my Old Workshop

Glaze – how to make it

Maybe you’ve considered spicing up your walls with some decorative painting techniques, such as rag painting, sponging or texturing. Using a glaze gives you beautiful, long lasting results.

Different glazes lend themselves to different jobs; you’ll choose based on the look you want to achieve and the difficulty of the technique. The trickier your technique, the longer you’ll want your drying time. That way, if it takes awhile to get the job done, you won’t have to worry about overlapping marks. And if you’re not satisfied with your effect or you make mistakes here and there, no problem. Wipe it down and start over.

Traditionally, decorative painters used alkyd glazes, which stay wet and workable longer than the modern alternatives. The finish has a translucent beauty that might be worth the smell and mess involved in working with them. And the rich, deep finish is ideal for techniques such as marbling.

To make it, mix one part oil-based blend-and-glaze with one part preimium alkyd paint and one part paint thinner. If you want to speed up the drying a bit, mix less blend-and-glaze and add more paint thinner. This also gives you a harder finish.

Acrylic latex glaze. To get a faster drying, but less messy and expensive glaze, mix an acrylic paint thickener or transparent latex blend-and-glaze (paint without any pigment) with acrylic or latex paint. Then add water. For ragging on and sponging on, which are fairly easy techniques, a 1:2:1 mixture is good. If you’re dragging or woodgraining, you want more translucency, and you can increase the mix to a 5:1:1 and add one part “blend and glaze extender”.

Latex wash. This is the easiest to make and use for simple techniques. Just thin down latex paint with water, 1:1.

Next an overview of techniques.