Glaze Effects

Glaze Effects are translucent water-based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes such as marbling, shabby chic, burnishing and color washing. Use over Water Based Wood Stains, Milk Paints, Chalk Style Paints and Pearl Effects. Glaze Effects can be intermixed or layered to create custom colors. They may also be layered over one another to create deeper, richer looks.

Need some inspiration? Visit the General Finishes Design Center OR Pinterest Board for Glaze Effects ideas.

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General Finishes Glaze Effects

Instructions

Step 1: Preparation

If General Finishes Glaze Effects are applied over a fresh coat of product, such as General Finishes High Performance Topcoat, sanding is optional.

If Glaze Effects are applied directly over an older existing finish, prep cleaning and sanding are required to remove dirt, grime and potential contaminants.

Step 2: How To Apply General Finishes Glaze Effects

General Finishes Glaze Effects Application Steps

For more control of depth and placement of glaze color, apply Glaze Effects over 1 coat General Finishes High Performance Topcoat, any sheen.

  1. Stir Glaze Effects to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.
  2. If desired, add 10-15% General Finishes Extender to increase open time; helpful in dry climates and on large projects.
  3. Apply 1+ coats:
    • Hand application: Apply using an acrylic bristle brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator or roller. Wipe away excess Glaze Effects with an absorbent paper or shop towel.
    • Spray application: HVLP: 1.3mm-1.5mm spray tip, medium air cap. Check with equipment supplier for proper tip sizes. Check equipment supplier for proper tip sizes. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Wear a mask and work in a ventilated space. Read here for more information on spraying techniques.
  4. Dry 3+ hours between coats and before topcoat in ideal conditions: 70*F 20*C; 50-70% humidity. Be sure to allow adequate dry time. You can tell if a water-based finish is dry if it forms a powder when lightly sanded with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper. If in doubt, wait longer. Rushing dry time can cause clouding/blush in topcoat due to moisture trapped between coats. Increase dry time if: 
    • Humidity is over 80%
    • A thick coat is applied
    • Applying over a previous existing finish
    • Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:
      • Water over oil: Let oil-based products dry 72+hr before applying water-based products
      • Oil over water: Let water-based products dry 24+hr before applying oil-based products
  5. If a smoother texture is desired, carefully finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper to improve smoothness and adhesion.
  6. Remove dust with a vacuum, oil-free tack cloth or clean water dampened rag before re-coating.
  7. Always seal Glaze Effects with 2-3 coats of topcoat to seal in the colorants.

Cure Time
Water-based finishes cure and harden for full use after 21 days in ideal conditions. Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured. Treat gently, and do not clean with commercial products during the curing period.

Step 3: Topcoat over Glaze Effects

ALWAYS seal General Finishes Glaze Effects with 3 coats of clear topcoat, e.g. General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. Apply a total of 3+ coats of topcoat altogether. If 1 coat of topcoat is applied before Glaze Effects, add at least 2 more coats over the glaze to seal in the color.

Topcoat Recommendations

Cleanup of Water Based Products

Application tools and materials containing water-based products can be cleaned with soap and water immediately after use.

Product Spills
Spills may be able to be removed from fabric and carpet if cleaned immediately with soap and water.

Storage of Water Based Products

Life of Product
Water-based products do not last forever, even when unopened. General Finishes products are best used within 1 year of the manufacture date listed on the bottom of the can. The life of the product may be extended with proper care and storage.

Settling
Gravity can cause some solids to settle on the bottom of the can and slight separation on the top. This is normal. If working with older paint, use paint mixing attachment on a drill. If the solids dissolve and clumps smooth out after mixing from the bottom, the product is in good condition for use.

Storage Tips
See video tutorial: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes
Water-based finishes crystalize and form a skin due to evaporation when the air-tight seal on a can is broken at first use. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:

  1. Pry open sealed lids with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal. 
  2. Keep lid closed while working. Pour what you will use into a bowl, paper cup, or plate, and close can lid as you work.
  3. Clean the chime of the can thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete seal. Paint in the chime can be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid.
  4. Pound the lid in place using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
  5. Store in moderate temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 50*F/10*C or above 80*F/26*C. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.
  6. Store can upside down to create a liquid seal, minimize evaporation and reduce the chance of crystallization. Decant remaining product from the can before stirring. 
  7. Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the finish is almost used up. Alternative storage containers for water-based products are plastic FIFO bottles or glass bottles. Do not fill metal-lidded containers completely to prevent them from rusting.

