How to wax painted furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood furniture can last a long time and look its best when cared for properly, especially the surface. A coat of paint not only helps to seal and protect wood, it can also add beauty and personality to a piece of furniture. A coat of finishing wax on top of the paint gives an added layer of protection to the wood.

Fill a clean bucket with a gallon of warm water.

Add a squirt of dishwashing detergent to the water. Swish the water around with your hand to mix in the detergent.

Use a clean, soft rag and the bucket of sudsy water to clean the painted furniture thoroughly. Wring the rag out so it's not wet.

Dump the sudsy water and rinse out the bucket and the rag. Refill the bucket with clean water, then rinse off the furniture with the rag and water. Allow the furniture to dry thoroughly.

Fold a clean rag into a small, tight square or just wad it up into a tight ball.

Apply a large glob of the finishing wax onto the rag.

Rub the wax over the painted wood, making sure to apply an even coat over the entire piece of furniture. Apply more finishing wax to the rag as needed. Allow the wax to dry thoroughly. If you can touch the wax and it doesn't come off on your finger, it's dry.

Wipe off the wax with as many clean rags as needed. Use another clean rag to buff the painted surface until a sheen comes through.


For best results, use a light finishing wax for painted furniture. Waxing painted furniture can also help cover light scratches.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Finishing wax
  • Clean, lint-free rags
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About the Author

Kayar Sprang has been a professional freelance writer and researcher since 1999. She has had articles published by clients like Kraft Foods, "Woman's Day" magazine and Mom Junction. Sprang specializes in subjects she has expertise in, including gardening and home improvement. She lives on and maintains a multi-acre farm.