. It does not contain any dangerous quick dry solvents and the white spirits evaporate out completely, leaving you with a food safe layer once dried and cured.

 

SoftWax

 

The soft wax provides a beautiful, soft, velvety finish that is long-lasting and lustrous. Soft wax has water repellant properties but is not waterproof. The wax will diminish surface abrasions and scuffs on your piece. Wax finishes are also very easy to touch-up and restore. There is really nothing else like it! It is definitely our favourite finish.

If you want to give your finish an aged, antiqued look, you may choose to use some Dark Soft Wax. We usually apply Dark Soft Wax over a layer of Clear Soft Wax. This way, it is easy to manipulate and layer your waxes to create your desired look.

 

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Pictured Above: Old Ochre (Top) & Old White (Bottom)

2 Layers of Clear | 1 Layer of Clear + 1 Layer of 50/50 Mix | 1 Layer of Clear + 1 Layer of Dark | 2 Layers of Dark

 

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Pictured Above: Paris Grey

2 Layers of Clear | 1 Layer of Clear + 1 Layer of 50/50 Mix | 1 Layer of Clear + 1 Layer of Dark | 2 Layers of Dark

 

Chalk Paint™ Wax Samples

Pictured Above: (Left to Right) Scandinavian Pink, Henrietta, Napoleonic Blue, Provence

Dark Soft Wax (top) | No Wax (middle) | Clear Soft Wax (bottom)

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer is absolutely a great option for finishing your furniture and cabinetry. Sometimes, we use Lacquer for our larger projects simply because we can roll it on. We especially love to use Lacquer when we are glazing a piece because it provides a great base for glazes. It allows the glaze to to slide effortlessly on the surface and be easily manipulated. Without the Lacquer, Chalk Paint™ is very absorbent, and would take all that glaze, making it much harder to move and manipulate on the surface of the piece.

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer with Glaze

Pictured Above: Chalk Paint™ finished with Annie Sloan Lacquer and Wood Icing Glaze Effects

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer is a strong, penetrating, water-based, varnish with a slight sheen that matches the Soft Wax well. It is usually recommended for use over wood or concrete floors that have been painted with Chalk Paint™. The varnish is quick-drying, non-toxic, low odour and non-yellowing. Annie Sloan Lacquer provides a durable, scuff resistant finish that is both ring resistant (can tolerate hot cups) and resistant to alcohol spills.

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer

Pictured Above: Chalk Paint™ finished with Annie Sloan Lacquer and General Finishes Gel Stain (in the bottom crevasses)

 

We find that this finish is very scrubbable for those surfaces that take a bit more abuse. Lacquer can sometimes be a good choice for kitchen tables or cabinetry requiring glaze.

 

Annie Sloan Lacquer

Pictured Above: Chalk Paint™ finished with Annie Sloan Lacquer and Wood Icing Glaze Effects

For a non-yellowing, satin to glossy finish, you may use any other water-based sealer such as Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer. Clear Topcoat is also your best option if you want to topcoat a piece to be used outside.

 

Clear Topcoat Sealer

 

You do not need to seal Chalk Paint™ on surfaces being used outdoors. If, however you have created layered finishes using Chalk Paint™ and other water-based materials that you want to protect, it may be wise to seal them with Clear Topcoat Sealer. Clear Topcoat is a high quality, soya based, no VOC, non-yellowing alkyd sealer that is formulated for ultimate clarity with a matte sheen. It is a perfect, breathable finish for exterior pieces. It dries to a clear finish that helps protect your painted, plastered and stained surfaces and is a highly versatile product which works well with the entire Artisan Enhancements line, as well as Chalk Paint™ and other paint lines.

 

Fine Stone Garden Pots

 Pictured Above: These marvellous finishes, ideal for outdoor pieces use Chalk Paint™ as well as water-based materials that do not tolerate the outdoors as well as Chalk Paint™. They are sealed with Clear Topcoat Sealer.

 

Clear Finish is a water based, no VOC, all natural, non-yellowing acrylic varnish. It is formulated for ultimate clarity with a satin to glossy finish. It is also water resistant and will protect your painted finishes, once cured. Clear Finish works well with Chalk Paint™ “whites” as it will keep them bright and not lift any color or stain from beneath. It is great on cabinets and works well over foil, leafing or high sheen finishes. You cannot use Clear Finish over wax like you would with the Clear Topcoat Sealer.

 

Clear Finish

 

Well, there you have it! We really hope this helps you to choose a topcoat for your future projects and gives you a few more options for your exterior pieces, cabinetry, and all the other fun things you paint. If you have ANY questions that we left unanswered, please do not hesitate to leave us a comment below!

You might find these tutorials helpful as well!

How to Apply Annie Sloan Soft Wax

How to Apply Annie Sloan Lacquer

How to Apply Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoats