Glazing Furniture FAQs

Dec 2nd, 2010

I have had numerous contacts about glaze, so I thought it might be nice to pass the information on to all of you. The crazy thing that I have noticed about buying glaze is that the people at Lowes and Home Depot can sometimes cause confusion when it comes to this product. I’m sorry about that, and I’m sorry if you have been frustrated in your search to find the right product.

Here are my top 10 tips for glaze:
1. Do NOT buy a gallon. I glaze furniture a LOT and believe me, you do not need a gallon. In fact, I don’t even need a gallon. I have used about 1/4 of a gallon combined between all my projects and countless friends who have borrowed my glaze.

2. The brands of glaze that I have seen people find are: Valspar (at Lowes) and Behr Antiquing glaze (at Home Depot). I have Ralph Lauren Faux glaze, but some report it impossible to find. (If you have found another brand that I have not listed, please let me know so that I can add it to the list).
 
3. Depending on the size of your project, I would suggest to buy the smallest container of glaze that you can. I know that Valspar has a size that costs around $7.00. For most projects, this would be plenty.

4. Yes, it needs to be tinted. Again, I wish I knew why Lowes and Home Depot employees are confused at this, but if you cannot buy it with a tint in it, you will need to tint it yourself. I simply add black paint to mine until it is as dark as I want it. If you want it brown, simply add brown paint instead of black.

5. Can you glaze something a light color? For example, if you paint something black, could you glaze it white? Honestly, I have never tried this. But in theory I guess you could. I’d love to see the finished product if anyone has done this.

6. You need to rinse out your cloth a lot during the glazing process. In fact, I even switch cloths for a fresh one quite often. If you notice that your glaze is not rubbing off and it is leaving a film on your furniture, then you need a new cloth.

7. How long do you leave the glaze on before wiping it off? For me, this is an instant thing. I like for the glaze to stay in the cracks and crevices of the piece, but be wiped pretty clean on the rest. So, I brush it on with a paint brush, and then wipe it off.

8. If your furniture does not have cracks and crevices for the glaze to go into, glazing may not be the best choice for your furniture refinishing project. A few of you have contacted me saying that the glaze has not made much of a difference on your project. This is because the technique of glazing works best when making details pop out of intricate furniture. If the furniture lacks that character to begin with, the glaze would simply make the paint look darker and a little weathered.

9. If your glaze goes on too dark for your liking, get a clean, wet cloth and wipe it off. Most of the glaze will wipe completely off, and you can start over with less glaze.

10. Could I use regular paint to create the same look? No. I have tried it, and so have countless readers. The paint does not rub off like the glaze does.

Here are a few pictures of projects I have glazed:

I have had the chance to read Altar’d’s newest ebook on decorative finishes. I would never recommend something that I have not read completely myself to my readers. This ebook is very well written and includes some GREAT tips on adding decorative finishes to furniture projects. Check it out by clicking the image below.

If you purchase the ebook, I will get a portion of the product sale. I would not endorse something that I don’t think is great, but I wanted to keep it real. I get a lot of e-mails about how to paint furniture, and this book is written by professionals who paint furniture everyday.

Comments

  1. THanks so much!

  2. Great post! I have a technique on my blog on how to glaze a flat surface….
    http://vintagerevivals.blogspot.com/2010/11/awesome-fied-desk-and-mirrors.html but I totally agree that the more intricate the better!!

    Love your guts lady!
    mandi

  3. yes! when i asked for some at my HD they looked at me like i had a third head! I ended up with varnish. it worked ok

  4. I have actually glazed with a light color. I did a sage green desk and glazed it with an off white glaze. It gave it a depth that wasn't there before. Made it look like it had been out in the sun.
    I also did black candlesticks and a black frame that was too harsh in my country cottage cream living room. It knocked down the color a lot and made the details really pop. I had picks but can't find them!

