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Tips & Tricks for Applying Glaze to Furniture

February 28, 2017

  1. Jill says:

    I’ve never used glaze before (or painted furniture for that mater) – can you use glaze over wood furniture that has original stain/varnish?

    • Missy says:

      Hi Jill! Yes, you can apply a glaze over original stain/varnish. If you’ve never applied it before, I’d practice on an old cabinet door or something else first so you can get the hang of it before you tackle your piece.

  2. Paula says:

    I have a question……..what sort of paint do you use before the glazing? Latex? chalk?, etc…….If chalk paint, would you sand it before you apply the glaze or not sand at all? I’m thinking that latex paints are best……and what finish? flat, satin, etc…..? thanks, ph

    • Missy says:

      Hi Paula, let me see if I can answer these questions for you. Question 1: I use paints specifically formulated for use on furniture. I use chalk paint, milk paint, mineral, ceramic, acrylic (such as General Finishes), and alkyd (such as Benjamin Moore Advance or Sherwin Williams ProClassic). Other than making my own chalk paint using flat latex, I do not use latex paint on furniture. 2: If you are using chalk paint you will want to sand it and distress before you glazed. Here’s the process after you’ve painted- sand and distress to your liking, wipe it down, apply a layer of top coat, let dry, apply your glaze and wipe off to your liking, let dry, and then finish it off with another layer of top coat to seal it in. Hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Jo McGee says:

    Quick question for you. I am about ready to glaze my bathroom vanity cupboards, chalk paint base. Can I clear wax and then glaze or do I need a topcoat as you mention rather than wax. Thanks, hope you read this – never glazed over wax before but love the finish it gives.

    • Missy says:

      Hey there! If you are using a glaze, you’ll need to top coat first. If you are wanting to wax, I’d skip the glaze and use a colored wax instead. You’ll put on a layer of clear wax and buff it in, then use a dark, black, or white wax over that in the corners and areas you were wanting to glaze. It’ll give you the same effect. Good luck on your project!

  4. Kathy says:

    I love gf products as well. Especially the milk pain and glaze. I found using gf extendor makes a huge difference on the open time. No more sticky glaze before I can get it off! It makes the glaze so much more forgiving!

  5. Christi says:

    Hello. Do you think i can use glaze to create wood grain by using the specific tool?

    • Missy says:

      That’s an interesting question, Christi. I’ve never done it myself but I have seen where other people have. You’ll need a rocking tool or a wood grain roller. I think the roller might be easiest to practice with. If you do it, I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  6. Marcia says:

    Newly here! I painted a piece, not a curvy one. Flat, the have been trying to glaze on top. Looks like you say to 1st. Put a coat of clear shellac BEFORE I glaze. Is that right?

    • Missy says:

      Hi Marcia,
      I like to put a coat of clear shellac or other poly top coat on first. This helps the glaze slide across the surface and keeps it from going muddy. I don’t like heavy glaze, I prefer it as an accent.

  7. Ann Millhollen says:

    I glazed without properly testing and hate the result. I used valspar mixing glaze over latex paint. The paint color I mixed with the glaze did not give the desired effect. I’m a newbie so decided to see what it looked like dry. Still hate it. Can I paint over this now or have I ruined it forever? Thank you.

    • Missy says:

      I’m sorry you had a bad experience! I’ve never used valspar mixing glaze, so I don’t have any tips to offer there. If you hate it, yes, you can absolutely paint over. That’s the wonderful thing about paint. Good luck!

  8. Brittany says:

    I’m in the process of priming an Armoire and my plan is to use a white satin paint and a smoky glaze to finish it off. My concern is the top coat. Which would you suggest using over a white base? I’ve heard it can start yellowing over time and that would be HORRIBLE. Wonderful tutorial by the way!

