Step-by-Step on How to Glaze Cabinets


Glazed cabinets have all the charm of a rustic cottage, or a shabby chic-lover's dream kitchen. You can apply glazing over painted cabinets to give them a new look, and it's a pretty simple (if time consuming) job that's basically distressing the cabinets, but in reverse. Glazing is most often applied to kitchen cabinetry, but it can easily transform crockery cabinets or office cabinets from ho-hum to antique charm in almost no time at all.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Tack cloths
  • Detergent (optional)
  • Plastic container
  • Glazing liquid
  • Paint
  • Remove the hardware from the cabinets using a screwdriver and take off the cabinet doors as well.

  • Wipe the cabinets down with a clean tack cloth. If the cabinets are grease or grimy, clean them with detergent, then dry them thoroughly with a tack cloth.

  • Mix one part glazing liquid to three parts paint in a plastic container if you are after a heavy glazed look on the cabinets. Use an equal mixture for a mid-antique feel, or one part paint to two parts glazing liquid for a slightly aged look.

  • Rub the glazing liquid and paint solution on the face of the cabinets with a clean cloth. Work in small sections at a time, rubbing the glazing in and wiping off excess with an extra cloth.

  • Work the mixture into the cabinets, paying close attention to the decorative elements of the cabinets -- molding or router work, for instance. Apply more coats to achieve a heavier distressed look; at any time you can wipe the glazing back with a clean cloth if it feels too heavy.

  • Leave the cabinets to dry for 24 hours before re-hanging the doors and attaching hardware. If you want to complete the rustic makeover, consider installing new antique-look cabinet handles in brass or copper to complement the shabby chic glazed cabinets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Black, brown and gray are the typical paint colors used with glazing. When choosing a paint to mix with glazing liquid, aim for one that compliments the cabinet shade: light cream and white cabinets work well with gray, taupe or fawn colors resonate with brown; dark mahogany, dark greens, blues and purples work well with black.

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