  5. Great site! I posted about the fabulous yellow side tables on my blog recently…http://carolinesimas.blogspot.com/2010/11/love-of-yellow.html
    Caroline
    http://www.multipleblessings.net

  6. great post! thanks so much for all this info.
    gail

  7. Thanks for the tips….Ralph Lauren paint was distributed by Gliddon (sold at HD) but they no longer do so as Martha replaced Ralph….they do still carry some of the Ralph products but not what they used too!

    P.S. I love all the furniture you've done they look awesome.

  8. Okay so I used the Lowes antiquing glaze, but I didn't get it as black as I wanted, so I need to add black paint to it? Is that what your post means? I never even thought to use a paint brush, good tip on that, I will have to go back and do it again. lol

    Here's what I faux finished
    http://theobstinantfamily.blogspot.com/2010/11/refinished-dresser-droors.html

  9. These are adorable!!!! LOVE the different colored chairs!

  10. Thank you so much! Glaze confuses the heck out of me. I've bought so much of it but never know what to do w/ it. And you are right, the HD and Lowe's guys don't either.

  11. Brooke! My hubs and I glazed with white-tinted glaze!! Check it out here! http://www.sawdustandembryos.com/2010/11/best-lunch-break.html

  12. I have had some success with dry bushing when I'm out of glaze. Recently I did some small frames and it looks comparable to some of your stuff. But the color goes on in reverse. I painted everything a dark blue then dry brushed a turquoise on top. The dark blue is in the recesses. Anyway, it's a bit different (and takes longer and is harder) than glazing but gave some nice dimension.

  13. I bought my ralph lauren glaze at the beginning of the summer. The guy at home depot told me that that they were discontinuing it so he didn't have the exact glaze colors or what tint to put in so he just did the best he could. I guess I found it just in time!

  14. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says:

    The Obstinant Family,
    Yes, if it isn't as black as you wanted, add black latex paint into the glaze to make it darker.

  15. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    I use white glaze all the time and write about it regularly to encourage people to give it a try. Not on black of course, but on colors where you want to keep a nice soft look. I buy the Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze and just add a bit of whatever color paint I want to create the perfect glaze! Be brave – glaze on!

  16. These are fabulous projects! And I'm loving the table and chairs SO much!

  17. What kind of paint do you add to tint the glaze? Could you add craft paint? Thanks for all the great tips!!!

  18. I've used the Valspar brand on most all of my projects and love it. I've even helped the workers at HD know what to do with the RL glaze. They didn't know what colors to tint it with at all- funny that it's such a mystery product. :)

    I was also going to add that there's a glazing medium you can get at Michael's in the oil painting section. I use that and then mix it with acrylic paints and it works great. (I've done pink and red glaze that way.)

    Thanks for the good early-morning reads! My girls are quite the rotten sleepers the last few weeks. :)

  19. I appreciate the tutorial on glaze. Like others, I've tried just using watered down paint and ended up having to redo everything. Eventually I got it to work but just going with a real glaze would have been easier.
    I'm currently giving away an professionally painted Santa portrait on my site. I'd love you to join.
    April from HomeHinges.com

  20. Thanks! A guy at Home Depot freaked me out. He made it sound all complicated like I needed to go to the paint store and have them mix glaze for me. So, I didn't try it, thinking it was too advanced for me.

  21. Brooke @ www.allthingsthrifty.com says:

    Regina,
    Normally I use regular latex paint from the gallon (because I have a lot on hand), but I have used craft paint before. :)

  22. Lindsay G says:

    Hi Brooke! I have to say first that I love your site and style. I have finished many projects over the past 6 months thanks in part to inspiration I got here. I was also wondering if you could glaze with a lighter color, so I did actually try it. My mom wanted a black TV stand but still wanted the details to pop like glazing does. I painted it black then glazed it in a peanut butter brown color and I think it looks awesome! I still need to take some "after" pics and I will send them to you when I get them.

  23. One more question, Brooke: How do you get the glaze to stay on the EDGES of your furniture? Like the table and chairs? So you sand first before you glaze? I just finished a table (I copied yours :)) and I couldn't quite get the same look as yours. What do I need to do? Thanks!