The following water-based product mixtures can be stored:

  1. Product thinned with up to 15% General Finishes Extender or General Finishes Accelerator can be stored, with the exception of thinned General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain.
  2. Mixtures involving colors & sheens within the same product line, such as:
    • High Performance Satin + High Performance Gloss
    • Snow White Milk Paint + Coastal Blue Milk Paint
    • Amber Dye Stain + Merlot Dye Stain

The following product mixtures should NOT be stored:

  • Any water based product with thinned tap water; water often contains bacteria that will adversely affect stored paint.
  • Topcoat + Stain or Paint
  • Milk Paint + Chalk Style Paint
  • Water Based Wood Stain + Dye Stain

Creative Techniques Using Glaze Effects

Creating Custom Colors

You can design your own custom glazes, stains, washes and varnishes with General Finishes intermixable water-based products. See tips and recipes below:

For the mixes listed below, General Finishes recommends the following two steps:

  1. Applying a base layer of General Finishes High Performance Topcoat before applying your custom glaze.
  2. Protect all of these finishes with 2-3 coats of topcoat when you are finished.

Pastel Glaze/Whitewash:

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Do not add more than 50% paint to the glaze or stain, or else there will be so much pigment it will be difficult to wipe away the finish.

Custom Glaze:

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Your choice of colors

SAMPLE MIX:

Pitch Black Glaze Effects + Winter White Glaze Effects.

Experiment with proportions and colors.

Custom Stain Colors:

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • General Finishes Milk Paint: Your choice of color
  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Clear Base OR General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural

SAMPLE MIXES:

  1. 1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Pre-Stain Natural [50:50 mix] OR
  2. 1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Glaze Effects Clear Base [50:50 mix] OR
  3. 1 part Milk Paint +  2 parts Water Based Wood Stain Natural [1:2 mix]

Proportions are relative to the color you are reducing. Some colors may require 2 parts Clear Base to reduce strength, others may require 1.

Begin with a 50:50 mix, and add more Clear Base as needed.

Increase your color palette by mixing 2 or 3 Milk Paint colors together before adding the Clear Base.

Milk Paint & Glaze Effects Samples

Furniture Care and Maintenance

Cure First
You have just finished applying a fine furniture finish. Allow 21 days for the finish to cure before cleaning.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Remove dust with a water-dampened cloth. Dust can build up over time and may scratch or dull finishes if not removed regularly. 
  • Remove fingerprints, cooking fumes and smoking residue with mild soap and water. These contaminants will not harm the finish, but they accumulate on surfaces and dull the original luster. 
  • As with all fine furniture finishes, avoid using furniture polish, cleaners or dusting sprays that contain silicone, alcohol, ammonia and anything acidic. Exception: We have successfully cleaned with Clorox wipes.
  • Clean up water, alcohol and food spills in a timely manner and use placemats & coasters to protect the finish.
  • Future finishes or touch-ups may not adhere properly or perform as desired over a contaminated surface. Some contaminants, such as silicone, seep through finish into the wood and often cannot be removed.
  • Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight, high temperatures or high humidity. These can damage furniture and finishes.

Warnings and Warranties

Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, or replacement costs.

Contamination and Compatibility
Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning. 

Warning
If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log onto www.epa.gov/lead. WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye and skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water.

Warning
This product contains a chemical known to the State Of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye or skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water.

Specifications

Basic Features
Product Colors Van Dyke Brown, Pitch Black, Winter White, Burnt Umber
Base Type Water
Interior or Exterior Interior
Type Glaze
Application
Application Method Brush, Spray
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes Yes
Sprayable Yes
Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 1.8mm-2.0mm
Topcoat Required Yes
Dry Time
Dry Time - Touch 1+ hr
Dry Time - Recoat 3+ hr
Contents
Can Sizes Pints, Quarts, Gallons
Coverage 125 sq. ft/quart, 500 sq. ft/gal
Technical Data
Viscosity Medium
Weight Solids 22%
VOC <300 g/L

Design Center

Videos

Colors

Glaze Effects Colors

FAQs

Glaze Effects FAQs

Does Glaze Effects require Top Coat?

Absolutely. All stains and glazes require a sealant. Think of the stain or glaze as the color and the topcoat as protection.

Related Products

Relevant Videos

Can Glaze Effects be sealed with wax instead of top coat?

Yes, you can use Satin Wax instead of top coat if you prefer. Although GF loves the look of wax, we recommend using top coat because wax is not as durable. Wax requires annual maintenance and it must be removed if you want to apply topcoat in the future.

Relevant Videos

Can I apply Glaze Effects under UV Cure Urethane Topcoat?

Yes, General Finishes Glaze Effects can be applied under the UV Cure Urethane topcoat. We recommend applying a coat of General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly before applying glaze for more control of the color.

Related Products

Relevant Videos

How can I create a custom glaze, wash, varnish or stain?

You can design your own custom glazes, stains, washes, and varnishes with General Finishes intermixable water-based products. See tips and recipes below:

For all of the following mixes, GF recommends the following two steps:

  1. Applying a base layer of High Performance Top Coat before applying your custom glaze.
  2. Protect all of these finishes with 2-3 coats of top coat when you are finished.


Pastel Glaze/Whitewash:

Milk Paint + Winter White Glaze Effects -OR- Milk Paint + Water Based Whitewash Wood Stain

NOTE: Do not add more than 50% paint. If you add more than 50% you will have so much pigment that it will be difficult to wipe away the finish.


