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How to apply glaze to furniture

Use a glaze technique to create wonderful textures and depth to painted furniture. Glaze is normally a mixture of paint and scumble glaze combined at varying ratios to extend the drying time of paint, thereby allowing you more time to work on the effect that you want to create.


While recently searching the local thrift shop for unique furniture to refinish I came across a desk and nightstand. Although not made from a high quality wood - chipboard and pine in fact - I still liked this piece because of the detailing and I knew that it would look lovely with a nice glaze.


80-, 120- and 240-grit sandpaper
Clean cloths
Mineral turpentine
Wood glue (optional)
Clamps (optional)
Prominent Paints satin in your base colour
Prominent Paints satin in your glaze colour
Scumble glaze
Bosch PFS spray system or paintbrush and foam roller
Selection of soft paintbrushes
Clean rags






Step 1
The first thing that I did to desk was to sand down the old finish and remove any peeling paint. All sanding was done by hand with 80-grit sandpaper, as there was quite a bit of detailing that had to be sanded. It's also handy to have a Dremel MultiTool to get into some of the tricky areas.

Step 2
Some of the chipboard was bloated as a result of water damage. This was easily solved by saturating the problem areas with wood glue and them clamping them together between flat boards.

Step 3
After all repairs were made, the entire desk was sanded with 220-grit sandpaper and then wiped clean with a cloth and mineral turpentine.

Step 4
Two coats of Prominent Satin in an olive green were applied using a Bosch PFS spray system. If you don't have a spray system, use a brush and foam roller to apply the paint. Apply paint to detailed areas with the paintbrush and then go over this with the foam roller to smooth out the paint. Let each coat of paint dry before applying the next coat.

Step 5
After the painting I was ready for the glazing. This is my absolute favourite part of these types of projects because it is when the piece really takes on its character. For the glaze coat you need a translucent mix of 1 part brown paint to 4 parts scumble glaze. Use a large, soft brush to apply the glaze over the green paint and then use a soft cloth to wipe off. Any remaining paint is brushed with a soft, dry brush until you are happy with the desired finish.

As you work on the detailed areas you will see that the glaze remains behind to create the effect of depth and bring out the detail. You can add or remove glaze to these areas to create the look that you want to achieve.

Continuously wipe the dry brushes onto a rag to remove paint as you work across glazed areas.

To protect the finished piece you can apply Woodoc Antique Wax or use Rust-Oleum Polyurethane spray varnish.