Furniture Makeovers

Why Fusion’s Bayberry Paint plus Espresso Wax is the Perfect Combination

Hello Friends,

Today is one of those days when I LOVE. MY. JOB!

Because today, we get to see what I did with one (notice — I said one) of my all-time favorite paints made for furniture.

Rethink the Piece

Do you remember the first time we saw Fusion Mineral Paint in action?  I took an outdated TV cabinet, divided it in half, and refinished the bottom. In case you missed it, you can click here to see the entire post.

TV cabinet makeover and reinvented as a kitchen cabinet | The Chelsea Project |

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Fusion Mineral Paint, but all projects and opinions are 100% my own.

Show the Love

Well this time, I’m sort of doing the opposite.  Because a huge empty wall in the dining room needed some long over-due love, I’m taking random pieces and refinishing them to work together as a unit.  And these pieces are unlikely partners, to be sure.  A formal vintage oil painting with an outdated frame (that’s a little big for the console) will marry up with an outdated farmhouse-style console table. 

Outdated vintage frame and console table before their makeovers | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

How to Refinish a Vintage Frame

To get the ball rolling, I started by refinishing the frame.  In case you missed that post, you can click here to see the entire refinishing process.  

Vintage frame is refinished to still look vintage | #sponsored Vintage Market & Design | The Chelsea Project |

Choose Your Color Weapon

With the frame completed, it was on to the console.

But I gotta tell ya, I really struggled with the color choice. 

I was considering Champlain (lower left), Bayberry (lower right), or a combination of both. 

But once I saw the colors on the piece sitting under the frame, it seemed like Bayberry was the best choice for two reasons.

One,  the colors in the painting needed to be dropped onto the console.  And two, the decor vibe with the rest of the house needed to be maintained.  I worried that Champlain could swing the space a little too light.

Champlain or Bayberry - Which color is better for this console? | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Did Somebody Say Prep?

To prep the piece, all I did was wipe it down to remove any dust or grime. It is an outdated console that was in perfect condition so there simply wasn’t anything to repair.  And since the wood was a little textural by design, I didn’t feel like I needed to sand or use Fusion’s gripper product.  I did, however, consider filling in the rough edges with wood filler because I thought it might make the piece look less farmhousey.  

Outdated Pottery Barn console awaiting a makeover | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Proceed with Eyes Wide Open

But quickly discounted the notion and opted to leave the rough edges. After one coat of Bayberry, two things were obvious.

One, the buffet needed more depth added to the color.

And two, the green color needed to be moved a little towards the sagey green in the painting.

And with this, more struggle. 

Which is the best way to make this happen?

Distress? Dry brush? Glaze? Combination of these?

Outdated console with one coat of Bayberry furniture paint | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

The Unlikely Savior

Given that Fusion paint cures to a rock hard finish and requires no sealer, I was not thrilled about adding anything to the paint or to the top of the painted surface.  

And then I was introduced to these waxes. These glorious, glorious waxes.

The front one is a clear coat (yes –even though it looks off-white) and the back one is the color I needed to add depth.

Finishing waxes | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

How I Used This Colored Wax

As it turns out, the fix for my little console-turned-buffet was super easy.

  • First, add the CLEAR wax to the piece.  I did this in sections, about 1/8th of the piece at a time.

  • I used a latex glove and rubbed the wax on with my hand, but it can also be applied with a brush.

  • I prefer applying wax with my hands because I like the color control I get by massaging the wax onto the wood.

  • While the clear wax was still wet, small amounts of the Espresso were applied over the clear wax and gently pushed into the nooks and crannies.

  • Then the section was slightly buffed to make sure that the Espresso would dry at the right color depth. 

  • If the color was too dark in places, I added more CLEAR wax and buffed to lift off the dark wax.

Bayberry paint plus Espresso wax | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

How applying wax to a Fusion finish differs from a chalky-type finish

Ordinarily, dark wax can be directly applied to a Fusion finish without using a clear wax undercoat.  This is because Fusion has a built-in topcoat that prevents the color of the wax from absorbing into the paint. The dark wax will actually sit on the Fusion topcoat so that clear wax can be used afterwards —like a magic eraser — to lift any excess dark wax away.

This process contrasts with the finish of a chalky-type paint. Because a chalky-type paint does not have a built-in topcoat, dark wax applied directly to the paint’s surface can be absorbed into the paint and cause the surface to muddy.  Therefore, if a clear wax is applied before the dark wax, the color of the paint is better preserved.

Then why did I undercoat with clear wax?

For this piece, I undercoated with clear wax because I wanted more color control in the nooks and crannies. I wanted to minimize the visual impact of the textured wood so I was sensitive to the amount of colored wax worked into the texture. So the nooks and crannies were filled with clear wax and then gently topped with a light, light layer of dark wax.

