Mixing wax and paint

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Not your average framer
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Joined: Sat 25 Mar, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: Devon, U.K.
Organisation: The Dartmoor Gallery
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Mixing wax and paint

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 13 Oct, 2020 10:53 am

I quite often mix paint into paste wax, sometimes it's produce the right colour filler for filling a corner on a factory finished frame and sometimes I use it to apply a wash on top of a other finish, where I stipple the wash into a layer of paste wax, where the paste wax has only just been brushed onto a hand finished moulding and the wax can be rubbed around leaving the wash in grooves in the moulding while rubbing off the wax and wash from else where. This technique is an historic technique which goes back over many years, I don't know how far back this technique goes, but it is a traditional itailian hand finishing technique, so I guess that it's quite old. When the final finish has been set with a hot air gun, it becomes quite tough and durable and after a suitable surface sealer has been applied, it is extremely tougth and very hard to damage the finish.

I just thought I would mention this as I find this to be quite a helpful technique. I even apply it, will a small mutilated piece of sponge to add a sponged wash effect to various old mouldings which I bought as cheap job lots that I bought in the early days of setting up my business. Such finishes work well for me, but it is usually a good idea to apply a final layer of something protective over the final finish to make it really solidly durable. In earlier days, I coated the final finish with sellac, follow by a layer of wax, the these days my favorite go to protective finish is Polyvine acyic wax finish dead flat (matt) natural colour varnish. I set the varnish with a hot air gun and it also melts the wax underneath, which seems to literally lock both layers off finish together as they cool. The dead flat varnish contains finely ground silica which is extremely tough and durable.

Maybe not everyone realises this, but wax is historically one of the earliest adhesives known to man and mixing beeswax with vegetable oil to make paste wax goes back hundreds of years and probably, even longer. Other natural additives were also added to stop insects from eating the wax at times. Beeswax in it's natural state is an extremely hard and strongly adhesive material, it also was a primary ingredient used in filling defects in wood down the centuries.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer

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