{Tutorial} How To Glaze Painted Furniture

*Check out my new updated tutorial on how I Glaze Painted Furniture here!

The most common question I get when people see my furniture is how I glaze my furniture. I think the reason for this is that;

  • Glazing is one of those things that if you do it wrong, it is really difficult to do. So it can be very intimidating.
  • I have a different glazing technique than most.

The reason I say its difficult when you don’t do it right is because for the longest time, I was doing it wrong! It was so hard and it took forever. I didn’t have enough control over the finish, the glaze just sort of did what it wanted and I would have to repaint sections all the time.

Eventually, after some experimentation and a lot of frustration, I learned that there are multiple techniques for applying glaze. You can glaze with dark wax or you can use a glazing medium that is mixed with acrylic or latex paint.

How To Glaze Painted Furniture

I personally use the glazing medium most often, although I do periodically use wax if I want a more distressed and dirty look. This tutorial is going to be on how to glaze your furniture using a glazing medium (I use Behr Glaze, but any glaze will work fine). There are multiple ways to apply this glaze, but because I want to make sure that the glaze is only in the cracks, and I want to maintain the overall color of my chairs, I’m going to apply the glaze after I apply a top coat. After is the key here.

How To Glaze Furniture

I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax in this tutorial. I still use her products, but for the most part I stick with Fiddes Supreme wax. Its much easier to apply and cheaper. Once you’ve applied the wax, let it dry for at least an hour… preferably overnight. Then mix your glaze.

Tutorial on How to Apply Wax

 

Mixing Your Glaze

Mixing glaze is pretty simple. Pour a portion of your glaze into a mixing cup. Add a few squirts of acrylic or latex paint. I use a mixture of brown and black until I get a really dark brown color, but this is all personal. They amount of color you put in will influence how strong your color is once the glaze dries. I use a small amount of paint. (Approx. 1- 2 Tbsp per cup.) Mix it all around and you’re ready to glaze!

 

How to Glaze Painted Furniture


Check back soon for more tutorials on how to refinish furniture!

A few FAQ’s about Glazing

I get asked questions about glazing all the time and I wanted to add a little section to this post to answer those questions.

First I just want to clear something up right off. There are 2 types of glaze – glazing with dark wax and glazing with glaze medium that you purchase from the paint supply store. They are applied differently, so therefor the answers below are for the stated glaze technique.

  • What is the difference between Dark Wax and Glaze?
    • Dark Wax is a Colored Wax that is usually applied after you put on a good coat of clear wax to get an aged and worn effect. It not only sticks in the cracks, it will also tint your color slightly and make your furniture look somewhat dirty. It’s great for very artistic people who are willing to spend more time on their furniture, and are okay with not having strict control over where the color is. It’s very unpredictable, but that’s part of the beauty of it. Glazing is applied by mixing some colorant into glaze medium that you buy at the store. When you purchase the glaze (unless it’s already been colored) it will be a milky white color and when dry it will dry clear. I use latex or acrylic paint as a colorant to my glaze. All glaze does is make your color thinner and dry slower, giving you time to work with it. It’s applied by painting it on (usually after a poly or lacquer top coat) and wiping off where you don’t want the glaze to be. It’s much simpler and you have a lot more control over the product. But it’s also not very artistic and you cannot create the same look as dark wax.
  • Can you use glaze over waxed furniture?
    • Absolutely! It’s one of my favorite looks. It makes you glaze much more like a dark wax in that it grips to the finish more and more difficult to remove. Meaning you really have to work at it to remove it where you don’t want it to be. (By the way, you can use more clear wax over the glaze to remove the glaze if needed, just like dark wax). But it does give you a bit more control than with dark wax. I love this effect with light colored furniture where dark wax is just too much.
  • Can you use stain instead of latex/acrylic paint with your glaze?
    • Yes. I’m a little less familiar with this technique, but I have seen it done with beautiful results.
  • Should I put another layer of wax over my glazed furniture?
    • This is a very good question. The short answer is no. First of all, if your using clear wax and dark wax to glaze, the clear wax will remove more of your dark wax and may ruin the look you were going for. The wax will harden and cure the way it is to a protective layer in an of itself. If you are using clear wax and tinted glaze you will have the same issue above and you are not adding any additional protection to the piece. If you are using glaze and polyurethane, then you could go back and put another layer of polyurethane over the glaze and you won’t have any issues with it affecting your finish, but in my opinion it’s not necessary.

