I discovered glazes about ten years ago when I decided to tackle my first painting job ever: my kitchen cabinets! Yes, it was an ambitious move, but also a move that made me fall in love with paints/glazes and their transforming powers. This very project is what got everything moving toward Knack becoming what it is today! I learned so much with those first glaze applications. There were moments of total frustration when I wanted it to be smoother, and there were moments of triumph as I figured out how to work the glaze in order to get the look I was going for. Today on Before & After Basics, I will compile all of those trials and errors for you so that your next glazing project will be perfect! — Barb
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
- painted piece of furniture
- rags (lots of them!)
- drop cloth
- paintbrush/foam roller
- softening brush
- sanding sponge
- water-based polyurethane
1. Glazing works best on semi-gloss or low-luster acrylic or latex paint surfaces. Flat paints do not take glaze well, so avoid the flat paints! There are many different glazes available on the market that you can take advantage of, or you can mix your own glazes. I am very partial to Ralph Lauren’s Tobacco Glaze, and it is my “go to” when using glaze. There needs to be at least one coat of finish on the surface to be glazed, and you will want to have your piece sanded so that the glaze can get into those areas and add definition and age.
2. Apply the glaze with a brush, roller or rag. With my kitchen cabinets being large, flat surfaces, I chose to roll the glaze on with a foam roller, but if you are working on chairs or smaller piece of furniture with lots of detail, it would be best to use a brush/rag for application in order to get into all of the nooks and crannies. Glaze dries pretty quickly as I found out, so you have to work fast! It is recommended that you work in 2-foot sections at a time, but part of the frustration for me in working with a large surface (that had no detail of its own) was that it left lines where my sections were, and I would end up sanding everything down and trying again! So, after many tries, I ended up rolling it on the entire part of the cabinet that I was working on, and it went much smoother. I created my own detail where there was none!
3. Once you have the glaze rolled or brushed on, you have roughly 20 minutes to work that area. I found that a combination of wiping it with a damp rag and using a softening brush to blend out any hard lines worked the best. The softening brush became my best friend, and once I discovered its greatness, my project took on a whole new level of “I can do this thing!” This little brush is a secret weapon for glazing!
4. Once the first layer of glaze is dry, you can go back and repeat the application for a deeper effect; it is totally up to you as to what look you are going for. In the end, if you stand back and look at your glazing job and feel like you were a little heavy or uneven in a certain area, take a sanding sponge and lightly blend that area. You want it to be exactly as you like it before you apply the finish.
5. Apply at least two coats of water-based poly in order to protect your surface. You may or may not choose to do this depending on the piece you are glazing, but I highly recommend sealing it if it is going to get lots of wear and tear. Make sure that you use water-based polyurethane over water-based glazes and oil-based over oil glazes for consistency. I always use water-based products, but just wanted to put that out there!
Just remember that there are no “mistakes,” only opportunities to learn and master new techniques! Have fun with it, and enjoy the warmth and age that glaze adds to your painted masterpieces.