One of my most popular posts of all time on this little blog is the one i did on glazing furniture so long ago!  That post can be found here.

While i still use that technique sometimes with the stain or paint mixed with a glazing medium, it is no longer my “go to” technique for glazing furniture.

About a year ago i discovered a new glaze by Sherwin Williams and i have mostly been using this product ever since.  Its so easy to work with and you can get a rich deep glazed look with it or go very light, just depending on what look you are going for.

…………………

1st – for those that dont know exactly what a glaze does.  Its basically a stain that you wipe on and then wipe off giving your furniture an aged, worn, antiqued look.  Its adds so much depth to a piece of furniture that you just cant get with paint/distressing alone.  The glaze seeps into all the cracks, imperfections and lines of the furniture bringing out all the details.  You can leave more glaze on the furniture to give it a “dirty” look, or you can take a lot of it off just leaving it in the cracks to bring out the details.

Here is an example of what glaze can do.  One half is glazed, the other not.  See!  Its amazing all the details that the glaze picks up on!  All those would just blend into the paint if it wasnt for the glaze.  Notice also how much the glaze changes the paint color – so you must plan for that.

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

As for my new favorite glaze, i have been using Sherwin Williams Sher-Wood glaze in Van Dyke Brown (you can also get this in white or a natural that you can tint any color).  Its a very dark, rich brown.  The glaze itself is pretty thin, almost as thin as water.  You do need to stir it every time you go to use it as all the good stuff sinks to the bottom.

This glaze is pretty pricey @ about $55 gallon, and i dont believe they sell it in quarts.  But, this will last you forever.  I use it almost every day and even spilled about half of my last gallon and it still lasted me a year.

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

The supplies that i get out when starting a glazing project are lots of paper towels, glaze of course, a brush or cheap sponge brush and mineral spirits.

         – sometimes if i want the glaze to be lighter, i will pour some glaze into a plastic cup mixed with mineral spirits, about a 1:4 ratio

         – i used to use old rags or t-shirts to wipe the glaze off, but i got sick of washing so many!  So now i just use paper towels – either one will work the same.  I normally have 3 piles of paper towels going on, one pile for the 1st wipe down, one for the 2nd and so on.

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

To start off, i first distress my furniture.  This will let the glaze cover the distressed spots and either darken up the natural wood showing through, or let the glaze sit in the distressed “scratches” picking up on the distressing even more.

After all the distressing is done, i start the glazing.  Normally if the furniture is larger like my entry dresser that i am working on for here, i glaze a section @ a time.  Depending on the temps, the glaze may start drying quicker than you want so thats why its best to work in sections.

Just take your brush and rub the glaze over all the paint, be sure to get it into all the cracks.

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

Then take a bunch of paper towels and wipe off the majority of the glaze, it will look like this after the 1st wipe down…

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

At this point you have 2 options…

          – If i wanted a heavy glazed look, i could just take a dry paper towel and wipe it until all the streaks were blended, sometimes swapping out for a new dry paper towel.  Just be sure and get all those streaks wiped away and make the glaze look blended, it will look better when its done, theres nothing worse than seeing streaky glaze!

          – If you want a lighter glazed look (like i did on this dresser), take a clean paper towel dampened with mineral spirits and wipe it down, then take another clean dry paper towel and give it another wipe down.  Usually i repeat this process once or twice.

This pic below shows how the glaze looks after wiping with mineral spirits a couple times…you can see that you cant see any glaze streaks and the glaze has just settled into the details.   The mineral spirits took off the majority of the glaze just slightly changing the paint color.

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

Here is a pic that shows half glazed, half not…you can see how the glaze changes the paint color slightly so make sure you do a test patch to make sure you like it!

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

Final pic of the dresser all glazed…

how to glaze furniture - Sweet Pickins Furniture

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– This glaze is oil based, it can go over latex paint and can be clear coated with water based poly.  Sherwin Williams paint pros told me this method is used all the time and is perfectly fine :)

– The glaze itself does not add any protection to your furniture, so if you want a protective coat you still must seal it with poly or wax it

– If your furniture has a lot of details/cracks, its important to wait for it to dry all the way before adding any type of protective coat, if you dont you could smear the glaze if your brushing it or of your spraying on your clear coat, the air from your paint gun could make the wet glaze splatter (ive done this and its so frustrating!!!)