I could go on about this subject forever because there are so many different ways to go about glazing and they all create very different effects. These are the main questions that I get on a regular basis. Please comment below if you have more questions so that future readers can see the answer. Thanks!

Kelsey Elaine Signature by WhiteCottageBoutique.com

 

Linking to:

Elizabeth and Co.

Comments

  1. Ann says

    I’ve painted my bed an antique white. I have a min wax gel stain in walnut that I find very hard to work with–it seems once you put it on, it’s hard to wipe off. Can I mix that walnut stain with the behr glaze and then apply with a brush and wipe off with baby wipes like youdo in your tutorial? Thanks

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      My understanding is that you can, but I have not tried it before. I have seen others do it though. Let me know how it works for you.

      Kelsey

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      I apply the glaze over the entire piece as it generally creates a more cohesive look than applying it in just the details, and I like a little bit of a dingy look.(Just a little bit though!)

  2. Missy says

    I love the look you have going on with the white paint and dark glaze. I especially am loving how it doesn’t dirty up your pure white, which is why I have chosen so far to never glaze or use dark wax. I’d love to try your technique on one of my pieces. Everything is already waxed with a clear wax. I can use the Behr glaze, mix it with brown/black paint and do the glaze even if the piece has no poly on it?? A side note…I have also been afraid to poly white pieces as I have heard they can yellow. You’re amazing!! Thank you! :)

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Missy,

      You can go ahead and use the Behr glaze mixed with your brown/black paint right over the wax. Just make sure the wax is dry and use a wet cloth or baby wipes to remove the excess. If you find that it’s too dark in an area, you can use some more clear wax to work it out if necessary. No poly is necessary! Also, polyurethane does yellow over time which is especially noticeable on white furniture (this is called ambering), but there is a comparable product called PolyACRYLIC that is designed to be a crystal clear finish that is waterbased and can be used directly over white colors with no noticeable ambering effect! When you go to purchase the product, make sure to look for one that says crystal clear finish and waterbased formula!

      Hope that helps!

      Kelsey

  3. Dana Peters says

    Hello, i am just about ready to redo my 1940s veneer BR set that i have had forever! I have been researching until I am turquoise in the face. I will be using off white and cream to two tone, mixing my own chalk paint. My question comes in here, do Iseal with a polyacrylic before glazing? What I have read, it seems waxing is not the best choice for me.
    Thank you so much for your hep,
    Dana Peters

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Yes. Especially if you are planning on using chalk paint. Because chalk paint is extremely porous, it will absorb everything you apply to it like a sponge. So when you go to put on the glaze, it will most likely soak up the color and look extremely muddy instead of glazed. The easiest way to go about it is putting the poly on first, then glazing. I recommend using baby wipes to remove the excess, it makes the process go by much faster.

  4. kookie says

    Do you use water base poly or any kind of coating over glaze?

    Can I use water base glaze over spray paint?

    thank you!!

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      I personally do not put any type of protective coating over my glaze. I find it’s not necessary for the type of glazing I generally do. If you are planning on leaving a lot of the glaze on the piece (not just in the cracks), you could put another coating of water based poly over it to protect the glaze. And yes you can use water based glaze over spray paint as long as it is water based spray paint. You can find out what type of spray paint it is by looking on the back of the can to see what it recommends cleaning it up with. (If it doesn’t already tell you on the front). If it says paint thinner or mineral spirits, it’s an oil based spray paint. If it says water – then it’s water based!