    ~ Allison

  24. I mean, DO you sand first….

    :)

  25. So I did some end tables the antique white (Krylon) and then did a brown glaze (Behr) over them. Green starting popping up on some sections. Like a LIME green. Any thoughts? Some parts are just fine others not so much.

  26. THANK YOU!!! I desperately NEEDED THIS!

  27. Is there glaze available in a spray paint can? I'm a bit confused. I'm planning on spray painting a dresser. then giving it the distress look afterward with steel wool. I guess this is two separate ways of refurnishing old furniture.

  28. I have the Valspar brand so if I add brown paint to it will it turn brown since it is so black?

  29. I glazed my entire kitchen using the Valspar and I love… how it turned out.

  30. LOVE the table with the different colored chairs. I may have to steal that idea someday for my own dining table and chairs. :)

  31. Totally right about lowes. The guy sent me to the stains. I ended up goin back to cabinets and asking a girl back there to help me find a glaze for cabinets she took me right to the valspar glaze. I'm excited to see how my cabinets turn out :0)

  32. On the blue chair, you said you did a couple of coats to get a deeper color on the glaze. I was wondering how much time you need to allow for drying in between coats?

  33. So I have an ugly old dresser that I want to refinish. Do I sand it first or leave all the dings and stuff. Then can I paint it a different color and then glaze. You're right about the home depot. They looked at me like I was nuts. :)

  34. I am following your FAQ on glazing my first piece of furniture. I went to Lowe's today for the Valspar antique glaze and they only had it already tinted with an asphalt color. (grayish) When I talked to the paint guy, he said that was the only tint available. Question – do I still tint it black – which is what I was wanting – or is there a clear glaze available online to tint with black latex paint. Sorry for the confused newbie question!

    Thanks

  35. Sarah Beth says:

    Thank you for your tips. I went to Home Depot last night and they SWORE they did not have the product I needed. Also, Lowes said the same thing. I wanted to pull my hair out but you have helped a lot! I love your projects!

  36. @RD Shugart

    Ugh. So frustrating! I would at least have them tint it black for you and I have never ordered glaze online but I know the above brands all work well. I'm sorry you couldn't find what you wanted… Hope this helps!

  37. I very recently glazed a piece lighter for my sister. It was a side table, painted black, then we did what I call a "dirty glaze" over the whole thing. Lightened up the piece a bit, plus it left a pretty shimmer over the whole thing. Not to mention the silver in the details. Came out gorgeous!

  38. love your furniture! I have been wanting to glaze something for awhile, but I wasn't brave enough. Your detailed instructions gave me the courage to try it out and I can't believe the difference it makes! Yay. So happy!

  39. Do you know how long glaze lasts? I have some that is probably a few years old when I was doing this type of work more often. LOVE the look of your furniture and I'm so happy I stumbled upon your page here. FYI.. it was via a pintrest pin.

  40. So did you answer any of these posts? I want to see the answers. :( Okay, I googled glazing flat surfaces and your post won! But, nothing about flat surface. I want the look you have on that yellow piece at the end. I don't glaze, but have some. I want to do a dresser in yellow but dark over it and I'm nervous about the top and sides that are completely flat. You did flat surfaces on the dresser tops/end tables, what did you do? Thanks!
    http://junkparlor.blogspot.com

  41. @Brooke

    You use the same exact technique for the top as you do the rest of the piece. You add and wipe until you achieve the look you are going for! Super easy!! Then, when you do get the look you want, just leave it to dry!

    Take a look at this previous post The Pink Desk

    Good luck!

  42. Does it matter what type of paint you glaze OVER? I am on a chalk paint kick right now, but not sure if you can glaze over the chalk paint.. or the wax? I don’t want to buy dark wax so i want to black glaze. Please answer this. I can’t find this info anywhere online

    • Brandi that is an excellent question and I wish I had an answer for you! But I have never glazed over chalk paint. If you try it, please report back!! I want to know the answer too.

    • You sure can glaze over chalk paint, it does soak in more. I just work in smaller sections. I just did my kitchen cabinets in paris grey and did a black glaze and i love them.

