If you’ve ever made a mistake while gilding, you’ve likely needed to know how to remove gilding wax. If so, this is the post for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of removing gilding wax, as well as explore the pros and cons of using the wax in the first place. So, without further delay, join us as we delve further into the details. 

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How Do I Get Rid of Gilding Paste?

Removing gilding paste or wax isn’t as difficult as you might think. All you need are protective gloves, mineral spirits, a bucket, a soft cloth, and a bit of elbow grease. That’s it!

How To Remove Gilding Wax

How to Remove Gilding Wax From Furniture and Other Items

The following are step-by-step instructions for how to remove gilding wax:

  • Begin by grabbing your supplies. You’ll need a bucket, mineral spirits, protective gloves, and a soft cloth.
  • Place a bit of mineral spirits into the bucket. How much you’ll need will vary depending on the amount needed for the project, but you often need only a small amount.
  • The last step is to dip your soft cloth into the mixture and gently rub the surface. The gilding wax should begin to disappear as you buff, leaving behind nothing but the original surface with the gold wax completely removed.
  • Use this method to scrub away gild wax painted surfaces or edges to reveal the natural metal or wood beneath.

How to Remove Gilding Wax Under Top Coat

If you placed gilding wax under the top coat, don’t worry, it can still be easily removed. You’ll remove gilding wax under lacquer, clear wax, or top clear coat much the same way you’d remove it without. Using your mineral spirits and an old rag, gently buff away the top coat. With the top coat removed, you’ll also be able to scrub away the gilding wax. This quick and easy process returns your original piece to a blank slate so that you can try a different color or alternative gilding strategy if you so choose.

How Do You Soften Gilding Wax?

Gilding wax can be softened (or thinned out) by using mineral spirits, turpentine, or any kind of paint thinner. These make gilding waxes easier to remove and also can make them softer and easier to apply when you want a thinner coat.

Can I Paint Over Gilding Wax?

If you aren’t wanting to remove gilding wax completely, you may wonder if it’s safe to paint over it. The answer is yes, but with a few caveats. Know that it is important that you wait until the wax is fully dry before you begin painting. By painting over wet wax, you potentially mix colors, and the outcome won’t be the same.

What Is Gilding Wax?

Now that you know how to remove gilding wax, let’s talk a little more about its purpose. Gilding wax is a type of coating that comes in a variety of colors and types. In most cases, gilding wax can be applied easily with your fingers, though some may prefer to use a brush, Q tip, or sponge when applying it to various surfaces.

Gilding wax is a less intensive and more practical way to add a bit of glimmer to furniture, paper, ornate carvings, and more. You can even add paint thinner to this amazing stuff and use it to paint over wood, copper, and other surfaces. This wonderfully easy-to-use unique wax is perfect for adding a beautiful contrast to pieces without having to deal with the delicacy of traditional gold leaf.

Though it lends itself to a wonderfully elegant feel, pure gold leaf can sometimes be hard to manage, especially for newbies. This is because gold leaf easily blows away with a single breath and can acquire holes, streaks, and other flaws when handled incorrectly.

Is Gilding Wax Easy to Use?

Gilding wax is incredibly easy to use! With only a single coat on flat surfaces or those with texture, you can add stunning highlights to an already attractive piece. Moreover, you can create a thin gilding wax so that it becomes more like paint. This allows you to spread the wax over larger pieces of work to create unique and interesting designs in only a few swipes.

What Are the Cons of Gilding Wax?

You can apply gilding wax on a variety of surfaces and it will look great. However, the effect won’t be the same as it would be using gold leaf. Pure gold leaf lends a more authentic look to framework, furniture, and other items, though it is also much harder to apply. When using loose gold leaf, be sure to study up on techniques concerning how to apply it. This will make the process much easier and will yield stunning results.

How to Seal Furniture Transfer

Knowing how to apply and remove gilding wax is one thing, but using gold leaf transfer paper on furniture can yield a distinctive and elegant look to nearly any piece. It is absolutely crucial that you seal your transfer leaf once you’ve applied it to furniture.

To do so, you’ll simply need to seal your furniture with gold leaf transfer applied by using a water-based sealant. Note that using an oil-based sealant may cause the transfer to deteriorate.

How to Remove Gilding Wax: A Simple and Easy Technique!

All in all, removing gilding wax only takes a few supplies and a single simple technique to remove metallic highlights and give you a fresh surface to work with. By using only mineral spirits and a soft cloth, you can remove gilding wax on practically any surface. This is helpful not only when you make mistakes but also when you simply need a fresh start.

Remember that aside from removing gilding wax, you can also paint over it. Just remember that painting over gilding waxes will require you to wait until the gilded surface is completely dry before proceeding forward.

We hope this helps clear up the mystery surrounding how to remove gilding wax. See you next time!


What gilding wax brands are best?

Annie Sloan and Dixie Belle products are known for being high quality and versatile gilding wax options.

How do you apply gilding wax?

Gilding waxes can be applied using only a finger, but you can also use a brush, sponge, or other applicator if you wish.

How do you remove gilding wax from a wood table?

Mineral spirits have been shown not to have any negative effects on wood finish, so it can safely be used to remove gilding from wood furniture.

What colors does gilding wax come in?

Gilding waxes come in a variety of colors. These include gold gilding wax, silver gilding wax, green, blue, purple, and even copper.

Should you apply a top coat to gilding wax?

A top coat should not be applied to gilding wax. If you want to use a top coat, apply light coats of it before applying the wax guild.

What other ways can I add a splash of creativity to an otherwise boring piece?

Apart from using gilding wax, consider lightly sanding wood to create a distressed look. Even better, combine both gild wax and sandpaper distressing techniques to projects to emulate an antiquated look that will be vintage-inspired.

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