Earlier this week I posted about my revamped inspiration board that I painted and glazed. I used a technique that I heard about years ago, before glazing became all the rage. It actually doesn’t even involve glaze at all – it just looks like it does.
Black acrylic paint
Multiple rags or paper towels
The treatment is actually made with black acrylic paint mixed with water.
I used Folk Art because it’s what I had on my shelf. Any brand will do.
In a disposable bowl (for easy clean up) I mixed 1 tsp paint with 3 tsp water. For larger projects you’ll need more, of course. I try to keep it to a 3-1 paint to water ratio, but this is not a science. If you want the glaze effect lighter, use more water. If you want a super dark and heavy glaze look, use less water. I mixed the water and paint with one of my kids’ Crayola watercolor paint brushes because they are easy to clean.
To apply the treatment you’ll need multiple rags. Some people recommend paper towels, but they are not my favorite. I’ll show you why in a bit. One rag will be your “Wipe On” rag and the other will be “Wipe Off”. Kind of like the Karate Kid. I suggest having extras handy. Extra rags are always good.
The appication process is pretty simple. Dip a rag in your watery paint mixture and wipe it on the piece you are glazing.
Make sure to rub it in to all the cracks, crevasses and grooves. (Yes, I left the glass and picture in the frame. I only did this because the acrylic paint washes off easier than the staple things in the back bend.)
See how when I keep rubbing the paint gets in the grooves but gets wiped off the ridges? That’s what you want. Really work that paint in. When all your grooves are filled, use your clean rag and wipe the paint off. This will remove the paint from the surface of the ridges (for the most part) and leave it in the grooves. The glossier your base paint, the easier this process is. Matte finishes like to hold onto the paint mixture.
I was working with matte paint so my glazing effect turned out pretty worn and dirty, which I loved. Keep up with the wipe on, wipe off until you are happy with the results. The great thing about this treatment is that if you wipe off too much, you can just reapply and try it again.
Just remember that you are working with acrylic paint. Leave it too long before you wipe off and some of it may dry. Then you have no hope of wiping it off at all. So no answering the phone, getting a snack or getting distracted by the episode of The Office you DVR’d. Focus.
**Note: Do you see those papery little clumps in the grooves? That’s because I used paper napkins instead of rags (I was out of paper towels). I was not a fan of this. The second time I did this technique – on my inspiration board frame – I used cloth rags. Much better results. Just make sure you don’t need them clean again because the black doesn’t wash completely out.**
When you are finished you should have very little to clean up. Simply throw away the bowl and rinse & wash the rags. I love an easy clean up.
I do also recommend wearing gloves. My fingers were pretty gross. And the paint stayed in the cracks of my super dry fingers no matter how many times I washed my hands. I’m pretty sure people think I have some kind of finger fungus now.
**What I learned while taking this picture: It’s hard to take a one handed picture upside down with my left hand.**
And there you have it.
Since it’s acrylic paint it dries pretty quickly. If you are using this finish on something that will receive a lot of use or wear I would recommend sealing it with a clear coat of poly.
I love this treatment on detailed frames. It really brings out the patterns. I highly recommend this treatment on small object, frames and decorations. I have not yet tried it on furniture and wonder if it will stand up to the harsh wear and tear.
If you really want to use actual glaze Brooke at All Things Thrifty has a great tutorial. It is a more expensive technique, as glaze runs about $17 a pint at my local Lowes. I think I’d use real glaze on major furniture items that would receive a lot of heavy use such as dining tables, chairs and end tables. But I’m loving this easy treatment on smaller items. It is quick (only took me about 30 minutes – start to finish), inexpensive and very easy.
Let me know if you try it!