Glazing Tips and Tricks

Finishers discuss the fine points of various glazing methods. November 25, 2008

Is anybody having problems with MLC Vintage Glaze? I just finished a project using Krystal sealer. The problems I'm having are:

1. Terribly short open time even with the 20% glaze extender added. I could barely just get the side of a raised panel cabinet done. I hate to think of trying to do an entertainment center.

2. It wrinkled in many of the recesses where the glaze hung. I allowed it to dry longer than the recommended time before recoating.

3. Poor adhesion, I can scratch it off. Everything was freshly sanded just before glazing.
I've been glazing with other products and CV for over ten years, so I'm familiar with the proper procedure. If you have any experience with this product, good or bad, please let me know.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
Is that a new glaze from MLC? I'm familiar with "amazing glaze" and their regular linseed oil glaze but not "vintage" glaze.

From the original questioner:
Yes, that's MLC's new glaze. It was in response to finishers not wanting to have to sandwich the glaze between coats of vinyl sealer. I talked to my rep this morning and he said it's been out about four months.

He has been here looking at the issues. The only thing that we could see that could have been a problem as far as adhesion is that I let the sealer dry over the weekend. I did, however, sand it freshly just before glazing.

From contributor T:
If the vintage was just to eliminate the vinyl sealer sandwich, why not just use their traditional glaze and cut it 3 to 2 glaze to mineral spirits. I use it this way and never have wrinkling or adhesion problems. Sounds like the vintage caused the same problems as the traditional without the vinyl anyway.

From the original questioner:
Are you saying that you use the traditional glaze cut the way you do it and don't sandwich it between coats of vinyl sealer? What top coats are you using? What is your system?

From contributor M:
In SC, the MLC rep sold us no-vinyl glaze from MLC. It was a thinner version of their traditional glaze. Later they told us (when they ran out) that all we needed to do was thin the traditional glaze, just as mentioned above, with mineral spirits. Works fine.

From the original questioner:
To contributor M: What topcoat are you using?

From contributor T:
I got this from my MLC rep and it works fine. It doesn't make it too thin to hang up in recesses but it thins it enough to be able to spray it and to eliminate the need for the vinyl. I use Magnasand sealer (or sometimes Max as a self-sealer), sand with 220 on a r/o sander for bigger pieces, then hand sand further with 320, spray my glaze, work with a rag dampened with mineral spirits, allow to dry 1-6 hours, top-coat with 2 coats of MagnaMax. This has worked for me through trial and error and hints from my rep.

You should check with MLC via your rep or their web-site, but I'm about positive this should work with the Krystal or CV from them as well. One thought I had about the original post was the re-coat window requirements. You said you allowed it to dry longer than the recommended time. The traditional glaze has a re-coat window of 6 hours, then 48 hours if you miss the 6. That could have had something to do with it.

From contributor D:
Have you tried just using universal tints thinned with mineral spirits for use as a glaze? This works well in a straight lacquer system so I realize you have to find a compatible concentrate to use with your coating system and then test it, but what I found with lacquer is this simple type of glaze is much easier to use and really has no recoat window issues other than letting the solvent flash off.

I started out 30 years ago using Star and Mohawk glazes and they had the same tedious recoat window rules such as being described here and we continually pulled our hair out with adhesion problems from waiting too long or blushing white because the oil or solvent in the glaze wasn't dry enough to shoot over. Once I started making my own glaze with UTCs I never went back.

Of course it doesn't have the open time that a heavy bodied glaze will have, but I learned to work with it and being able to shoot right over it and not have so many issues is worth a lot.

I'm also wondering if you have tried the powder glaze. I use a Becker product in my 2k urethane schedule and it works very well. I haven't used the MLC version amazing glaze, but this type of glaze is designed for ease of use and good compatibility with catalyzed coating systems which are more finicky about layering glazes in-between coats.

From contributor M:
To the original questioner: I've used both Magnamax and Krystal that way. As well as S-W Sherwood precat.

From the original questioner:
Thanks guys for the thoughts. I'm going to talk to my rep about the thinning of the traditional glaze.

Also, contributor T, when I said I has allowed it to dry longer than the time, I meant longer than the minimum time allowed. My rep came by the shop and took a sample I had made to send to Canada for the techs to look at. The finish on the ornate vanity I made comes off just by scraping it with your fingernail.

From contributor T:
The MLC Amazing glaze has been mentioned a cpl times. In my experience, it is useless. I have tried it 2 or 3 times and never been able to get anywhere near the look I want. I just can't seem to get it scuffed back off where I don't want it and get it to lay heavy enough where I do. Is anyone using it and getting good results?

From the original questioner:
That has been my experience as well. I couldn't get it to look the way I can get it with a wet glaze. I never could get it to look right on doors where the rails and stiles come together. In some ways I'm sure it's easier. No rush, no adhesion problem. I know there are finishers who use it though

From contributor R:
I believe that the directions for the thinned version of the traditional glaze are right on the can, if not go to the MLC website and look at the PI sheets. I've been doing it this way for a couple of years now:

1 coat Clawlok primer
1 coat Resistant pigmented
Apply thinned glaze and remove within 45 minutes
1 or 2 coats Krystal

I’ve had no problems so far.

From contributor M:
For those using the Amazing Glaze with difficulty replicating the wet glazes, I just don't think that the powder glaze types will ever give the same look as the wet glaze.

Wet glaze, especially over stain, gives a fantastic depth. Unfortunately it is a major pain to get in the profiles and wiped back - it is an art skill that must be developed by your highly paid, well-treated, frequently vacationed finisher.

That being said, the Amazing Glaze is superb for getting that "in the groove" issue solved. Spray it on, let it dry for a minute or so, and use a maroon or light brown (extra fine or ultra-fine) Scotch-brite pad to remove the excess glaze. I do not apply the glaze heavily at all to the face of the door, only to the profiles where build-up is desired.

For the face I very gingerly, lightly mist on a tad of it and then remove a good bit of it with the Scotch-brite. This is much more difficult on white/opaque’s, but a breeze on stains.

From the original questioner:
Thanks contributor M for the thoughts on Amazing glaze. Over stains I could see that it would work great.

Contributor R - you said that you remove the excess within 45 minutes. I normally do it at the time of application. Do you spray your glaze on or brush? I have always sprayed mine on. I was talking to my MLC rep and he was surprised I sprayed it on, all his clients brushed theirs on. I can't see taking the extra time. How about you? What about drying time? Do you work within a recoat window?

From contributor T:
I have used the Amazing glaze on stained work to get a little more depth or highlight detail. I spray my wet glaze as well. I have seen here where some people apply it and pull it back off or work it with a brush but I have never been able to see how that would work-I guess I'd just have to see someone do it.