  5. chris says

    Kelsey,
    I am working on a bedroom set. Question is, client would like the top on dresser stained dark not painted, can I use glaze instead of stain and get same look,
    HELP

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      As far as I am aware – no. Glaze is a clear coat that you can tint with latex paint, but it dries much slower than regular latex – giving you time to work with it. This makes it ideal for faux finish techniques such as adding character and age to a piece. There are ways to get a look similar to natural wood with a stain but it’s something that takes tons of practice and is way out of my league. It would be much easier just to strip and stain the dresser!

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      In this video I used Minwax Waterbased PolyAcrylic. Now I actually use General Finishes waterbased PolyAcrylic, or I use wax instead of poly.

      • Ashleigh says

        After applying a coat of waterbased PolyAcrylic, how long do you have to wait before glazing? I want to ‘seal’ my painted table top (I used flat paint) with a layer of PolyAcrylic, then do a glazing technique over top of that. I am just not sure if I should wait until its dried (a couple days) or until its cured (a few weeks). I dont want it to bubble or crack. Thanks! :)

        • Kelsey Elaine says

          Hi Ashleigh,

          I have never had a problem putting the glaze on after the polycrylic has dried. I usually wait about 24-48 hours before I apply the glaze.

  6. paul H says

    I have bedroom doors that are entirely glazed. Unfortunately, the glaze is lifting, cracking, and pieces are beginning to break off. Do you have any suggestions for removing all the old glazing and starting over?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Paul, I’m sorry to hear about the issues you are experiencing with the glaze. Unfortunately, as far as I am aware, there is no way to remove the old glaze without removing the paint as well. You can strip the paint all the way down to the wood and start completely from scratch again. Generally glaze will not lift and crack unless you are mixing mediums. For example, if you used an oil based paint, then put a water based glaze over the top, then finished it off with an oil based top coat. When you do re-do your door, make sure to use either all oil based, or all water based products if you didn’t before.

  7. LaAna Littlefield says

    Love your tutorial! I’m new to all this and really want to get it right so I’m glad I found you!! I do have a question for ya though… can I glaze over my chalk paint? I have a lot of detail in my piece and I also want to tone down the brightness of my color so would glazing work for me??

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Yes you can absolutely glaze over chalk paint. You just want to seal it first. You can use wax or poly to seal it – it will make it much easier than going right onto the paint.

  8. Tina Moye says

    Thanks in advance for your reply, I have kitchen table a customer wanted chaulk painted with distressing. I’m at the point to sealing. My concern is high traffic and use. I love the waxed look, but not sure it’s really safe to have hot plates or dishes on it. My actions Ive used thus far outdoor paint to make my chaulk paint, layer painting and have distressed. I wonder about using wax first and then glaze. Will it be sealed enough to use this table?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Tina,

      I never recommend using wax to refinish anything in a kitchen, including kitchen tables. The reason is because they are high traffic areas, but mostly because a lot of the oils that are common in kitchens can eat away at the wax finish, usually meaning that the piece will show finger prints really bad, but it will also need a new coat of wax every 1-2 years. (I know a lot of people support using wax in these areas, but this is just the information I’ve gathered from my research and experience with restoring furniture). Also, many of the chemicals used to clean these areas also eat away at the finish making them difficult to clean. I like to use wax prior to glazing, but again, I am not doing this in really high traffic areas where I expect to have to scrub to get clean, but if that’s all that you’re worried about, you can always put another coat of wax over the glaze once the glaze has dried!

      I hope that helps, good luck on your project!

  9. says

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get three emails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from
    that service? Appreciate it!

    • admin says

      You would need to go into the email that you have been sent and unsubscribe from there. I do not have a way to unsubscribe you from my end. There should be a little link at the bottom of the email that says unsubscribe.

