How To Tint Clear Wax With Paint

I love words and the word serendipity is one of my favorites. I love saying it and I love its meaning: pleasant surprise.

I also love when sweet serendipity sprinkles me with goodness like it did the day I was driving down the road, stopped at a stop sign, and looked up just in time to see a man hauling this awesome nightstand to the curb. Right in front of me.

nightstand_beforeI rolled down my window and asked if he was getting rid of it.

“Do you want it?” he asked.

Heck yeah, I wanted it! So I popped open my trunk, he put the nightstand inside and away I went.

Sweet Serendipity!

That was the beginning of a colorful journey for this little nightstand. After hanging out in my garage for a few months, I hauled it out to our All Things New Again booth at the Lucketts Spring Market in May to use for demonstrating American Paint Company all-natural clay chalk and mineral paints.

(Here it is in the photo with Mom and me!)

Mom and me

I did not sand or strip or prime the nightstand first. Oh no! I just wiped off the cobwebs with a Clorox wipe and starting painting it a pretty blue called Blue Jeans.

Then I ran into a little problem … Because I didn’t have to do much prep work and because the paint goes on so nicely and because it sticks to just about everything in one or two coats, I finished painting that little nightstand pretty quickly.

That’s when I got bored and opened up another can of paint.

Keep in mind we were out in a field in the middle of Lucketts so the paint I had in my box was the paint I had. I didn’t have a selection of more than 40 beautiful American Paint Company colors to choose from.

I had Coral Reef in my box and I had Waistcoat, a lime green.

So I went with them … both. Right on top of the blue.


[I also did not have a screwdriver out in that field so I could not remove the hardware. I did something I never ever ever do: I just painted right over the handles. When you are painting out in a muddy field, anything goes!]

This crazy colorful nightstand got a lot of looks from people passing by and I answered a lot of questions about my favorite paint in the world.

But then I had another problem.


Who in the world would want to buy a crazy colorful nightstand like this?

I had one can of paint left in my box: Navajo White. I painted white over the entire thing, then distressed to reveal the colors underneath. Since we were out in the field with no water nearby, I used baby wipes to distress this piece—an awesome tip I learned from the American Paint Company Fans — Q&A and Project Sharing page on Facebook.

I really liked how the colors came through the white and blended together. I liked how bits of the original dark wood peeked through here and there. But I didn’t like the overall look of the nightstand. To me, it looked like somebody had used white primer to cover up a bunch of graffiti on a wall.

It looked unfinished.

nightstand_side view colorsI decided it needed more color, but just a little bit more. I tinted American Paint Company’s Clear Wax with a few drops of Blue Jeans to create a colored wax, which sealed the piece and gave it a pretty colorwash all in one easy step.

Our new DIY Paint Video: How To Tint Clear Wax shows you exactly how to do it. Check it out:

The wax looked really blue when I applied it as you can see in the video, but it lightens up as it dries leaving you with a much more subtle color wash than what it looks like when you first brush it on. If you want more color, you can always wax it again, but I didn’t. I thought the blue wax cured nicely and again I liked the up-close spots, but overall the piece still didn’t look finished to me. I realized it lacked a focal point—It just had so much color all over the place that you didn’t know where to look first.

I came back with more Blue Jeans and painted the top solid blue. That was just what this colorful little nightstand needed. Now it looks finished to me and the blue top anchors the piece holding all those pretty colors together.

I finished by sealing the top with Clear Wax—just plain clear wax this time.

Here’s the finished piece.

I just know there is someone out there who will say, “Sweet Serendipity! I love this little nightstand and have to take it home with me!”

~ Courtney


nightstand_closeup edge

nightstand_closeup hardware2


nightstand_closeup bottom


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