A Discussion on Glazing
Who enjoys glazing? Glazing to me is a little bit like exercise, I almost never enjoy the experience, but I'm always glad that I did it when it's over. Glazes can be beautiful when done properly, but it can be tough to get consistent results.
We've been doing our best to try to stay with safer products, more water-based materials, etc. More natural stuff, you know? More stuff with names that we can pronounce. In light of this, our prepared glazes that we sell, and use are water based and they dry really fast. On small panels and smaller furniture areas this works fine, but it can be challenging to get a consistent look on larger tabletops and furniture with large flat surfaces. I believe that we do a pretty good job getting these areas to look good, but it's just not easy. I recently purchased a few new faux finishing brushes to help distribute and blend glaze, so we'll see how that goes and document our progress here with a future post. We're always experimenting and trying to get better.
Glazing, by definition, is simply a layer of color applied between layers of sealer, or protective finish. Adding the sealer first gives you more control over your application of color and the depth that you can create.
In the past, I used mostly oil-based wood finishing products and have applied some version of an oil-based glaze to lots of furniture trying to match repairs, etc. This is often needed when you have to repair a piece of mass-produced furniture in order to get the color to match the rest of the piece. This glaze that I'm referring to in this case is usually just wood stain that is applied after sealing the previous layer with shellac or another sealer. I wonder if most people realize that very little of their "cherry" coffee table is actually cherry wood, if any of it. At most the thin veneer that is applied to the top is the extent of the showy wood. The rest is usually a lesser expensive secondary wood with a fairly elaborate multi-step finish applied to get the color to match the nice stuff. Anyone that has stripped and refinished a piece like this has found that applying one stain color to an entire piece of furniture that has been constructed this way won't usually result in a finished product that you're proud to show off.
Now, of course, glazing often enters the picture as a way of adding simulated wear, dirt, or patina to a painted piece. Glazing makes kitchens seem more livable than their non-glazed counterparts. There's something charming about fake dirt.
Now, back to the task at hand. Here's a short video of Laura applying glaze to a kitchen island that we just built for a customer. Notice how she applies the glaze in sections and then wipes it back on this beadboard panel and then blends the whole panel together.
Hit us back in the comments if you've found a really great way to apply glaze.