Top 5 Tips for Glazing Kitchen Cabinets

If you're considering a do-it-yourself kitchen renovation, chances are you've been debating what to do about the cabinets. A strict budget crunch probably means you aren't going to be able to replace all the cabinets. That can be a very expensive process, and isn't even required if your existing cabinets are in good shape.

In fact, if you give your current cabinets a fresh coat of paint and then finish it off with a nice glaze, they could look even better than brand new cabinets from the store. A glaze will work effectively on painted or stained wood, and usually can be accomplished with a single weekend of work. Of course, you're going to want to keep certain things in mind, to make sure the job doesn't get messy and gets done right the first time. Here are five of the top tips to help you easily and correctly glaze your kitchen cabinets. Here's how to get started.

First off, you want to clear the area. It probably sounds obvious, but some people might attempt to work around the clutter and end up glazing much more than the front of the cabinet. Make sure you clear the cabinets of all contents, and store it all somewhere well away from your working area. If there's any furniture near the cabinets, move all of that as well. Cover all the countertops and floors with tarps or plastic drop cloths to avoid drips, and give the cabinets a good wipe down with soap and water before you get started. Take the time to prep the area, and you'll save yourself a great deal of heartbreak later.

Kitchen cabinet glazing

Also, don't judge the glaze from how it looks when you first apply it. Acrylic and latex-based glazes may look cloudy or unclear when they go on wet. They will get darker as they dry, and the tone will clarify as well. If you're not sure about the glaze, or haven't ever worked with the brand before, consider applying a small amount to the back of one of the cabinet doors. You can let that dry, and then make sure it looks right before you continue.

Think about the various supplies you'll need in advance, as well as what glaze will look the best with your paint or wood tone. You don't want to get half way through a job and realize you need more of something, or that the brush you have isn't doing the job. For example, an oil-based glaze requires a paintbrush with natural fibers, or it won't go on smoothly. And if you're mixing up your own glaze to get a particular color, be sure you've got enough mixed to get through the whole job. You'll never be able to match it perfectly, which means the cabinets will look a little different from each other.

When glazing the cabinets, work section by section until each one is complete. That means glaze a single cabinet, and then look it over before continuing. You'll want to apply the glaze consistently, and you'll be able to tell if you're succeeding at that even when it's wet. If it looks good, continue with the cabinet right next to the first one, and so on, and stop periodically to look it over. If you feel like you've done one section too dark, wipe it down with paint thinner before it has a chance to dry.

Finally, if you do mess up an area and need to wipe it off, make sure you use lint free rags. It sounds like a small issue, but if you don't, you'll regret it. You may love that cabinet now, but when it dries, little fibers and pieces of lint from the wrong rags will stick in the glaze and dry solid, remaining there forever.