How to Darken Wood Furniture With Wax

Are you looking for a way to give your wood furniture pieces an updated look with visual appeal? The great thing about darkening wood furniture is that it can quickly give any furniture piece a new, elegant appearance. With the help of wax, shading wood furniture is also a simple project that will take a little time.

How to Darken Wood Furniture With Wax

Darken wood furniture with wax can make a massive difference in the overall look and feel of your furniture pieces. Plus, it is a budget-friendly alternative to buying new furniture or refinishing with stains and varnishes.

In this blog post on how to darken wood furniture with wax, we’ll teach you how to use wax to transform the color of your wood furniture so you can create stunning results in no time!

What Will You Need?

To darken wood furniture with wax, you’ll need a few essential tools and materials:

  • A clean and dry piece of wood furniture
  • Dark-colored wax (brown or black)
  • Wax brush or lint-free cloth
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary materials, it’s time to start!

10 Easy Steps on How to Darken Wood Furniture With Wax

Step 1. Prepare the Furniture

The first step in darkening wood furniture with wax is to prepare the piece by cleaning it with a damp cloth and then sanding it lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper. This will remove any dirt or dust that may be on the surface of the wood and help ensure that the wax adheres appropriately. You can begin applying the wax once the furniture is clean and dry.

Step 2. Apply Wax

Several different types of wax are available for darkening wood furniture, including beeswax, carnauba wax, and paraffin wax. To apply the wax, use a soft cloth or brush to apply a thin layer of wax to the surface of the wood in a circular motion. Allow it to sit for several minutes before wiping off any excess with another clean cloth.

Use a Soft Cloth or Brush

Step 3. Buff and Polish

Once you have applied the wax to your furniture, you must buff it with a soft cloth or brush to bring out its shine. If desired, you can also use steel wool or a polishing compound to help bring out an even deeper shine. Once you have finished buffing and polishing your furniture, it should look like new!

Step 4. Allow the Wax to Dry

After applying the wax and achieving a satisfactory shine, it’s crucial to let the wax dry thoroughly. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight, depending on the type of wax you’re using and the environmental conditions. Ensure your furniture piece is in a dust-free, well-ventilated area during this time to avoid any disturbances to the drying process. Once the wax has thoroughly dried, you can assess if it’s achieved your desired darkened look. If not, you can repeat the application process until you are satisfied with the result. Remember, it’s easier to build up the color with multiple thin layers rather than one thick one.

Step 5. Add More Wax if Needed

If you want a more dramatic effect or darker color, repeat the waxing process until you reach your desired look. Just be sure to let each layer dry completely before adding another. Carefully wipe off any excess wax and buff the furniture between layers for a smooth finish.

Step 6. Apply Wax to Other Parts of the Furniture

To create a cohesive and even look, it’s essential to apply wax to all parts of the wood furniture, not just the top. This includes drawers, doors, and legs, if applicable. Use a soft cloth or brush and apply the wax in thin layers for a consistent appearance.

Step 7. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

When applying wax to intricate details or crevices on your furniture piece, using a soft-bristled brush is best. This tool can help you cover the detailed parts effectively, ensuring a consistent application. Carefully work the brush into the nooks and corners, then smooth out any excess wax to avoid buildup. Remember, the goal is to achieve an even darkening effect throughout the entire piece of furniture. After application, let the wax dry as per the instructions on the product label.

Applying Wax to Intricate Details

Step 8. Buff and Polish Again

After the wax has dried, it’s time to buff and polish the furniture piece again. This second round is to ensure an even, smooth finish. Use a clean, soft cloth or brush and gently work in circular motions to buff the piece. This process will remove any remaining excess wax and enhance the shine and depth of the color. If you want a matte finish, you can buff less intensely. For a high-gloss finish, continue honing until you achieve the desired sheen. Remember, the more you sand, the more sheen you’ll create.

Step 9. Maintain Your Furniture

After you’ve achieved the desired color and shine on your furniture piece, it’s vital to maintain its appearance. Regularly dust the furniture and clean it with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals that can strip the wax or damage the wood. If the color fades or the finish loses its shine, you can apply another wax layer, following the steps outlined above.

 Regularly Dust the Furniture and Clean It

Step 10. Admire Your Work

Finally, after darkening your wood furniture with wax is complete, take a step back and admire your work! The newly darkened piece should add a touch of elegance and richness to your space, proving that a bit of time and effort can make a big difference. You’ve successfully transformed and updated your furniture using a simple, cost-effective method. Enjoy your refreshed piece, knowing you’ve extended its life and added character to your home.

By following these ten easy steps, you know how to darken wood furniture with wax and create a stunning new look for your home.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Test First: Before applying wax to the entire piece of furniture, it’s advisable to test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This will give you an idea of the final result and help avoid any surprises.
  2. Clean the Surface: Ensure the wood surface is free from dust and dirt before applying the wax. A clean surface will ensure an even finish and darkening effect.
  3. Apply Evenly: Use a soft cloth to apply the wax evenly on the wood surface. This helps to avoid streaking and gives a uniform dark color to the furniture.
  4. Let It Dry: Once applied, give the wax plenty of time to dry. Rushing this process can result in a patchy finish. Drying time can vary, but typically 15-20 minutes is sufficient.
  5. Check for Desired Color: If the first coat of wax doesn’t achieve your desired level of darkness, you can apply a second or even third coat. Just be sure to let each coat dry completely before applying the next.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can confidently darken your wood furniture with wax, giving it a new and updated look. Remember to follow the instructions on the specific wax product you’re using, and be bold and experiment with different techniques until you achieve the perfect result.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Over-Applying Wax: Applying plenty of wax to achieve a darker shade quickly can be tempting. However, excessive wax can lead to a sticky, uneven finish and will take longer to dry. Apply in small, manageable amounts for the best results.
  2. Neglecting Safety Precautions: Always remember to wear gloves when handling wax and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  3. Using Abrasive Materials: Avoid using abrasive materials like steel wool or harsh scrubbing brushes to apply or buff the wax. These can leave scratches on the furniture’s surface and ruin the finished look.
  4. Skipping the Cleaning Step: Even if the furniture looks clean, skipping the cleaning step can result in wax trapping dust and dirt, which may impact the final result.
  5. Ignoring Manufacturer’s Instructions: The instructions provided by the wax manufacturer are crucial. Ignoring these instructions can lead to unsatisfactory results and potentially harm the furniture.
Applying Plenty of Wax to Achieve Darker Shade

Avoiding these common pitfalls will ensure your endeavor to darken your wood furniture with wax is successful and leaves you with a beautifully updated piece.


How to darken wood furniture with wax is all within reach. If you follow the steps outlined in this blog, not only will your wood furniture look amazing, but it will also be protected with wax. With a little effort and enthusiasm, you can easily create a stunning result that will make all your friends envious. To ensure you get the best finish for your project, we recommend using a small foam brush or soft cloth to apply the wax.

Also, remember that once you are finished applying the wax coat, let it sit for 24 hours before using your furniture again. As with any project, patience and attention to detail will be vital in transforming your old furniture into something new and beautiful.

And speaking of beautiful things, why not take some time this weekend to give new life to an old piece? Put on some music while you work, and enjoy the process!

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