And I have to admit, the texture really was minimized by using this technique.  

Console painted with Bayberry and finished with Espresso wax | Before and after | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Aren’t all waxes created equally?

No, waxes are not created equally. Some are sealers, some are buffers, some carry emollients for wood, some add color. And the list goes on and on. The waxes I used here are from Homestead House, the company that makes Fusion Paint. They go on more like a thick gel and quickly dry to a matte finish that matches the finish of Fusion paint.

A wintery mix sits atop a console makeover | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Because of this, I could have added a bit of color in only a few places. This is interesting because sometimes all a piece needs is a slight touch of color here and there.

A neutral setting sits atop the buffet | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

It’s also good that these waxes (remember — they go on like a thick gel) will allow us to do this without interrupting the fabulous Fusion finish.

Bayberry paint by Fusion is combined with Espresso wax | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

So friends, I would suggest that this piece underwent a color change, but was not truly refinished. This point is made to encourage you to look at your own perfectly good, but outdated pieces with new eyes.

Fusion paint in Bayberry topped with Espresso wax | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

After all, if they fit in your space, why replace?  🙂


Old Dog — New Tricks

So, in the end, it looks like I have changed my mind about waxing a piece that has been painted using Fusion paint. Clearly, there are times when this is the perfect solution. In my case, I didn’t need a different color, I needed a different depth of color. And I also didn’t need a sealer, because Fusion paint cures to a hard, waterproof seal.

Did you know that Fusion has furniture waxes, too? | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

 So choosing to wax over the paint was the absolute best option for this piece.

Bayberry paint plus Espresso wax creates the perfect color | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Wouldn’t you agree?

For detailed information about how these waxes are made compared to other waxes, please visit this website.

For more information about these waxes, please visit the Homestead House website.

For more information about this collection of paints, please visit the Fusion Mineral Paint website.

Please note that these links are provided for your convenience. I am not an affiliate with either website and receive no compensation for any purchase you might make.

Fusion's Bayberry paint is combined with Homestead House Espresso wax in this console makeover | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

If you appreciate this makeover, I hope you will pin the idea for later…

Console makeover in Fusion's Bayberry paint plus Homestead House | #sponsored Fusion Mineral Paint | The Chelsea Project |

Two more outdated pieces that received a simple color change this year:

Click here to see the French Chest

Country French Chest Makeover with 3 different colors of chalk paint #sponsored | Pure and Original Furniture Paint |

Click here to see the Serpentine Chest

Serpentine chest refinished with Pure & Original Paint #sponsored |


  • Reply Janie Hayes November 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Can the wax only be purchased in Canada?

  • Reply Heather Northington November 24, 2016 at 5:39 am

    I am in love with this color! The wax did add a great depth and made your beautiful piece stand out even more. You have a lovely home, and each piece adds to that elegance. Thanks for sharing another great transformation!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 24, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Heather! I am so grateful to Fusion Mineral Paint and Homestead House. Their products made this update so easy.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 November 24, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    What a great makeover. The color sure updated the piece and it blends so nicely with the painting, Love the look.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Thanks Debra. You are always so kind and encouraging. Appreciate you so very much.

  • Reply Sue November 25, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    You have so many lovely pieces in your home and this one is now so warm and homey. I like the knobs, drawers and open shelves below. Your color is such a deep warm color and then how you did the waxes made it even better with more character. I hope to learn how to do this myself soon too.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 27, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Thanks Sue. It is super easy with these waxes. I loved the texture and open time. Just message me if you have any questions.

  • Reply Carolann November 27, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Oh my gosh! I adore that color Susie. What a truly stunning transformation. I adore Fusion too. I have to try that wax for my next project. Your table is stunning along with all your pieces too. What a wonderful inspiration! <3 <3 <3

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 27, 2016 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks Carolann. Fusion is great paint.

  • Reply melaniealexander November 29, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I love it!! Bayberry is a gorgeous color and the wax does bring out that perfect depth. You did a great job explaining the how’s of waxing Fusion also, and how that differs from chalk paint. And I love seeing all those other Fusion makeovers linked up!

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 5, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Thanks so much, Melanie! You’re the best. XOXO

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 December 27, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I love how the buffet turned out. I must add this paint to my paint bucket list. Your tutorial is so concise and clear. What a great job! Your color selection is the best.

    • Reply theChelseaProject December 28, 2016 at 9:05 am

      Thanks so much Debra! I truly do love the Fusion family of products. I have another piece planned using Fusion’s new black wax in January. I truly am looking forward to working with their wax again.

  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 December 27, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    I just realized I keep commenting on this post. That tells you I really love how it turned out.

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