Friday, October 18, 2013

Amazin' Glazin'

My other title was going to be "Amazing Glaze" the song "Amazing Grace" but I wasn't sure anyone would get that.

It should be no surprise that my hobbies differ than most gals.  Shopping does not appeal to me (ask anyone that truly knows me), getting my hair done is close to torture - my hairstylist friend can confirm that with the one haircut I get every 8 months, and getting my nails done is completely out of the question unless I happen to be getting married.

So what does get me excited?  More than budgeting, more than going for coffee and certainly more than organizing...glazing wood.  If I have a project that has reached the glazing phase, I become positively giddy.  Adding just a touch of glaze to a plain old painted project just makes it feel a little more "worn in".  Plus, it is super easy and it's impossible to screw up because if you don't like it, just wipe it off!

Here are just a few of the things in our house that I've already attacked.  No piece of wood is safe in our house.  

I'll walk you through this simple process.  Begin by prepping the piece you will be working with.  This is a box I built.  One coat of primer and two coats of antique white later, this is what it looked like.  

Here's an important tip: Glaze can look a little harsh over plain white paint.  Since glaze is usually brown, it just translates better on top of a cream colored base.  This is especially important to know if you have white kitchen cabinets.  Glazed kitchen cabinets are usually an off white of some sort.  When we did ours, we chose a very dark ivory.  For this particular project, I didn't have any cream colored paint, so I mixed some light brown with some white until I achieved the tone I was looking for.  The white needed to be dulled down just a little bit.

If you want your piece to look a little "worn", it is best to sand it before applying glaze.  Using a sanding sponge, rub as much of the existing paint off as you prefer.  Don't worry if you sand too much, you can always repaint it and start over.

Now that we've sanded a little off, it's time to add a little glaze to age it a bit.  Glaze simply extends the drying time of paint, giving you time to work with it before it dries.  I bought this gallon of clear glaze a few years ago for about $20 bucks and have used it on a bajillion projects (that is not an overestimate).

You simply mix a little of this glaze with any color of paint and stir it together.  The ratio of paint to glaze really depends on what you prefer.  Mess around with it in different strengths until you get the look you are going for.  I had some really dark chocolate brown for my son's room and have found that if I mix that with the glaze, it makes a perfect antiquing color over almost any base coat color.

So I took my mix of chocolate brown paint and glaze and spread it all over the top of my piece.  Doesn't have to look good, just slop it on.

As soon as you've got a section covered, in this case the whole piece, immediately wipe it off with a dry paper towel or cloth.  Keep wiping it off until you get the finish/color you are happy with.  I ALWAYS have a wet paper towel on hand so if it doesn't look good, the wet paper towel will remove all of the glaze.

Here is what it looks like after the excess glaze has been removed.  The glaze dries very quickly so if you just wait a couple minutes, you can flip it over and do the other side.

Much like my mind and sense of humor, I wanted this piece to be a little "dirtier".  I grabbed my trustee sidekick, Martha Stewart Coffee Glaze to put in the little divots and cracks to make them pop out even more.

This one dries super quick and is really dark, so I usually end up using my damp paper towel to wipe some of the excess off.

The next two photos are a nice example of this coffee glaze.  The first one just has my chocolate brown glaze, the second one has the additional coat of Martha Stewart Coffee Glaze applied.  See how it picks up the imperfections a little bit better?

Just for fun, I gave it a quick sand after finishing all the glazing to make it look a little more imperfect.  And the finished product:

If you stain the piece a dark color first, then paint it with your color of choice, skipping the primer step, you will get an effect called a "rub though" which looks amazing.



As a side note - this glazing, especially for smaller pieces, is fast and easy.  I did this entire thing in less than 15 minutes in my business attire that I wore to work.  


  1. Thanks so much for running through this. I'm really traumatized by glazing, but you make it look so easy I'm going to give it a try.

  2. So very pretty! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Anything Blue Friday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog! Here is the link to this week's party. Hope to see you again at the little blue soiree! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse