How to Glaze Bar Cabinets How to Glaze Bar Cabinets

What You'll Need
Paint or stain
Water or solvent
Natural bristle brush
Drop cloth(s)
Clean rags
Stir stick
Measuring cup
Latex gloves

Glazing bar cabinets is an alternative to finishing them with wood stain or painting them. Glaze is a combination of paint and solvent. Water-based paints mix with water while oil-based paints mix with solvent. You can also mix wood stain with solvent to achieve a type of glaze as well. Glaze is sold already mixed, but you can also make it yourself. The correct ratios are as follows: with water-based paint, it is 4 parts water to 1 part paint. For oil-based glazes, it is 3 parts solvent to 1 part stain or paint. You can adjust this ratio slightly to either thicken up or further lighten the effect. 

Step 1: Prepare the Space

If you are adding glaze to existing cabinets, you will first want to move any obstacles out of the way and lay down a drop cloth. Expect this to be a somewhat messy job. Cover up any part of the room you don’t want to besmirch with drips of paint. 

Step 2: Mix the Glaze

Depending on the type of paint or stain you are using, have a pitcher of water or a can of oil-based paint solvent handy. Have another clean container in which you can mix the glaze. Measure out the appropriate ratio of paint to water or solvent and mix it thoroughly in the clean container with a stir stick. 

Step 3: Begin to Apply the Glaze

Going with the grain of the wood on the cabinets, begin to paint on the glaze with the brush. Wear latex gloves and have a clean rag in your other hand. As you paint glaze on to the cabinets, wipe it with the rag. The act of wiping will blend the glaze into the wood and give a natural aged look. Some parts of the cabinet may appear darker than others. 

Step 4: Correct What You Don’t Like

Since the glaze is fairly diluted, you can wipe off areas that you don’t like and repaint. Follow this with more wiping to blend the glaze as you see fit. Work on one cabinet door or one face of the cabinet at a time. Make sure you wipe up any runs as they happen. Working on one part at a time, you can better gauge the effect of the glaze and not let any surface get too tacky too soon. If that happens, you won’t be able to wipe it down with the rag to blend it. 

Step 5: Keep a Clean Rag for Wiping

Have a few clean rags for wiping down the glaze as you apply it. As one gets saturated with paint or stain, exchange it for a clean rag. Be sure to cover every exposed face of the cabinets with the glaze so you achieve a uniform coating. 

Glazing bar cabinets will give the area an old fashioned look, even if the wood has been recently painted. Glazing suits elegant bar designs, especially if the furniture and decorations are made to give it a rustic look.

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