Finishing School and Glazing with Black

09.07.11 By //
Project Image

That’s right friends, after a long overdue vacation from Finishing, I am finally doing the glazing tutorial. Sorry for the delay, but…well, I have just been so darn busy! Then I had a bit of a mishap and had to begin again. Oh the horror. Black paint everywhere and a toddler in the midst.

You can visit the Finishing School Page from the BUILD tab or drop down menu above and view the other tutorials that have been done so far.

Without further ado, let’s get started…

Here is what you should end up with to a certain extent:

I chose to use black for this finishing technique because I feel when it comes to glazing, black is ignored more than it should be in favor of brown or a dark walnut. But, I just feel sometimes, black is the better choice (not always) and in this instance, I definitely think this was the case.

Step 1
Step 1

Begin with a well sanded, primed, and painted surface. For instructions on how to achieve this, see my Tips and Tricks for Painting like a Pro

As you can see from the image below, the Deco Art paints, if you can find them in your area and in a size that is affordable and makes sense to buy, you should. The fact that this piece even looks remotely smooth and brush stroke free is a major feat! You have no idea what this poor baby went through on the road to beauty. Beauty is sacrifice though, is it not?

This color is called Birch Bark and I think I love it! It looks vaguely like a weathered wood color. A little bit gray a little bit beige, and a whole lot of wonderful!

Step 2
Step 2

Once your paint has fully dried you will mix your glazing concoction. Each Glazing Medium may have a different recipe for you to follow on the back, but here is my one word of advice on this front: until you are practiced in glazing and know how to eyeball the level of watery-ness that you like, make this VERY watery and you can always layer up. Hard to go back if your formula is too thick and it covers to much or in a pattern you don’t love.

The product I used was the Deco Art Glazing Medium, which suggest 1 part Glaze to 1 part Water then 35% paint added. The great thing about this is that you can use their glazing medium with any of their paints so this was perfect for me given that I had that already.

For the rest of you, glazing medium can be purchased in the paint aisle where you are likely going to buy your paint or at the craft store if you only need a very small amount.

Once your medium is good and watery (I mean watery, at least the first round), you will cover a small area of your piece, you want to ensure that your glaze doesn’t dry before you wipe, so small sections are preferred.

Step 3
Step 3

Since my entire object is small, well, I covered the entire area.

Once you have covered your small section, you will almost immediately wipe off with a clean lint free cloth. The idea here is that you wipe away the glaze on the upper regions and highest peaks while the glaze remains in the crevices, thereby creating an aged tarnished effect.

If you need to do this more than once to achieve the desired level of “aging” you can do so.

You can see the black has remained in the crevices and has darkened some of the flat surface as well. I allowed this to happen in the corners more so than any of the other flat surfaces.

I am always going to err on the side of caution, when it comes to faux finishing. I feel like less is more, but too little is pointless. You need to find a happy medium that you enjoy, but keep in mind that the mistake made most often is going overboard on the technique. It will look contrived and busy which is not at all likely to occur in reality, and that is precisely what we are trying to emulate here.

Step 4

Once your piece has fully dried, you will want to seal with 3-4 coats of Polyurethane. Make sure that if you used water based paint, you choose a water based poly. I recommend a Satin Finish when you are creating a faux finish since again, if an item is likely to tarnish or age, it is not that likely to have a sheen to it. Give it just enough sheen to make it durable and washable, but not any more than that. I swear by Satin finish poly for a faux finish (unless you are working with a shade of white…the polycrilic or a wipe-on ploy is a better choice)!

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