    • Missy says:

      Hi Brittany! That is a good question and I’m afraid I don’t have a perfect answer. Unfortunately, all white paint will yellow over time at least to some degree. It’s just the nature of paint. General Finishes is working on a white paint/poly combination that is supposed to resist yellowing, but from what I’ve read it is still a few months out. My suggestion is to use high-quality paint and topcoat. In my experience, the cheap it is the faster it yellows. When I’m doing plain white pieces, I like to mix a little white paint into the topcoat on my first layer. I let that dry and then do my additional layers of clear. I’ve found that to help the yellowing, but I don’t know how that would affect your smoky glaze. Wish I had a better answer for you!!

  9. Patricia says:

    Thank you for your website! My question is I am trying to glaze an open shelf unit and getting the glaze to look right in all the 90 degree angles of walls and shelves seems impossible. All these inside corners come out blotchy or no glaze at all after trying to wipe it to the edge. Any tips?

    • Missy says:

      Hey there! Sorry to get back to you so late! I lost this comment in spam. This is a tough one. Angles, trim, and connecting parts can be difficult. When I’m working on frustrating parts like that, I like to use a clean, sharp, angled brush with a very light hand. Put the brush into the angle and then pull outward in the first angle, put the brush back in the angle and pull outward the opposite angle. Dang! I wish I could show you with my hands! Haha! Also, I find it’s easier to start light and build up rather than going heavy and then trying to take away. I hope that helps. Best of luck on your shelves!

  10. Evan Timmons says:

    Cutest idea ever! I am a big fan of your project and I love to try out this soon for my furniture as well. It would be a great experience like you. Thanks a lot for sharing this with us.

  11. Maria says:

    Love it! How you get the blue color? Please i need all the steep , it really love me

  12. Michelle B says:

    Can you please tell me if the glaze people use on ceramics the same as furniture glaze?

    I have the opportunity to buy a huge lot of glaze but the person selling deals in ceramics.

    I would hate to buy all of it and not be able to use it. Thank you so much for your help

    • Missy says:

      Hi Michelle. To my knowledge, ceramic glaze and furniture glaze are two different things. The furniture glazes I like are waterbased. Ceramic glazes are usually made from silica and minerals.

  13. Susie says:

    Thanks for your tips

  14. Excellent tips! You are right about applying glaze, it does not come naturally to everybody and it involves lots of practice to master it but once done help save lots of money and you get an additional hobby.

  15. Mona says:

    I’m in a bind and I’m gonna ask for help.
    I did a wooden ceiling for a patio, the glaze I used is called Glaze& Seal Wet Look Green concrete & masonery Laquer..
    Now the problem is that some areas are flaky what do I do to have it blend in without looking spotty and dried up?
    I tried water, acetone ammonia purple power cleaner nothing seems to clean it up 100% without removing the glaze itself or making it look more spotty and flaky when dry.
    What do you recommend help

    • Missy says:

      Hi there! I looked up the product you mentioned and I don’t believe it’s meant for wood. You’ll probably want to sand it down and seal it with a water-resistant, outdoor deck sealer. Good luck with your project!

  16. Gena says:

    I want to use Benjamin Moore Advance to get the color I want, then use General Finishes glaze on that. Will that work? And I have GF Flat-out Flat—will that work as the sealant before the glaze? With Advance, do I need that sealant layer? (I know I need to topcoat after the glaze.)

    • Missy says:

      Hi Gena! Thanks for stopping by! So, I love BM Advance for pieces that I want a clean, modern look for. Because it is a cabinet paint that dries hard, I generally don’t use a sealer on it, I just follow dry time instructions to the letter and then keep some for touch ups. It is an alkyd paint so covering it with poly might make it crackle or craze. Your best bet would be to ask the guys at your local Ben Moore dealer what they would suggest. I’d hate to tell you what I’d do and then have all your hard work be ruined!

  17. Jennifer Basham says:

    Hi! What sealer do you recommend after glaze has dried and how long should I wait for it to dry/cure before sealing? I need the most durable and water proof/resistent sealer possible as it is for the top of my bathroom vanity! Thanks so much! Love your work!