  43. marissa says:

    Can you glaze over a latex enamel paint? It’s left over from my kitchen accent wall and I am wanting to paint and glaze a door and hang it to look like a barn door in my basement. Will the glaze work over that kind of paint?

    • Yep it sure will! As long as the sheen is satin or semi-gloss it will. If it is eggshell or flat, the glaze will soak into the paint instead of wipe off. I hope that makes sense. Good luck!!

  44. Brooke,
    Thanks for all the info! I couldn’t get any info at the local big-box store concerning my project. My husband has a cherry entertainment center that I want to repurpose for storage in our home office. It is a beautiful piece that I didn’t want to wind up on Craig’s List! I have used black enamel paint to distress an old gateleg table that will be used as a writing table in the room. Can I use a tinted black glaze directly on the cherry furniture to tone down the red in the entertainment center? No one has been able to answer this question. Help, please! Thank you

    • Yes! You betcha you can. I’ve seen it done many times on furniture just to tweak the color just a bit. I’ve never seen it on cherry furniture before, but I’m sure it would work great. Try it on a spot that won’t be seen much as a small test area and report back! Good luck!

  45. THANK YOU! you, so much I found it just in time.
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now. And I want you to know that you’ve have inspired me to try so many things. So much in fact, that I’ve got them lined up waiting for me.
    I’m about to start glazing my first piece and I was concerned
    about the glaze I

  46. Maybe I missed this, but do you use something like a Polycrylic after you glaze?

    • Yes, I use polycrylic to seal the furniture after.

      • You said you use a polycrylic to seal glazed furniture. When I used it (minwax) over Valspar clear mixing glazed mixed with burnt umber ) over a oak wood bedroom set. I got blotches. Maybe I did not let it cure long enough before I put the poly on. How long do you wait before applying the polycrylic?

  47. Thanks so much for a great tutorial. I just bought the glazing medium from Michaels today and want to glaze a shelf I painted but needs just a little more antiquing. My question is..you said to glaze semi gloss or eggshell but I painted in a flat finish. Can I use a light coat of polyacrylic to seal it and then put the glaze over that so it doesn’t sink in as much. then add another coat of poly on top of that? Thanks so much for the advice.

  48. Hi! Thanks for your tips! I’m currently using a DIY recipe for chalk paint and painting my kitchen cabinets. They look great! I’m using the Valspar antiquing glaze and finishing it with wax. One of my children has gotten something on one of the cabinets and, when I scrubbed it off today, it must’ve rubbed the wax and antiquing glaze off. Now it’s a much lighter section where I cleaned. Do you know why it would do that and how do I correct/prevent it from happening again?

    • Brownie, Finishing wax does not protect your cabinets long term. It isn’t very durable and needs to be redone at least every year or two. You saw first hand what I’m talking about. You can’t scrub it hard or it just doesn’t hold up. I wish I had better news for you. But, I don’t use wax for this very reason.

  49. I am confused as to why you would color the dark antique glaze from Lowe’s? I noticed this in one of your first posts? Also another question I had was can you use antique glaze over chalk paint? I found the answer on your page! Thanks! I will try it this weekend! :)

  50. Thank you for all your information. I’m getting ready to paint and “antique” our bathroom vanity. So I have been checking out all the do’s and don’ts for just the right techniques. I went today to get a quart of glaze and have them tea stain it for me. The girl looked at me like I was a little off in the noggin. She said “Oh we can’t add color to the glaze. We have these little jars of paint you can buy and you’ll have to do it yourself.” I told her that they use to do it for the customer. She said no we never have. I told her ugh ya. Cause I have it on my bedroom wall right now. And all I had to ask them to do then was to tea stain to it for me. She again looked at me like I was off plumb and said they told them they can’t. So I didn’t get it cause I wasn’t sure how much brown to use to make the glaze the right color. So now I doing my research on that one. Thanks again for all the information.

  51. I love the blue server, can you please tell me what color you used and what manufacturer of paint along with the type of glaze you used..its absolutely beautiful!

  52. Vickie Meador says:

    Thank you for the great tips! I have not tried my hand at Glazing yet, but can’t wait to give it a try.

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