Glazing in Crevices

Is a clear topcoat necessary when glazing just the cracks and crevices of a cabinet door? January 7, 2010

I've got a kitchen cabinet job coming up that has off-white raised panel doors which have a pale gray glazing that is applied only in the crevices and grooves of the doors. It's not even put into the entire recess where the raised panel transitions into the outer frame, but only where the shaped edge details have a distinct ridge.

Previously I have applied glazing to all the surfaces of a door, wiped off the glaze selectively to get an "antique" look, and then clear coated to shield the glaze. All the glaze will be in ridges or grooves, and I have been led to believe that I don't need the clear coat. I like this idea since my experience has shown me that the clear coat invariably yellows the white undercoat somewhat over the years.

Can I skip the clear coat, and do I need to use something other than glaze to do that? I have been told that thinned down oil base paint would be a better choice than glaze here. My other concern is that I want to do the glazing with something that will not stain the white conversion varnish undercoat during the glazing process and can be completely wiped off the white without residue. The conversion varnish will be satin sheen. Please advise.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor B:
I don't see any reason why you couldn't use a thinned down oil-based paint for the glaze, and not clear coat it. Think about using a small brush, about 1" wide, to apply a swipe of the glaze only in the places where it is required, and then wipe with a rag moistened with mineral spirits to remove all but that which is required. As usual, try this on a sample and see if it gives the results you are looking for.

From contributor J:
Put your glaze in a glue bottle. Makes it easy to apply where you want it.

From contributor E:

I have a tip for a spray gun that does this, made by CAT. Works basically exactly the same as contributor J suggests. Get a glue bottle with a fine tip and glaze away.

From contributor R:
You can thin it down and put it in an empty valve pen from Mohawk.

From contributor F:
The reason I would still clear coat before is if you drip some of the glaze on anywhere, it will clean up better and not leave a spot, unlike stained or raw wood.

From contributor P:
I have worked on literally hundreds of glazed finishes over the years, and my best results have been from putting a clear over the base color (the off-white) and then locking the glaze down with a good quality clear. Glaze is designed to be overcoated with a clear to protect it.

Your comments on yellowing are accurate. All clears - even the best conversion varnishes - will either stop blocking the UV rays and allow the coats (or substrate) below them to change, or the coating itself will change slightly. Nothing stays the same. My experience is that the long term durability of the job is more important than a subtle change in color over time.

Better quality coatings will not age as quickly. Sherwin, Becker, MLC, Chemcraft and Lorchem all have great products for this.