How to Care for Painted Furniture

Repurposed Furniture

Once you have created or purchased a furniture piece finished using chalk or clay-based paint, maintaining its beauty and finish will be your priority. After all, you and your guests will be admiring this new addition to your home for years to come! 

Here are a few things you can do to care for your painted furniture and keep it looking its best.

Every furniture piece needs some TLC, even those protected under a sealant and durable wax. Follow these simple tips to keep your new piece of furniture looking its best for the next several years.

Is your piece a new, hand-painted antique or wooden furniture piece?

Treat your furniture piece gently and with extra care for the first four weeks after it is painted and waxed. You can use it, but the finish needs time to cure (reach maximum hardness).

How to clean painted or waxed wood:

Clean using a slightly damp cloth/chamois, then wipe the surface dry with a soft, clean cloth. For stubborn areas, use a small amount of gentle dishwashing detergent or clear wax. Afterward, be sure to wipe the surface with a soft, clean cloth. *Always remove hardware before polishing.

Gently Remove Stains on Painted or Waxed Furniture:

For serious problems or stains, try Odorless Mineral Spirits. Put a small amount of Mineral Spirits on a rag and rub the area to remove both the problem area and the wax. Next, wipe the area down with water and allow it to dry. After this, add a fresh coat of wax. Finally, wipe the surface with a soft, clean cloth.

Has your hand pained piece lost it’s shine?

After a few years, you may see that your piece can no longer be buffed to shine. That’s okay! When this happens, re-wax the surface.

How to Care for Painted Furniture_JenDorseystudio

How to Safely Move Your Furniture:

Use dollies to move your furniture. Sliding or dragging furniture along the floor can damage the legs and undercarriage of your piece as well as your floor finish. Protect both by keeping a set of dollies or furniture sliders on hand for moving larger pieces.



Help your lovingly painted furniture piece retains its quality and beauty by avoiding the following:

  • Aerosol, liquid, and oil polishes.  Because a full list of ingredients is rarely disclosed on commercial products, we prefer to avoid them altogether.
  • Extreme temperatures (i.e., hot coffee mugs and irons). Use a coaster for coffee mugs and other drinks. Never use hot tools on the surface of your furniture piece.
  • Water/liquid. Avoid spills and condensation from cold drinks. If a spill happens, be sure to wipe the area dry immediately.
  • Humidity. Excess humidity can cause your wood furniture pieces to swell and crack (ouch!) Since wood absorbs moisture, humid areas are not ideal for wood pieces.
  • Alcohols. Any product containing alcohol should be kept far away from chalk or clay-based finishes and waxes. Alcohol will quickly degrade chalk-based paints and strip wax finishes. Never use rubbing alcohol to remove stains.
  • Acidic Products. Like products containing alcohol, acidic products can quickly eat through wax, chalk, and clay. Ammonia, vinegar, and orange or lemon-based cleaning products are acidic in nature and can ruin your furniture piece, even if they’re only used once.
  • Essential Oils. Essential oils can eat away the surface of any wood furniture piece. If you’re using a diffuser, apply the oils before you place the diffuser on the surface of your furniture, and always place a soft cloth under the diffuser to avoid accidental water or oil leaks.

There you have it! Our top tips for preserving your hand-painted or waxed furniture’s finish. We hope you found this post helpful.

Please share with your friends – they will undoubtedly appreciate the heads up. And as always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need some help getting started on protecting your beautiful furniture pieces.

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