Glazing Painted Cabinets


From original questioner:

I use Mohawk finishing glaze. On painted work the glaze seems to dry to fast and it's hard to get it wiped clean. Dirty looking, which is somewhat accepted since its glazed. I've never had any complaints but I'd like to be able to wipe it cleaner. Sometimes I have to use paint thinner to take it off and start over. Is there some kind of way to give it a longer time to work with?

From contributor Ji

Sometimes we get longer working times by misting some of the appropriate thinner (sounds like mineral spirits in your case) onto the tacky glaze with a pump spray bottle - like the window cleaner type.

From contributor Mi

Thanks Jim, that's a good thought. I'll try that.

From contributor Ro

Two options. First, wet the piece with mineral spirits beforehand & second, do the panel and wipe clean & then do the frame.

From contributor Ma

On top of what was already said, I usually paint at the end of the day, then get up early and glaze first thing while it is still cool out, that helps alot.

From contributor ke

adding naptha to your glaze will give you longer open time. so will clear glaze base.

From contributor Mi

I appreciate the responses. My supplier doesn't carry naptha Kevin, but I have a whole pail of toluene. Would that work for your method?

I think I'll give jim's method first.

From contributor Pa


Oil base stains, glazes, and paints can be thinned with solvents that are in the petroleum distillate family. These include toulene, zylene, naphtha, and mineral spirits (aka., paint thinner). Each of these evaporates at different rates and when you need more working time, choose the one that evaporates more slowly.

The evaporation rate of solvents is often compared to butyl acetate (BuAc) which is assigned a rate of 1.0 and falls in the slow category. In comparison, the evaporation rates of a few other solvents used in finishing ranks as follows;

Fast > 3.0

  • Acetone = 5.6
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone = 3.8

Medium 0.8 to 3.0

  • VM&P Naphtha = 2.0
  • Toulene = 1.8
  • 95% Ethyl Alcohol = 1.4

Slow < 0.8

  • Xylene = 0.6
  • Isobutyl Alcohol = 0.6
  • Water = 0.3
  • Mineral Spirits = 0.1

Slower evaporating solvents are often called retarders. In the petroleum distillate family, mineral spirits is a retarder.

From contributor Da

I am having the same problem as you with ending up with a dirty, look what I hear called a "Country Glaze" by designers. I would love to hear some input from people getting a pinstriped glaze look with no wiping or elbow grease involved. Just a clean application process with little follow up. I was thinking about giving the CA Tech gun a try (I had no luck with the airbrush pen, too little capacity) We have a large kitchen coming up as well that we need to get a process figured out for.
Not to steal the thread but I feel we are looking for the same thing.

From contributor Mi

Dave, we tried the pen glaze. Fine a bunch of sample doors and none of my clients liked the look. "To neat", "looks like you just made a penciled line". Didn't go over like I'd hoped. We scrapped the idea. I really agreed with the clients, I didn't like the look either. My sales rep said that it was some of the best glazing he had seen, but no one else thought so.

From contributor Ma

If you are wanting it to come off easily, paint with a higher sheen, like semi gloss.Don't sand, glaze, then clear.You can do this as long as you don't let the paint cure too long, without having adhesion problems.

From contributor Ba

As I recall from my solvent days we added BLO for less bite. That being said it could be an application problem. How are you applying your glaze? You may want consider brushing it on/in and dry brushing the excess to get your look.

good luck

From contributor Da

Sand scratches from a scratch pattern can allow a dirty look. Vinyl sealer as an undercoat, unsanded, allows a cleaner wipe because of its slicker surface. Adding drops of kerosene will definitely give you more open time for your glaze but if you add too much kerosene then you'll have a glaze that won't accept any topcoat because it won't ever dry enough.

From contributor Mi

I appreciate all the responses. I'm going to try paint thinner or maybe toluene. Interesting enough my sales rep told me to use cv reducer/retarder and that paint thinner would make it dry faster...but I know from experience that paint thinner slows the drying. Guess he's just wrong this time.