– Make sure your paint is good and dry before using any type of glaze, otherwise with all the rubbing it may lift your paint

– Use mineral spirits to clean up your brushes and hands

– Make sure and work in small sections so the glaze doesnt start to dry on you, if it does start to dry to much you can dampen it with mineral spirits or brush more glaze over the dried on glaze

– Know that this glaze will most likely change your paint color, normally with reds it will deepen the color, blues and greens it will give it more of a greenish hue, yellows will give it more of a mustard color and whites will give it a dirty, beige/tan/mocha look – just make sure and do a test patch.  But the more you wipe with mineral spirits, the more the original color will show through.

………………….

And im trying out a new glazing technique this week, so i will be sure to let you all know how that turns out!!!

To see the original post on glazing go here

 

69 replies
  1. Janet Lawson
    Janet Lawson says:

    Thanks for the post..
    In the one photo the difference is so obvious and looks great with the glaze..
    Have a wonderful week..

    Reply
  2. Gena
    Gena says:

    Would this glaze from S. W. work for “antiquing” old, knotty wood panelling in my basement? Would I have to wash the panelling with TSP first. Would I need to paint the panelling and then glaze or just glaze?

    Thank you! I like the look of your wood pieces!

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      It would all depend on how porous the paneling is – is it the shinny fake stuff or is it solid wood paneling? As far as painting 1st, that just depends on the look that you are going for :)

      Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      not the dark brown, but you could do a lighter stain or a paint mixed with glaze that will show up over the black.

      Reply
  3. Rebekah
    Rebekah says:

    Hi-I am starting my first project and want to get the 1st step right.
    Your first step is distressing your furniture, how do you distress yours?

    Thanks for your input!

    Reply
  4. Kyleigh
    Kyleigh says:

    Hey I love you blog and when I get an e-mail I rush over to my phone to see if its a new post from you!!!! Anyways have done a couple furniture pieces and have used a stain to distress what is the difference between stain and glaze? Should I be using glaze instead? Thanks

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      ah – you totally made my day, thanks for the sweet comment!! Nope, i use stain all the time to glaze, not as much as i used to, kind of just depends on the project, but stain is perfectly fine to glaze with. In fact i will be writing up a post in the next week or two about that very thing :)

      Reply
    • Angela
      Angela says:

      I love that. Could you please fly to Texas and paint my kitchen cabinets? The horrible part is they were just done (new construction), but I’m not happy. The painter tried on different doors, but I have a feeling nothing he would do would be what I have imagined in my head. I feel I could make them where I at least like them. How do you take glaze off cabinets? I want to redo them myself when I move in.

      Reply
      • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
        Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

        im sure your cabinet guy clear coated after he glazed so there is no way to remove the glaze, you would have to repaint and start over. If he didnt clear coat you can try mineral spirits on a rag to see how much you can wipe away. Good luck!

        Reply
  5. Karissa
    Karissa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I refinished a thrift store china cabinet when I was 9 months pregnant with my second baby. It was a hot mess, and I got through priming and painting it, but never got around to glazing because I was skeered! Your posts give me some courage. Thank you Sausha!

    Reply
  6. Bev
    Bev says:

    Great tutorial loaded with info! I just stumbled on it this evening after waxing a piece I wish I could have glazed first. Darn my luck, unless one can glaze after a coat of past wax! I might have to try that and see! Thanks for sharing!

    Bev at diygranny.blogspot.com

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      i will be doing a post on it soon, but you can mix some stain with wax and go right over your wax, that will give you the glazed look and wax it all in one step :)

      Reply
  7. Kim Aukerman
    Kim Aukerman says:

    When you say to lighten it with mineral spirits with a ratio of 1:4, is the glaze the 1 part or the 4 part. Sorry, I’m new to this but I am learning so much from your sight – thank you for sharing your talent!

