Labor Time for Glazing a Cabinet Door

How long should a skilled person take to apply a glazed finish to a door? February 27, 2013

Has anyone here ever timed how long it takes them to glaze a standard cabinet door (5-part panel door)? I've been working in a shop that hasnít done glaze for the past six years but just moved and returned to a shop I've formerly worked at, and we do a lot of glaze. As I'm regaining my old glazing skills, I'm finding it takes me a long time to get them done, more than I remember it taking in the past.

Right now I'm taking around 8-14 minutes per door (depending on size), using a "no-vinyl" type oil based wiping glaze. Basecoat is MLC Stealth. The doors are standard 5-part doors with the appropriate routed edges for accepting glaze (no ogee, but instead sharp corners for leaving a bead of glaze in).

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor G:
Have you tried MLC Amazing Glaze? It is works great with Stealth. It should only take a couple of minutes per door and best of all, it can be top-coated immediately. You spray it on, wait 30 seconds until it dries, then you remove what you want with a maroon Scotchbrite pad. Instead of wiping away oil and letting dry you blow away the dust left behind by the Scotchbrite. Also, there are no adhesion issues as is common with Vintage Glaze if it is not left to dry long enough.

From the original questioner:
I have used Amazing Glaze before, but I am not the one that gets to make that choice. We are using a color ordered from Conestoga on this particular job, and since Amazing Glaze is a very different substance from the oil-based glaze and may produce a slightly different look, we want to avoid using it here.

On future jobs it's possible we can use it, and I can remind my shop foreman of the product, but I know he's well aware of Amazing Glaze since it's been around for six or eight years. I haven't asked him about it but I'm sure he has a reason for not using it.

As a side note, I've glazed my own personal furniture (bookshelves) using home-made glaze. Any random black or brown pigment powder from places like mixed with a 15:1 ratio of lacquer thinner and conversion varnish (almost completely lacquer thinner with a touch of solids) makes for a great quick-dry glaze when loaded into an airbrush or small air gun.

From contributor Y:
It just depends on the glaze. As to time I make my own and have since the mid-sixties and can adjust it to work on small doors or 4x8' panels, etc. For a straight MS and color glaze your time sounds a little slow but not by much. It depends on how much finessing is needed. My work requires no brush strokes being visible, in other words it has to look like a perfectly uniform toner color with no hint of a brush even being used, so that takes quite a while to achieve the affect. With other techniques where the client wants the brush marks to be evident it takes less time for sure.

On a fairly average job, say 40 doors and drawers I can glaze and seal all in a day no problem. So that should give you some indication of the time. Eight hours equals 480 minutes divided by 40 openings which equals twelve minutes per piece - average.

From the original questioner:
We are doing a uniform color on the glaze, with a bead in all routed corners/edges to give the door a nice framed appearance (the usual glaze look). No brush marks. I have found that if I take a generic squirt bottle (the common kind you buy at finish suppliers), fill it with the glaze, and then plug the tip up 90% with a splinter of wood, you get the perfect glaze pen. So, I glaze the whole door to get the even coloration, and then go around the routed edges and put in a slight bead of glaze, followed by the necessary finger wipe to gently even it out.