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What Is Paint Glaze?

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Paint glaze is a thin, translucent film of color painted over a base coat of paint. Paint glaze is commonly used in many faux and decorative painting techniques and plays an essential part in creating a rich, dimensional look for your walls. Glaze has many uses in painting, including increasing the paint’s drying time, giving an otherwise dull wall the appearance of depth and dimension, and perfecting the color of your walls.

Types of Glazes

Paint glaze can be oil- or water-based. Oil-based glazes are often comprised of materials such as kerosene or linseed oil, which extend the working time of these glazes to about 45 minutes, compared to the 15 to 20 minutes of time you gain with water-based glazes. When working with oil-based glazes, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area, as the odor from the paint can saturate your working or living area. In addition, oil-based glazes cannot be cleaned with soap and water, so it is important to talk to your paint supplier about cleanup supplies and instructions.

Water-based glazes, also referred to as acrylic glazes, are usually made from latex and can extend the drying time of paint. Depending on the amount of drying time you wish to provide for yourself, water-based glazes can be rolled on thicker to extend your painting time, allowing for more creativity and freedom. You can also thin water-based glazes by adding water for a faster dry time.

How to Apply Glaze

Glaze is relatively easy to apply because you can apply it in the same way you would any wall paint, with a brush or roller. When applying glaze, make sure to work in small sections (about 2’x2’), as this will help you achieve a consistent look and allow for more freedom regarding dry time.

Glaze Color and Translucency

When it comes to glaze color, two options exist: already-tinted glazes and colorless glazes. To tint your own glaze, combine the glaze with your paint. While the ratio of glaze to paint is typically 4:1, it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Glaze translucency is determined by how much paint you add to the glaze. More paint than glaze results in less translucency, whereas less paint than glaze yields more translucency.

Paint glaze can be a fun “do-it-yourself” project for homeowners comfortable with experimenting with various painting techniques. However, if you are uncomfortable with painting and glazing your walls, it can be helpful to contact a painting contractor.

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