    Reply
  8. Heidi
    Heidi says:

    Hi, thanks for this!! You mentioned you can wax it. I thought wax could only be used over a porous type paint. EX flat, chalk or milk. Can you wax over satin latex?

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      yup i have and surprisingly it takes glaze well and the paint doesnt just suck it up like i originally thought it would. BUT, i have always light sanded 1st over the paint to make it nice and smooth before glazing.

      Reply
  9. Kassie
    Kassie says:

    Love all you or work! And the fact that you take the time to share with all of us is great! So I have a question maybe because I’m new at all this but what is the difference in glazing like this for going over it with a dark wax?

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      glazing like this can be clear coated with a water based poly, which is the method that i prefer. You of course cant use poly over wax. I also think this is a richer glaze than the dark waxes i have tried. Just personal preference i guess :)

      Reply
      • Amy
        Amy says:

        Hi! Let me first say I LOVE your site, and your home, and most of all your craft table!! Now to my question… I bought and used Minwax Polycrylic because I wanted to try this method instead of the wax but if I used too much it left pinkish strips and I also tried to use it as a satin finish on the top of a buffet but it dried so fast my brush made smear marks. I even tried to thin it out with water (I read online I could do this) but it still dried horribly. What brand do you use and are there any tricks to keep this from happening? Thank you!!

        Reply
        • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
          Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

          if i am glazing with a stain, i just use the regular minwax in the yellow can – ive never had any problems working with that :)

          Reply
  10. woodcraft
    woodcraft says:

    You have added here an interesting post with photographs, i have enjoyed this working process post, and nice to read you glaze a section @ a time. Depending on the temps, the glaze may start drying quicker than you want so thats why its best to work in sections. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply
  11. Britta
    Britta says:

    Do you recommend using a glossy paint as the base before glazing? I just painted a table a flat gray color (don’t ask me why)- and my test strip looked pretty horrible. The glaze stuck to the paint and didn’t really want to wipe off. Maybe a stain would be better? Or maybe I need to sand the paint a bit- to make it a little smoother..? Help.

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      ya, glaze works better over at least a satin. Otherwise the flat paint will be to porous and suck up to much of the glaze and it will be hard to get it even. You can give the flat paint a good sanding to smooth it out before glazing and that might help a little

      Reply
  12. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    I am just getting started in making what I love a business. Do you set yourself a limit on what you will pay for a ‘before’ piece? I’d love your input.

    Reply
  13. Sonya
    Sonya says:

    I am so grateful to find your blog. I just painted an old desk some kind of white paint (eggshell) and it is soaking up the glaze. Is there anything I can do to make it slippery so the glaze will smooth out? I’ve already distressed it and I don’t want to add more paint because I like the uneven look of it. Is there anything I could spray on it like poly in a can that would make some areas slippery? And then I could keep the worn areas and just let the glaze really soak in? Help.

    Reply
  14. Jan Fusco
    Jan Fusco says:

    I’ve never glazed but I think I’d like to give it a try. This is probably a stupid question but why can’t you rub on a stain over paint and wipe it off?

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      you can!! i do that all the time too – its just different than glaze, its thin and not as “rich” as the glaze – so it just depends on the look that you are going for :)

      Reply
  15. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    HI! Thanks for sharing. I’ve been thinking of staining a dresser I have. however it’s already white. This may be a totally stupid question, but do you think I could distress the already painted dresser and then stain? Or should I strip repaint and glaze?
    I just wasn’t sure if stain would take to previously painted dresser.

    Thanks!!!

    Reply
  16. Betty
    Betty says:

    I have shelves and mantle that I sanded, painted w/Sherwin Wms proclassic semi satin in a white that matches my trim, glazed with their brown glaze. SW guy told me to use a polyeurothane sealer (I think it’s oil based) due to oil based glaze. But I understand that the polyeurothane coat will give a yellow tint after it dries. If that is correct, should I use the water based sealer?? Also, he told me the glaze needs to cure for 4 or 5 days before I apply sealer.

