I take my role as a teacher/demonstrator/leader on this blog pretty seriously. When I’m working on projects, I honestly ask myself each step of the way, “Is this something that my readers can easily do without needing special tools?” If the answer is no, then I try to find another way to accomplish the same thing. I strive to only use tools that I think most of you have (or should have) at your disposal. It’s extremely important to me that everything I do be easy to repeat. This blog really is all about YOU.
So, when I got an email about furniture glaze over the weekend, it hit me that there was something really fundamental that I’ve never fully discussed.
I just popped in on your site and it’s very helpful…except the reason I ended up on there was my search for “what is wood glaze?” I have no idea what it is but its suppose to be for distressing furniture which is what i wanted to do.
Can you please explain what it is? I went to Lowes and Home Depot and those guys know nothing about it.
I have talked on and on and on about my love of glazed furniture. I have posted instructions on how to glaze wood, metal and plastic. And I have glazed just about every piece of furniture that has entered my house over the last few years. All that, and I’ve never really talked about what glaze actually is and where to find it. Thanks for the question, Amna!
Glaze is a type of medium that you can apply over painted or stained wood. You can apply the glaze with a paint brush or with an old rag. The glaze has a much thinner consistency than paint and it has a longer “open” time, which means that it stays wet longer than paint. Because of those properties, you can work with it for about 10 or 15 minutes before it dries. Some people actually use stain as a glaze, but my personal experience is that stain dries far too quickly to be used well.
Although some companies make pre-tinted glaze, it’s usually clear when you find it in the paint store. The folks at the paint counter will tint it (i.e. add colorant) for you in the color of your choice from the same paint line. For example, if you are using Behr glaze, you’ll have to pick a Behr color.
When I talk about glaze, I am always referring to furniture and accessories. You can also use glaze to create a faux finish on your walls, but I much prefer a striped chevron to a ragged on faux design. That’s just my personal preference, though, so I’ve never used glaze on a wall.
You can buy glaze at several different places and in several different brands. My very favorite is by Ralph Lauren, and it’s called “Ralph Lauren Faux Glaze.” It used to be sold at Home Depot, but it no longer is. I’m lucky to have an independent paint store close by (a Benjamin Moore dealer), and he carries the Ralph Lauren brand. All I have to do is pick the Ralph Lauren color from the paint chip wall and ask him to tint a quart of glaze to that color. I like to use the color Black Silk since I like my glazing to look more “urban” and less “French,” which generally has a brown glaze. For a typical DIYer, a quart of glaze will honestly last you years and a gallon will last a lifetime – I’m still working with the same quart I bought a year and a half ago, and it’s only half way empty.
To locate a Ralph Lauren paint dealer in your area, visit their website and search for store locations. Enter your zipcode and select “Ralph Lauren Paint Stores” from the drop down list of store types.
Home Depot carries a faux finishing glaze by Behr. I have never used it, and I have heard mixed results. If you can’t find the Ralph Lauren glaze in your town and don’t want to order it online, the Behr is probably your next best shot (but Ralph Lauren really is the best). There used to be a Valspar product at Lowe’s, but I haven’t seen it locally lately. Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore also carry tintable faux glazes, but I have not heard anything about how easy they are to use. Obviously, these companies aren’t the only ones who produce glaze, but they are the ones that I am the most familiar with.
Like I said before, I have put together sort of a Glazing 101 post that you can read to get the details on how to glaze just about anything. I’m also always willing to answer any glazing questions you my have – either leave a comment or send me an email.
In the meantime, I’d love to see your glazing projects! Post links in the comments to anything you’ve used decorative glaze on. I’m looking forward to checking them all out!