Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Use Brown Glaze and a Bit on Surface: Part 1

It's a funny thing, the idea of faking age and patina. From the furniture refinishing side, I fully appreciate the look and appeal that a little glazing or tinted wax adds. From the antiques dealer perspective it's hilarious because these faux finishes look nothing like the actual wear and surface a piece of furniture acquires after a hundred or more years of use. This will be a two part post. First I'll tell you a bit about my glazing techniques, then I'll give you a little breeze through on actual surface and patina on antique pieces. Part one is pretty and fluffy and part two is kind of icky. This will be fun!

In terms of adding a little extra color and depth to a newly refinished piece of furniture I tend to favor glaze over wax. I've experimented with wax quite a bit and never had a great deal of luck- though my friend Leslie is fiddling with some custom made waxes right now that I'm dying to get my paws on.
I primarily use Rust-Oleum decorative glaze in Java. Here are some helpful hints:

- Paint surface should always be fully dried and cured before you apply any sort of top coat. This is true for polyurethane, wax, or glaze. If the surface is not cured properly you'll just end up removing it as you apply the top coat. Be patient or you'll just un-do your fine painting work.

This is a custom hutch and dry sink I did two months ago with a brown glaze over a creamy mocha colored paint. 

-When applying, work in small sections. The glaze dries quickly and you want to be able to wipe on and wipe off while the glaze is still workable.

Vintage Bassett brand chair painted but before glaze application

Glaze has been applied but not yet wiped off. This is about as large a section as I'd recommend you do at a time. 

- And that's precisely how I apply the glaze, I wipe it on with a paper towel and then remove it with a clean dry towel. It's a messy process so if you care about your manicure, wear gloves. I consider the effect of the glaze on my nails to be my manicure. :P

- be thorough and make sure you work the glaze into all the nooks and crannies of the woodwork. Spots that you miss will stick out like a sore thumb.

- Keep an eye out for clumps and darker spots of glaze. They will not dry properly and will end up sticky. I encourage you to work in a well lit area so you can spot these globs and remove them as you go.

- Allow the glaze about 12 hours to dry and then apply a final clear paste wax coat to protect and seal the surface.

Chair after the glaze has been wiped off, allowed to dry, and wax top coat has been applied. 

And here's the same effect on the matching china cabinet- though here I also lightly distressed the woodwork before applying the glaze. 

Now- to turn that on its ear- I followed exactly none of those rules when working on my c.1920 velvet sofa frame. I wanted a very loose French Country feel to make the sofa more modern and to brighten up the woodwork. I painted on and then immediately wiped off a bright white latex paint. As soon as I completed this coat I went back and worked in the glaze. I did this because I wanted the glaze to wipe off the paint on the raised wood work, making it pop more. I've used this technique on the woodwork of all three of my antique velvet pieces and have been very happy with the results.

So you can see how much more variation and movement there is in this paint surface.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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