Glazing A Desk


Glazing a desk lets you apply a translucent coat of color that adds depth and character to an otherwise plain painted or stained surface. Glaze has several advantages over paint, including giving you plenty of time to work and re-work an area to achieve the exact look you want, and the ability to mix your own custom color or combination of colors. If you don't like the way it turns out the first time, you can wipe it off and start over, or apply a second or third layer in a different color.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Dropcloth
  • Clean rags
  • Painter's tape
  • Glaze medium
  • Paint or stain
  • Paint brush
  • Remove the hardware, such as drawer pulls and handles, by unscrewing them from the back with the appropriate screwdriver.

  • Pull the drawers completely out of the desk and set them up on end on a drop cloth so the fronts are easily accessible for glazing.

  • Wipe down the entire desk and drawer fronts with a clean damp rag to remove any dust or dirt.

  • Tape off any areas that shouldn't be glazed using painter's tape.

  • Mix the glaze medium and paint or stain according to the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, this is 3 parts glaze and 1 part paint for dark color, or 4 parts glaze and 1 part paint for a lighter look. The exact measurements are not as important as achieving the color you desire.

  • Brush the glaze mixture on to a section of the desk, working it into corners and crevices.

  • Wipe away excess glaze with a clean, lint-free rag. Push hard to work glaze into wood grain or grooves if desired, or use light strokes to leave more glaze on the surface.

  • Repeat the application and wiping process for the remaining sections of the desk, including the fronts of the drawers.

  • Wait for the glaze to dry to the touch, usually about four hours, before reassembling the desk and replacing the hardware.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice different wiping techniques on a piece of scrap lumber before applying glaze to the desk to get the exact look you desire.
  • Add a second layer of glaze to create depth.
  • Don't apply glaze to a freshly painted desk until it has dried completely.

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