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 Van Dyke Brown Glaze Effects, Quart

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, thin with up to 15% distilled water or General Finishes Extender. Start by adding 5% in increments until you reach the desired consistency. GF Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time, which is helpful in dry climates. 
  3. Apply 1+ coats:
    • Hand application: Apply using a synthetic bristle brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator or roller. Wipe away excess Glaze Effects with an absorbent paper or shop towel.
    • Spray application: Spray wet films at 3-5-mil thickness. HVLP: 1.3mm-2.0mm spray tip, medium air cap. Check with equipment supplier for proper tip sizes. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Wear NIOSH-approved respiratory & eye protection. 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. 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
    • 3+ coats are applied (not recommended)
    • Applying over an existing sealed finish
    • Applying over products from other brands
    • 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 to improve smoothness and adhesion.
  6. Remove dust with a vacuum, compressed air, an oil-free tack cloth or a water-dampened rag.
  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.

Warning: Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.

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 or GF Brush & Gun Cleaner 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

Please be mindful of the manner in which water-based products are stored and how long they have been in storage. They not a forever product. 
 

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 can. However, the life of the product may be extended with proper care and storage (see Storage Tips below).

Water-based products can last 3-5 years if the can is unopened, in good condition and stored in correct temperatures.

Product that is 3 years old will not look like product that is 6 months to 1 year old. You will see more stratification or separation as the product ages. Always stir thoroughly before using. 


Foul Smell
If your product has a foul smell, it is contaminated and no longer in useable condition.


Clumps & 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 product stir with a 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.

Inability to reincorporate large, chunky lumps after stirring for several minutes is an indication that the product has frozen and can no longer be used.


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. Product falling into 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 100°F/26°C. Keep from freezing. 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. Treat gently until the paint or topcoat have fully cured. Allow 21 days for a water-based finish to cure and 30 days for an oil-based 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

Glaze Effects Warnings and Warranties


Compatibility 
Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.


Limited Warranty
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturer's products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement.


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.


FIRST AID: Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. EYE CONTACT: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids. SKIN CONTACT: Wash thoroughly after handling. INHALATION: Move to fresh air and loosen clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular or if respiratory arrest occurs, provide artificial respiration or oxygen by trained personnel. INGESTION: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.


Prop 65 WARNING: 

  • Burnt Umber: 
    This product can expose you to Ethylene oxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including 1,4-Dioxane, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Ethanediol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
     
  • Pitch Black: 
    This product can expose you to Ethylene oxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including 1,4-Dioxane, Carbon black, respirable powder, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Ethanediol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
     
  • Van Dyke Brown:
    This product can expose you to Ethylene oxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including 1,4-Dioxane, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Ethanediol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
     
  • Winter White:
    This product can expose you to Ethylene oxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including 1,4-Dioxane, Titanium dioxide, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Ethanediol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.



CAUTION: MAY CAUSE EYE IRRITATION.
Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.

Specifications

Basic Features
Product Colors Van Dyke Brown, Pitch Black, Winter White, Burnt Umber
Base Type Water
Interior or Exterior Interior
Type Glaze
Application
Coats 1+ coats
Application Method Brush, Spray
Brushable Yes
Usable over existing finishes Yes
Sprayable Yes
Spray Tip Sizes HVLP 1.3mm-2.0mm
Topcoat Required Yes
Dry Time
Dry Time - Touch 1+ hr
Dry Time - Recoat 3+ hr
Contents
Can Sizes Pints, Quarts, Gallons
Coverage 60-80 sq.ft./pint, 120-160 sq.ft./quart, 480-640 sq.ft./gallon
Technical Data
Viscosity Medium
Weight Solids 22%
VOC Burnt Umber: <293.554 g/L
Pitch Black: <303.733 g/L
Van Dyke Brown: <274.496 g/L
Winter White: <273.767 g/L

Design Center

Videos

FAQs

Glaze Effects FAQs

*Does Glaze Effects Require Topcoat?

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 Spirits

Note: Make sure that you wait 72 hours before applying a water-based topcoat 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.

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

Relevant Videos

*Does Glaze Effects Require Topcoat?

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 Spirits

Note: Make sure that you wait 72 hours before applying a water-based topcoat 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.

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

Relevant Videos

*Is Topcoat Required Between Gel Stain and Water Based Glaze Effects?

Yes - this is not a good place to take shortcuts. GF 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 more easily 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

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