Choices for Glazing

Here's advice on glazing for a beginner who's having trouble. July 11, 2013

I posted earlier about having trouble with the oil glaze I am using drying too fast. I resprayed with a gloss white lacquer and let it dry. When I glaze over the gloss white finish, the glaze is still drying too fast. The rep where I bought the glaze told me to thin it with mineral spirits. I tried that and it still seems to be drying fast. He also said to use a cloth with a little mineral spirits on it to wipe off the glaze. When I do this, it takes off too much glaze. Any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
A few drops of linseed oil will slow it down for you. Just be sure to let it dry thoroughly before topcoating.

From contributor D:
I always reduce oil glazes with flatting oil: A mixture of 10 parts mineral spirits to 1 part boiled linseed oil. Then add either more linseed oil or mineral spirits as needed. MS will make glaze dry faster and BLO will extend working time of glaze. Curiously, I am concerned that oil glaze is drying quickly on a gloss finish. If finished properly, you should have plenty of time to work your glaze.

From contributor O:
If you lay out some glaze on a shelf or door, how fast (in minutes) does it dry? Does the glaze have any acetone or lacquer thinner in it? I logged onto the Camger website to take a peek at their MSDS sheet for their glazes, but had no luck opening the link. No argument intended, but have you had much experience with glazing?

From the original questioner:
I believe they are under Camger coatings. I did quite a bit of glazing at the shop I worked at for several years. I believe they used CV and I think it was an oil glaze. I build all my own cabinets and I also do all the finishing, which is not my strong point. As far as drying on a shelf, I put it on (wipe with a cloth) and start wiping off, I would say, within 1-2 minutes. It starts to dry once I wipe most of the glaze off. I am not sure on the acetone or lacquer thinner, but I can check the can. What do you think about the above posts adding a little linseed oil and paint thinner? When I was at the shop the only time we had problems was when the finish did not sit overnight. How long do you think the lacquer should set before glazing?

From contributor E:
I am going to suggest something totally different. I used the liquid glazes for a while and they worked fine, but when MLC came out with the Amazing Glazes, I found them much easier to work with. I then switched to WB products and found a similar product from Gemini called a dry wipe glaze that I had very good luck with. You spray it on, wait about 10 minutes for it to dry, then wipe it off either with a damp rag if you want the clean look, or a sanding sponge if you want the vintage look with more glaze on the surface. I have now been using that same glaze with solvent conversion finishes and it has worked very well, saving me time and money.

Also, if you only want to pinstripe the profiles, they have guns for that. I originally purchased a glazing gun from CAT but found that the 250 dollar gun was a Chinese import that had interchangeable parts with my 20 dollar mini guns and a few added tips. I later found that Asturo had a similar gun for about 150 dollars that is the real deal. Higher quality parts and you can pinstripe a door in minutes.

From contributor O:
Glazing is just a term used when applying a secondary coating over an existing one.

Think back to the late 1960's when you could buy those hideous glazing kits at the hardware store. They came with a base color, a hunk of cheese cloth, and another color you were supposed to apply over the basecoat once it had dried. Thanks to those days, us refinishers were slammed with more business than we knew what to do with in the 1980's. People were buying those home glazed pieces of furniture at flea markets and garage sales and having them professionally refinished. Ah, the good-ol-days.

Back in your posting prior to Christmas, I mentioned the possibility of you experimenting with mixing your own glaze. I did add in that post that besides an empty can, some paint thinners and a color, you do need a bit of linseed oil.

As others have mentioned, the linseed oil extends the working time of the glaze, but too much linseed oil will certainly cause adhesion problems, so be careful of how much you add.

I have a strong feeling that since your objecting to the glaze drying to fast, it most likely has lacquer thinner or acetone in it.

Finishers have been applying a glaze over most any type of coating ever since water was deemed a liquid, so it won't matter what you apply it over, be it a conversion varnish like you used in the past shop or the white lacquer you're presently using.

Just for shits and giggles, forget the glaze you're now using. Put 3/4 of a cup of pigment (any color) into a quart of paint thinner and stir the dickens out of it. Put two tablespoons of linseed oil into the mix and stir it up real good. Try that glaze on one of your shelves or doors and compare the results to the store bought stuff you're now using. See if you don't find the homebrew user friendlier than the Camgers stuff.

From the original questioner:
I have never mixed colors before where could I get pigment - SW or maybe another paint store?

From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
You should be able to get good results with the glaze you're using. Mineral spirits evaporates slowly and should give you good working time depending on your technique for applying the glaze and wiping the excess.

One technique that I've found valuable is to reduce the glaze with mineral spirits until its viscosity is thin enough to spray. Then I spray a light wet coat on the piece being glazed and wipe the excess. The wiping technique takes a little practice and finding a workable speed is part of the process.

Here's a picture of a raised panel door being glazed (to accentuate the pores) using this technique.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Here's a picture of the cabinet being glazed. With the right technique, you can glaze large surfaces before it dries too much.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the response. What would you recommend for a percentage of thinner to glaze?

From Paul Snyder, forum technical advisor:
It depends on the glaze. Start with 8 ounces of glaze and add measured amounts of thinner (e.g., 1 ounce increments) until it's the consistency of cream. Try spraying it and see how it works. You want to avoid making it too thin so you can control the effect as you're wiping.

If you still need a reducer that evaporates even slower than mineral spirits, you can use R1K140 naphtha from Sherwin Williams - it's about 50% slower. If you need a really slow reducer, use just a little (e.g., .5%) R7K323 from Sherwin Williams. It's an aliphatic dibasic ester blend that evaporates about 10 times (1000%) slower than mineral spirits. It doesn't take much of this to give you a lot of working time.

From contributor O:
Once you have found the happy zone to the glaze consistency and you're ready to apply it, try this. Get one of those squeeze bottles that glue comes in. Our materials supplier, MacMurray Pacific, gives away freebies. We put lacquer thinner in them and use them to clean up PLam or the feeding tables on table saws and jointers, etc.

Pour your glaze into the bottle and once you have screwed the cap back on, snip off a small amount of the tip .This is a simple and cheap way to apply glaze to the areas you want to.

To answer the question about color, get some UTC pigment or a couple tubes of artist's oil colors. It doesn't matter what color you get, just get an oil based concentrate for experimental purpose.