The Pros And Cons Of Sanding Before Waxing!

I just finished a beautiful set of chairs and matching wall hanging in one of my all time favourite colour combinations.  Light oak wood, painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite and a small amount of distressing along the edges.  Annie Sloan paint colors have become a little underwhelming – especially with competing products like FAT paint – that offer more a modern modern and mixable pallat – FAT paint is more shabby chic than arts and crafts – but there are still one or two Annie Sloan paint colors that I will probably always use in my custom furniture work.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – Graphite

Graphite is one of the few Annie Sloan chalk paint colors that I use consistently in my custom work.  A few days ago I used the rest of a quart of black CeCe Caldwell Chalk Style paint on a piece that I wanted to be darker black  – not the best paint in the world to use – but the piece looked nice!  There is a difference between graphite and black.  Annie Sloan chalk paint in graphite has a warmer tone too it – picture somewhere between black and grey – pictures don’t do it justice.   There are a number of different products in the chalk paint and finishes world that I use in my work – much of the time it comes down to paint colors.  I stock a few quarts of Graphite Annie Sloan chalk paint in my shop at all times – its my go to black for quick jobs – especially over oak.


annie sloan chalk paint graphite painted chairs and door


Painting Oak With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint – Graphite

How fabulous is this wall hanging.  It was a door off of a customers hutch.  I filled the holes with some wood filler and painted it with some graphite Annie Sloan chalk paint to match the chairs.  This is going to be  a gorgeous addition to her dining room.

annie sloan chalk paint graphite painted door

Annie Sloan Graphite – Not Quite Black Not Quite Grey

“Graphite” is Annie Sloan’s version of black chalk paint.  It’s not jet black, and it’s not grey… it’s the perfect mix of the two.  Other paint brands such as FAT chalk-style paint and Fusion chalk-style paint offer jet black blacks, however once you get into the blackest blacks, it’s hard to get that perfect matte look.  Jet black chalk paint can’t help but have a bit of a sheen.  Annie Sloan paint colors in general don’t “wow” me – but in this specific case -the look comes premixed in a can!

annie sloan graphite chalk paint can


To distress these pieces, I used a 150 grit sandpaper. I wrap the paper around a sanding block, and gently rub it against the edges.  Just one quick swoop along each edge gives it a perfect distressed, worn look.

I get asked all the time “should I distress before or after waxing?”.  The answer is totally personal preference. There are Pros and Cons to both,

Pros and Cons To Sanding Before or After You Wax

  1. Sanding before you use furniture wax  – Pros: It’s easier.  You are only sanding through chalk-style paint, so you are able to sand a lot quicker.  Plus, if you distress too much, you can easily touch it up with a bit of paint.  Cons: It’s messy.  Paint dust everywhere!!!!
  2. Sanding after you apply furniture wax: Pros: It’s not quite as messy.  You won’t find as much paint dust everywhere.  Cons: You are now sanding through a layer of wax which takes a bit more elbow grease.  Some will argue that this give you more control on how much you can take off.  But I just see it as extra work!!  Another con you have to touch up the furniture wax after.  Again, more time, more work!

I’ll take more mess over more time and work any day!!