    Reply
  17. Summer
    Summer says:

    I love this! I would love your input…We are doing a kitchen remodel. I am doing a light gray semi gloss paint on my kitchen cabinets. They are currently a light wood and were varnished but they are 40 years old. I wiped them down with bleach water. Do you think I should sand any before painting? Also do you think this glaze would look good over the gray?

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      For the best paint adhesion, you do need to sand before painting or use an oil based primer 1st. And yes – glaze looks great over gray :)

      Reply
  18. Karie
    Karie says:

    Have already learned a lot from reading comments, thank you. I bought an oil painting which is stuck (glued and nailed) in an ugly slightly beat-up gold-painted frame. Thought I could make it look better by glazing with a dark brown Minwax stain, but nothing much happened except the sample area turned a little purple looking. Should I distress the gold paint with a scraper or sand paper or steel wool so that more stain sticks to it? Or if I buy and use glaze might more stay on? Hope I can buy a real small can of glaze if necessary.

    Reply
  19. Michael Myers
    Michael Myers says:

    My kitchen cabinets are white. My wife wants them beige and to use brown glaze in the designs. HOW DO i GET THE CABINETS beige first. Do I paint them beige and then use the brown glaze in the designs and then varnish them.

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      If you use an oil based glaze, the glaze will turn the cabinets the beige color and give you the glazed look – you wont need to paint them 1st. Try Sherwin Williams Van Dyke Glaze – its good stuff and easy to work with.

      Reply
  20. Kathy willoughby
    Kathy willoughby says:

    I’ve tried using the Sherwin Willams van dyke glaze but it seems to be very hard to blend. I’m using it over a satin latex paint. Should it have a blotchy look to it? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins}
      Sausha @ {Sweet Pickins} says:

      not at all – if your having trouble getting it to blend, take a towel dampened with mineral spirits and go over the whole thing and then follow that up with a clean rag, thats what i do :)

      Reply
  21. Jorge Angelo
    Jorge Angelo says:

    Hi I’m retired carpenter mason conc finisher …pretty good painter also but never done this …Ur info is excellent ..thank u so much will try ur system see how it works and get back to u thanks again

    Reply
  22. Randi
    Randi says:

    I am just getting into refinishing furniture. I stumbled across your site tonight and appreciate you taking the time to show step by step on getting the results. I think I might have to go the stain as glaze route as no retailers in the area in North Dakota I live carry any kind of glaze. I now have a bit of confidence to give it a try. Thanks again..

    Reply
  23. Melissa Reavis
    Melissa Reavis says:

    You covered so much great information. I have done a variety of things with smaller less used furniture but I’m doing my very first dinning table and chairs. My original plan was to use an ebony stain on the top, dark wax and then use polycrylic on the top. However on the chairs I was gonna use the ivory lace chalk paint, distress, and then use a dark wax. However, two of the chars are ladderback with a very live woven seat and I wanted to stain those two seats to match the table top. First, can I stain that part and be confident that it won’t rub off on whomever is sitting in those chairs, and secondly is this the best method for a high traffic piece? I’ve been told to expect to wax is every 3-4 months which is not doable, so should I consider a glaze and a flat paint? What would be you suggestion. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  24. Mary
    Mary says:

    I have solid wood natural maple kitchen cabinets with a clear poly finish that have yellowed over the past 19 years. I want them to be browner and I am researching the van dyke brown glaze. Have you ever used this product on cabinets that have yellowed?

    Reply
  25. Lici
    Lici says:

    Hi! Can I out tell me the name if the paint color before the glaze? I am refinishing a large sideboard and want to do a light gray with a rich brown glaze. Any suggestions.

    Reply
  26. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I am trying to match up my kitchen cupboards to an antiqued and glazed piece, Island,and I think I need to find the base color of the Island, so I can continue on the process.
    Any clues, it looks like it many be a light tan. If I take a drawer to the store maybe they can match up the base coat.

    Reply
  27. Ivy
    Ivy says:

    Hi, I put a valspar wax seal over chalk pain that I had sanded for a rustic look. Not knowing that I can’t put the glaze over the wax seal. Is that true? I’m
    Not sure where to go from here. I heard the glaze can’t stay on the wax seal.

    Reply

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