Custom Glaze:

For example, Pitch Black Glaze Effects + Winter White Glaze Effects

Experiment with proportions and colors.


Wood Stain as a Glaze:

Water Based Wood Stain + 10% High Performance Top Coat -OR- Oil Based Wood Stain + 10% Mineral SpiritsNote: Make sure that you wait 72 hours before applying a water based top coat on top of an oil-based stain.


Aged/Varnish Glaze:

Water Based Wood Stain  + High Performance Top Coat 50:50 ratio - OR - Dye Stain + High Performance Top Coat 50:50 ratio


Custom Stain Colors:

1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Pre-Stain Natural [50:50 mix]
-or-
1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Glaze Effects - Clear Base [50:50 mix]
-or-
1 part Milk Paint +  2 parts Water Based Stain Natural [1:2 parts]

Note: Proportions are relative to the color you are reducing. Some colors may require 2 parts clear base to reduce strength, others may require 1. Begin with a 50:50 mix, and add more clear base if necessary.

Note: You can further increase the color palette by mixing 2 or 3 Milk Paint colors together before adding the clear base.

Relevant Videos

How can I tint or mix your Black Glaze to make a custom grey color?

There are three ways.

  1. Mix with small amount of Snow White Milk Paint
  2. Add a small amount of EF White Wood Stain
  3. Professional users could add Enduro White

 

Relevant Videos

Can Glaze Effects be sealed with wax instead of top coat?

Yes, you can use Satin Wax instead of top coat if you prefer. Although GF loves the look of wax, we recommend using top coat because wax is not as durable. Wax requires annual maintenance and it must be removed if you want to apply topcoat in the future.

Relevant Videos

Can I apply Glaze Effects under UV Cure Urethane Topcoat?

Yes, General Finishes Glaze Effects can be applied under the UV Cure Urethane topcoat. We recommend applying a coat of General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly before applying glaze for more control of the color.

Related Products

Relevant Videos

Can I create a glaze with General Finishes Water Based Stains?

General Finishes stains make beautiful glazes. Just add 10% High Performance Top Coat. 

 

Relevant Videos

Does Glaze Effects require Top Coat?

Absolutely. All stains and glazes require a sealant. Think of the stain or glaze as the color and the topcoat as protection.

Related Products

Relevant Videos

How can I create a custom glaze, wash, varnish or stain?

You can design your own custom glazes, stains, washes, and varnishes with General Finishes intermixable water-based products. See tips and recipes below:

For all of the following mixes, GF recommends the following two steps:

  1. Applying a base layer of High Performance Top Coat before applying your custom glaze.
  2. Protect all of these finishes with 2-3 coats of top coat when you are finished.


Pastel Glaze/Whitewash:

Milk Paint + Winter White Glaze Effects -OR- Milk Paint + Water Based Whitewash Wood Stain

NOTE: Do not add more than 50% paint. If you add more than 50% you will have so much pigment that it will be difficult to wipe away the finish.


Custom Glaze:

For example, Pitch Black Glaze Effects + Winter White Glaze Effects

Experiment with proportions and colors.


Wood Stain as a Glaze:

Water Based Wood Stain + 10% High Performance Top Coat -OR- Oil Based Wood Stain + 10% Mineral SpiritsNote: Make sure that you wait 72 hours before applying a water based top coat on top of an oil-based stain.


Aged/Varnish Glaze:

Water Based Wood Stain  + High Performance Top Coat 50:50 ratio - OR - Dye Stain + High Performance Top Coat 50:50 ratio


Custom Stain Colors:

1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Pre-Stain Natural [50:50 mix]
-or-
1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Glaze Effects - Clear Base [50:50 mix]
-or-
1 part Milk Paint +  2 parts Water Based Stain Natural [1:2 parts]

Note: Proportions are relative to the color you are reducing. Some colors may require 2 parts clear base to reduce strength, others may require 1. Begin with a 50:50 mix, and add more clear base if necessary.

Note: You can further increase the color palette by mixing 2 or 3 Milk Paint colors together before adding the clear base.

Relevant Videos

How can I tint or mix your Black Glaze to make a custom grey color?

There are three ways.

  1. Mix with small amount of Snow White Milk Paint
  2. Add a small amount of EF White Wood Stain
  3. Professional users could add Enduro White

 

Relevant Videos

Is topcoat required between Gel Stain and Water Based Glaze Effects?

Yes- this is not a good place to take shortcuts. Gel Stain gets its deep rich hue from a large number of colorants. Seal the stain with a topcoat before applying glaze to prevent "color pull."

The glaze will also glide easier over the surface after topcoat is applied, allowing you greater control of how much color you want to use. Be sure to wait 72 hours when applying water-based finishes over oil-based finishes.

Here is a sample finish schedule:

  1. Prep sand and clean
  2. Apply stain
  3. Apply a layer of topcoat to prevent color bleed thru and make glazing easier
  4. Apply Glaze Effects
  5. Apply 2-3 coats of topcoat to protect the entire project

Relevant Videos