    • Missy says:

      Hmmm, that’s a different beast. My favorite topcoat is linked in the post, listed under Supplies. Click on top coat and it’ll take you to General Finishes High Performance. I LOVE that stuff. That being said, I don’t think they would recommend using it on a vanity top. You could try their Arm R Seal or a marine varnish? If I were you, I’d go to your local paint store and asked what they would suggest for that specific application. They might have something perfect for it! As for dry time, I’m a stickler for following manufacturers directions on the can. So, when in doubt do that. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with your project.

  18. Tracy Adams says:

    Hi Missy,
    Many thanks for this very valuable & detailed information on glazing. I have a quick question: do you top coat prior to glazing your piece of furniture as well as after glazing? Also, are you able to sand after glazing if you get some uneven glazing spots?

    • Missy says:

      Hey there! Yes, I do a shellac or top coat on the piece before and after glazing. If you want to check out the first bullet point under Tips & Tricks in the post, it’ll explain why I add that extra step before. As for your second question, I apply in small sections and wipe off as I go. You could try sanding after but it might change the look, soften things. I’ve never done it that way, but give it a shot on a scrap board and see what happens. Good luck!

  19. Alexandra says:

    Thanks so much for your really informative post! I’m working on a coffee table and using BM paint and Rustoleum’s Decorative Glaze to create a a faux wood grain effect, what some call the Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware finish (thanks to YouTuber Black Sheep House’s excellent tutorial!). It creates a very different effect (more along the lines of Organic Modern style rather than the beautiful Traditional/Antique work you create).
    I have one question and one fyi comment:
    1. I found your blog because I was searching for a way to thin out Rustoleum’s Java Brown glaze—have you ever tried thinning this product? I’m going to give it a shot today, using water. Fortunately I have some wood to practice trying this out on, but you seemed knowledgeable about glazes so I was hoping for any additional tips/tricks you didn’t include regarding working with thinned glaze. Does the work and/or dry time change? Any issues sealing it with a water-based poly afterward (I have the GF High Performance Topcoat, the water-based poly).
    2. This is my first time working with a glaze, so I have no basis for comparison, but I think Rustoleum’s glazes (or maybe it’s just the Java Brown color, though that would be weird) have a longer work time before they start to get tacky and dry down. I haven’t really had any issue with work time, which also surprised guy who helped me at the paint store (notably, I didn’t purchase the Rustoleum product there). Maybe it’s because we’re creating such different effects, so I don’t need to wipe of as much product, and therefore don’t notice it drying? Anyway, just thought you might find that fact interesting since this is your schtick!
    Thanks again for the post, hope to hear your thoughts on all of this (sorry the comment is so long!)

    • Missy says:

      Hey there! I have never used Rustoleum’s glaze so I’m afraid I can’t really help you there. I’m sorry! In my experience, glazes don’t have a very long work time but maybe I’m doing it in a weird way? You never know with me! I’m kind of a trial and error kind of gal! I just looked up the Rustoleum glaze and it says it has good workability, so that’s cool! I’ve never thinned a glaze and on Rustoleum’s fact sheet is says thinning is not necessary, so I really don’t know there. Anyway, sounds like a fun product! Good luck on your project! Have fun!

  20. Colleen Villari says:

    Hi. I have someone replicating a cupboard from the 1930s. the paint is a pale whitish yellow. I’m trying yo create a white that has yellowed to it looks like a pale ivory. I hate a flat color look. I want it to look authenticly old. what kind of paint and glaze would I use? I’m thinking the paint on the original was oil based? not sure what was used in the 30s. thank you

    • Missy says:

      Ooh, that’s a good question. The easiest route would be to color match your cupboard at a paint store. It probably wont be exact, but it will be close. I’d go with a paint specific for cabinets/furniture, and then you can choose the sheen like eggshell or satin. I like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams cabinet paints. If you want to go the furniture paint way, you could try to match a color from your favorite furniture paint company. Or try a white with a brown glaze on top. Glaze can be super finicky though, so there is no guarantee you’d get a color match. I’d start super light on the glaze and wipe off a lot, adding more over time if you like the direction its going. Good luck!

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