      Kelsey

  10. Missy says

    Hi Kelsey Elaine! Thanks so much for all of the awesome information! I would like to distress a dining set with chalk paint for use on a screened in porch. From what I understand, I should seal my painted pieces with poly acrylic, then glaze over that. I would like the table top finish, especially, to be able to endure weather and normal kitchen table use. Would another coat of poly acrylic or two give me this result?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Yes, but the polyacrylic on and then follow up with the glaze. If you’re worried about it the durability of the piece, I would just put another coat of polyacrylic on the table after the glaze… it not absolutely necessary, but it doesn’t hurt either and if it gives you piece of mind – do it!

  11. Kathy says

    Hi Kelsey, thanks so much for your awesome video on glazing. I am doing my first ASCP furniture piece which I have painted and waxed. I now want to add some glazing. My question is can I use ASCP to add to the glaze for color or must I use acrylic or latex paint only?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Kathy,

      I would imagine that you could use ASCP for the color of the glaze. The only reason I would not recommend doing this is that it doesn’t help you in any way and ASCP is much more expensive then a small container of craft paint – but if you already have the color on hand – I don’t think it would be an issue!

  12. says

    I bought a very old French loveseat that is very gold. It has some very pretty carvings on it. It looks like it already has some stain or glaze in the cravings. I want to tone it down.. I want some of the gold to show but not as much as it has right now. I really don’t want to strip it because I want some gold. So what would you recommend that I put on it or what to do?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      You could do a wash over it. I would go on Pinterest and search for ideas that way. A wash is a good way to add some color (usually white or grey) over the gold, but still have to gold peaking through. It’s also extremely easy to do!

      Kelsey

  13. corey says

    Hi im doing my house in an antique american style with realy ornate mouldings and chair rails throughout the living areas flowing through to my kitchen i love the glazeing look and want to do it to all timber work i will be useing an antique white two pac polyurethane in a satin finish. Is that ok to just apply a glaze straight over and how durable will the glaze be. Thanks in advance

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Corey,

      Yes you can apply the glaze right over the polyurethane. It will be plenty durable for regular use, but if you are worried about it, you can always put an extra layer of poly right over the glaze to seal it in. I don’t feel like this is necessary, so I don’t, but if it’s on a surface where you expect to be doing some major scrubbing and some point – it might be worth it.

      Thanks,

      Kelsey

  14. Allison says

    Three questions: 1.) I want to paint my kitchen cabinets and glaze in the inset cracks. I’m wondering what type of paint I need to buy (chalk, acrylic, etc).
    2.) I’m using cream in the kitchen and gray in my den, and the two room are open to one another. Therefore, I’m wondering if I should darken my den’s gray paint with black and use it in the glaze to reflect that color in the cracks of the kitchen cabinets.
    3.) It looks like the process is 1. Paint, 2. Clear glaze, 3.apply colored glaze in the insets. Is this correct?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Allison,

      I prefer Chalk Paint when I paint any already finished surface. If you are working with unfinished wood – it’s really unnecessary, but I’m assuming that you are painting some older cabinets that are already in your home. I prefer to use Chalky Paint Powder, which can be added to any brand of latex/acrylic paint to transform it into Chalk Paint and we carry our own line of it called Vintage Storehouse Chalky Paint Powder. It basically eliminates the need to sand or prime – cutting out about half the work – prior to painting. Plus you can use any color you like and its much less expensive than the name brand stuff.

      I love your idea of using a slightly darker version of the gray color to do the glaze – I think that will look awesome!…

      You got the process mostly right, but you will never put on clear glaze. After you paint you’ll want to seal the paint with something like polyurethane or lacquer. I would probably recommend polyurethane in your case because it’s easier to apply than lacquer. Make sure you get waterbased (sometimes it’s referred to as Polycrylic instead of polyurethane.) but as long as it says waterbased your good to go. I would not use wax like I do in the video – it’s not a good idea for kitchen cabinets in my opinion, even though it’s much easier to work with than the other two.

      Then once you’ve applied the poly (or lacquer) you’ll glaze using the color glaze in the insets. If you feel it’s necessary for such a high traffic area, you could even seal the colored glaze in with another coat of polyurethane once your done. But this is optional – I would wait to see how you feel about it’s durability before you plan on doing so.

