How to use general finishes glaze effects
General Finishes Glaze Effects are fabulous products that add a decorative touch to your furniture projects. They can whitewash or antique, depending on the look you want to achieve.
The Wildflower Walnut Dresser is coming along so nicely and now it’s time for the next step – glazing!
If you’ve missed the steps I’ve taken so far, you can catch up here:
Applying Iron Orchid Design Transfer
Now if you’ve never heard of General Finishes Glaze Effects or aren’t exactly sure how they’re different from other products like waxes and topcoats, let me give you some background information.
Glaze Effects are translucent water-based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes such as marbling, shabby chic, burnishing and color washing. They are thinner than paint and aren’t meant to provide full coverage like paint. Instead, they are a decorative product that can be used over General Finishes’ Water Based Wood Stains, Milk Paints, Chalk Style Paints and Pearl Effects. Glaze Effects can be mixed together or layered to create custom colors.
General Finishes carries a few different colors of Glaze Effects:
Winter White provides you with a whitewashed or limed effect. It’s perfect for the farmhouse look!
Here are some project where I used Winter White Glaze Effects:
I really enjoy using Winter White over grays such as Driftwood and Queenstown Gray to get a lovely farmhouse finish. I also layer it over Java Gel Stain and Gray Gel Stain to get the gray stained looks in the photos above.
Next, General Finishes has a Pitch Black Glaze Effect. This color is good to use if you want to add some age but you want the aging to be cool in color.
Then there’s Burnt Umber, which gives you a lovely reddish brown tint. I have yet to use either of these glaze colors on a project. I’m waiting for just the right opportunity!
And finally, there’s Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects, which is a lovely warm brown. It adds the perfect amount of patina and gives you the perfect antiqued look on your General Finishes pieces! You can always pick up any of these lovely colors from my displays at Morgantown Market or Homestead Studios.
This is the color that I selected for my Wildflower Walnut Dresser project. Here’s how I did it…
Once I had my Iron Orchid Decor Transfer applied, I gently sanded the entire piece with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth it all out.
Then I wiped away the dust with an oil-free tack cloth. Next, I sealed my decor transfer with a layer of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat in Flat.
This step was necessary for 2 reasons. First, you need to apply a layer of sealer over your IOD decor transfers to protect them. IOD recommends any water based sealer. Waxes created for chalk type paints also work as long as they as they don’t contain harsh solvents. Second, whenever you are using Glaze Effects by General Finishes, it’s always a good idea to have a layer of HP Topcoat in between your paint and your glaze. This helps your glaze go on more smoothly and it makes it easier to wipe the product away. If you don’t have this layer in between, the glaze tends to drag and you get smudges and smears in your glaze. It acts almost like an ice skating rink! It glides on then glides off.
I let my layer of HP Topcoat dry for 1-2 hours and then I cracked open my can of Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects.
Using one of my Flat ClingOn! brushes, I applied the glaze directly over the surface and used a lint-free rag to wipe away the excess. I made my way over the dresser one section at a time.
The glaze settled into all of the nooks and crannies on the piece, giving it a subtle aged effect.
You can watch a full tutorial on how to glaze here:
It’s best to work in small sections as you’re glazing because this product dries fast. Do one drawer at a time, one side at a time, the top, the legs, etc. Don’t try to glaze all at once. Trust me! Also keep a box of lint-free rags or blue shop towels handy because you’ll use a lot of them. Always turn your rag to wipe with a clean surface so you don’t redeposit glaze in a spot it’s not supposed to be. Finally, know that glazing takes a bit of practice. It’s not hard, but it’s good to go through the motions on a scrap piece of wood before you try it on your project.
Here’s the full effect:
f there are any heavy areas of glaze where you need to feather it out, use a bristle brush dampened with a product called Extender to move it around. Extender is a wetting agent that increases the dry time of water based products, helping them stay workable longer. You can also mix it directly into your can of Glaze Effects! Use 5%-10% Extender by volume of paint.
The dresser was left to dry overnight and there are only a few steps remaining in its makeover! I need to go back and touch up some spots where the glaze went on a bit uneven, like here on the leg:
I’ll do this gently with 400 grit sandpaper. Once I like how everything looks, all that’s left is to seal it with several more coats of High Performance Topcoat and put the knobs on. (I have to go shopping for those too because I need 12 total.)
It’s one step at a time with this one, but it’s coming along just beautifully!