Applying a Toasted Almond Glaze

Four different finishers describe their methods for achieving this effect with wipe-off brown glaze over white base coat. July 29, 2007

I have a customer that would like a toasted almond glaze finish on maple kitchen cabinets. I have never worked with glazing and am looking for advice on recreating the finish in the picture.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
Are you sure you want to tackle such a job? How much time do you have to practice until this job reaches the finishing stage? Considering your experience with glazing, this job could turn into a real nightmare for you. As you know, it takes time to develop a good reputation in this trade, and until you have some practice in this particular aspect (glazing), you just might wish to pass this job on to a finisher who is qualified to do it.

From contributor T:
There was a recent thread called "How much to build?" That is the finish that was used. Maybe the author can help you. Looks pretty basic to me. White and glaze. I think it's just a matter of getting the right white and the right color glaze.

From contributor D:
I built the cab in the "How much to build" thread. Glazing is not that big of a jog if you understand what to do and what not to do.

Here is my process:
ML Campbell Clawlock primer
Sand with 220
2nd coat Clawlock primer
Sand with 220
3rd coat Clawlock if needed
Top coat with Krystal
Do not sand (the glaze will get into the scratches)

Use ML Campbell Amazing Glaze. (Turn your fluid down to just a fine mist and turn air up – you want it to go on dry.) Do a small area at a time. It will burn into the finish. Wait about 3 minutes and scuff off with maroon scotch brite pad. Once you have it scuffed off, get a lot of clean rags and a dipping pan with standard lac thinner only. Dip a rag in the thinner and squeeze as much of the thinner out as you can. Wipe off the glaze and come behind with another rag to wipe off excess thinner so as not to loosen up the finish. Wipe off until you get desired effect. I would suggest making a sample and showing the customer because the glaze will stain the paint and darken it slightly. Forgot - after the glazing is done, you can use whatever lacquer topcoat you like - Maglac, Magmax, Krystal.

From contributor O:
I had never done any glazing until the last year or so but have since done 3 or 4 jobs in this finish (customers see it at HD, I think). Anyway, contributor D is telling you a good way to do it. However, I personally have not had much luck with the Amazing Glaze. I just can't seem to get what I don't want back off enough. Also, Amazing Glaze really lays in any scratches, so you have to be careful.

An alternative to contributor D's way is the way I have been doing it and have had better luck (not knocking his - I just prefer using MLC Traditional glaze). I would use the Clawlock to get the base color (white, as the glaze will tint the final product, or just slightly tinted if you want a darker base color). Then you can seal with vinyl sealer, sand with 220, and use the glaze full strength. Then another coat of vinyl sealer, topcoat. Or...
cut the glaze 2 parts mineral spirits to 3 parts glaze, skip the vinyl sealer, and glaze over the sanded color coat. I spray on the cut glaze, let it set for maybe 3 or 4 minutes, and begin working it back off with clean rags, leaving the glaze in the profiles. It will also leave a slight haze of the glaze on the white color and darken it somewhat. A little (very little, damp) thinner or Naphtha on a rag will allow you to remove glaze from any scratches and anywhere else it lays too heavy. Allow to dry, then topcoat. I think the window to topcoat on MLC glaze is 1-6 hours or wait 48. Using the vinyl sealer is how it is recommended, but I have done it with the cut glaze and as I said, prefer the look better than with the Amazing Glaze. Just another way you may want to try. Also, of course, do some samples, as getting the end result your customer is trying to achieve may take a couple of practice runs.

From contributor Z:
Toasted almond is just a fancy name for white with van dyke brown glaze or something similar.

My glazing steps are fast and easy and look perfect. I use Becker Acroma products. First I prime one coat, sand. Paint with desired color. Spray glaze. The glaze I use dries very fast, so I wipe my panel first, mainly getting a consistent bead of glaze around the inside of door. Wipe as much leftover glaze off panel without disturbing my bead of glaze. Then wipe off frame. The door pretty much looks like crap at this point, with dried glaze going every which way, but still has a nice consistent bead of glaze.

This is going to be easier if you have more profiles to work with versus a flat panel door. Next I let dry for a while, then I go back with a damp rag with mineral spirits and clean up my glaze. If you are looking for a heavier look with lots of streaks, use a dirty rag with a lot of glaze on it with the mineral spirits and wipe with the direction of the panel and the stile and rails. This leaves behind a lot of streaks that basically look like brush strokes. Next let dry, then use scotch brite pad and scuff everything, cleaning up a little more glaze where needed. Then clear.

Other glazes may work completely different and may not work with this system. Or they may give it the wrong look for you, but it works for me and has never failed.

From contributor K:
Quick note regarding wiping MLC Traditional glaze: I recently had a customer who wanted an absolutely clean look in the paint, with glaze only in the crevices - no staining from the glaze at all. I couldn't get it clean enough with mineral spirits, and was afraid it was too early to use lacquer thinner. A buddy recommended denatured alcohol. Worked perfectly. Magnaclaw, sand, Magnaclaw, sand, tinted Magnamax, glaze, Magnamax satin… although I'd probably start with tinted Clawlock, as mentioned above, in the future.

From contributor R:
I don't see why anyone would want a glaze that dries fast or bites into the coating or needs to be removed with a Scotch-Brite pad or needs to be removed with lacquer thinners or alcohol.

If you apply an oil based glaze on top of an un-sanded, semi gloss coating, it can be easily maneuvered with a bristle brush and can easily be removed with a little paint thinner. By applying the glaze over the un-sanded coating, the glaze won't be picked up in the scratch pattern leaving an unsightly look.

By applying the glaze over a semi-gloss coating, you have plenty of time to move it around with the glazing brush. Sealers are soft and quite absorbent, so they soak up a glaze and cause it to dry too fast.

If doing a painted finish with a glaze only applied in the architecture of the door... Just mix some color in Naphtha and paint it into the grooves, let it dry and remove whatever you want with a cotton rag dipped into some Naphtha.

Again... this glaze is applied over an un-sanded semi gloss coating. Most store bought glazes, and all the ones already discussed in this thread, are mixed into hot solvents, and you therefore need hot solvents to remove them. To me this leaves an unnatural look and is not as subtle looking as an oil glaze is.

Mix up some oil color into some paint thinner and add a touch of linseed oil (I said a touch!). Rag it onto whatever you're glazing, get yourself a good pure bristle brush (I use 4 and 5 inch Purdy pure bristle brushes) and whisk the glaze N.S.E.W., finally brushing with the grain. An entire kitchen can be glazed in a few hours and topcoated once the glaze has dried. For anyone who is afraid to incorporate linseed oil into the equation, you can substitute it with clear Watco. Besides having good spray equipment and the know how to use it, I would say that good brushes and the knowledge to use them go hand in hand.