      I hope that helps!

  15. Debbie says

    I am using chalk paint on kitchen cabinets that are 35 years old. I wanted to use three colors to distress them with. My first coat was a greenish gray color, second coat a brick red and third and final coat is butter cream. I want to distress them so the colors will come thru, but how do i finish them? Wax poly acrylic glaze I’m confused? I have mocha glaze that I would love to go in the creases but when do I apply this?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      There are a lot of options as far as finishing your painted pieces go, so let me just simplify it for you. If your working on your kitchen I NEVER recommend using wax. So I would stick with polyacrylic. Put a coat or 2 on after you’ve painted and distressed your cabinets. Then apply your mocha glaze. If you want a little extra durability you can add another coat of poly after you apply the glaze – but this is optional.

      I hope that simplifies it for you! Good luck!

  16. Lisa says

    I’m doing kitchen cabinets using first a tinted primer(50% of the tint of the paint) and then a paint(Benjamin Moore Advance), which is water based. I chose them because they have the specific color I wanted.
    I was wondering if I could mix my glaze( I was thinking of using a mocha Valspar) with part polyurethane. Have you ever done that yourself?

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      You’ll apply your polyurethane before you glaze or after. I recommend before but you don’t want to mix polyurethane with your glaze. That will lead to a big sticky mess. You can mix your own glaze though – I do it every time because I’m picky about colors and I want it to be exact. You can get a can of behr glaze at home depot, then get some waterbased paint that you want to use. Mix it up and you’ve got glaze. I don’t use exact measurements when I glaze, I generally just estimate. I would say its about 1/2c. waterbased paint per quart of glaze.

  17. Diane says

    Hi Kelsey, I would like to pick your brain if I may. My husband and I have a 1920’s era home that we have used as a rental for several years. We are now in the process of remodeling the home for sale. The home itself is a quaint southern victorian style to give you an idea. It has large rooms…with the exception of the kitchen that is…that kitchen is small, odd shaped and is my nemesis. It has the old-time metal kitchen cabinets! The cabinet’s Logo is still attached adding to the vintage charm in my opinion. There is a matching stove hood. The cabinets are in very good condition for being so old. No dings or dents, drawers in working order and all the hardware is original. Only the paint is dingy and no amount of cleaning has helped so I must decide to either add another coat of paint or replace the cabinets. Now these cabinets have been painted a cream color 2 times in past years using water based acrylic paint. I really don’t want to replace these cabinets with wood…that would be a sad thing to do in my opinion. Do you think that Chalk paint (then clear wax to get that beautiful color depth) would be a good choice to go with for this vintage/antique kitchen’s cabinets? I wasn’t sure if CP could be used over layers of acrylic. If you agree on the CP, what would you use as a top coat for the cabinets? For the stove hood? I love your blog and trust/value your opinion. Thank you so much Kelsey. P.S. I wish I could attach a pic of the wall paper I’ve uncovered in this kitchen. I love it! Can’t use it and have to put sheetrock over it again…but it is so..so…VINTAGE! :)

    • Kelsey Elaine says

      Hi Diane,

      You can use Chalky Paint over latex or acrylic paint – so I see no issue there. You might consider sanding down the surface to even it out if it seems like it would need it prior to painting. It will also help with adhesion a little. The only issue I see is the wax. I NEVER recommend using wax in a kitchen – but this is just a personal preference thing. Wax doesn’t hold up well to kitchen oils and grease – meaning theres a good chance you’d have to rewax every couple of years. Since you’re selling it – that might not be a huge concern for you, but something you should probably consider. Although wax adds a lot of vintage charm and looks beautiful – it just isn’t a very good option compared to polyurethane or lacquer in a kitchen. If you’re painting them a light color where yellowing of the top coat is going to be a concern, I would recommend looking at a waterbased polycrylic. Try to use a satin or semi gloss sheen to keep the look soft to go better with the vintage feel.

      I hope that helps!

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