How to Refinish Wood Furniture with Wood Glaze

What You'll Need
Sandpaper or steel wool
Glaze: Oil or water-based
Brush or spray gun
Safety glasses
Mask or respiratory protection

If you have a piece of furniture that needs a breath of new life, you may like to know that it is not very difficult to add a wood glaze. Once the furniture has been cleaned and refinished, you will be amazed at how good it looks. Wood glaze can change the color of the wood, make the grain of the wood stand out and can add the appearance of depth. Adding a wood glaze to a piece of furniture is the act of adding a colorant before and after a coat of finish (sandwiching the color between the coats of finish).

Step 1 - Apply a Layer of Finish

Working in a well ventilated area, you can apply a thin coat of the finish that you have chosen for the wood furniture.

Once the first layer has dried, you will lightly scuff or scratch the surface using sandpaper or steel wool. This provides a rough finish for the glaze to cling too and settle into. If you have used an oil based finish, you should use sandpaper as steel wool may leave rust streaks or stains.

Step 2 - Apply the Layer of Glaze

If you are using a water-based finish, you should use a water-based glaze. If you are using an oil-based finish, you should use an oil-based glaze. Keep in mind that an oil-based glazes and finishes take longer to dry and require a solvent to clean to tools, but are easier to apply to the wood.

You can use a rag, a brush or a spray gun to apply the wood glaze. Make sure that you cover the entire area with a generous coat of the glaze in all the areas where you want the glaze effect to appear. When the glaze no longer appears shiny, wipe it off with a clean rag. This is a little tricky; if you wait too long it will be difficult to remove, it you remove it too soon you won’t have the effect that you want.

If you are looking to create an aged look, you should wipe the glaze off the surface leaving some glaze in the cracks and crevices, along the edges and other areas where you would like an aged effect or would like to increase the look of the grain in the wood. Alternately, you could use other material to remove the glaze to create a unique effect. Or, you could use a graining tool for another different effect. Use your imagination.

If you haven’t achieved the look that you had in mind, you can apply as many layers of glaze as you need until you are satisfied. Make sure to wipe off the excess each time a new layer is applied.

Step 3 - Finishing

Once the layer of glaze has dried you can add the final layer of finish. This seals the glaze and the total effect that you were looking to achieve. Let it all dry then it is ready to be used again.