When considering glazed cabinets, be aware that “Glaze” is a buzz word. Glaze is actually the name of a product and not a technique.
Having said that, there are many interpretations of the term glazed cabinets. Lets look at them:
- Pin-point glaze- a thin even line (usually applied with a glazing gun) that catches in all the profile changes. A modern and contemporary look.
- over-all wipe on glaze – a thin glazing medium is applied over already finished (usually painted) cabinets to antique the color and collect in the recessed areas of the profile. – an old world, antiqued and muddied look.
This is all then clear coated to seal in the glazing medium. Depending on the glaze color and how it is applied, different looks can be achieved.
A common method of this over-all glaze is to cover the entire door front with a glaze using a pad or brush (depending on amount of stroke marks desired), wait till sticky, and then rub off, being careful to follow any grain of the wood. This is time consuming but produces the antique look. It can be varied by how much glaze medium is removed in the wiping process.
Keep in mind that since this is a hand applied process, there will be variations from door to door and streaks and swirls will be present.
Traditional methods of applying glazes involve dry brushing on glaze, and wiping it leaving a haze of glaze on the finished piece with heavier glaze in the recesses adding accenting- although still used, today’s popular trend is pin-point glazing or the newest term called inking.
What is Inking ?
Glaze “inking” or pin-point glazing is a very clean glaze look applied to the recesses and profiles of doors, trim and moldings. Inking is different than traditional wipe on glazing because it leaves absolutely no trace of the glaze on the top flat surface. It results in a clean contrast between the cabinets and the glazed areas and is becoming a very popular look on cabinets and furniture. On white or cream cabinets, as in the photo, we use a Van Dyke (dark) brown glaze to create this clean line contrast.
pin-point glazing is difficult, labor intensive and time consuming to achieve, especially when a dark glaze is used on a on light color. Thus there is a cost increase on cabinets finished this way, but the results are well worth the extra cost. Not only is the process difficult but the glazing steps need to be performed after staining or painting and after the seal coat. Then an additional final clear seal coat is used to seal in the glaze, increasing the number of seal coat layers as well.