Sheen, Clear Coats, and Glazing

Glaze coats are easier to wipe off if you use a high-sheen base coat, or apply a high-sheen clear coat over the base coat before applying the glaze.

I sprayed some cabinets with a white lacquer from Camjer Coatings. One coat of white primer, two coats of white topcoat. When I use the glaze, it seems to be drying really quick and won't rub off. I had to use a very small amount of paint thinner on a cloth, wiped the glaze and then wiped with a clean cloth and it came off. Will the paint thinner affect the lacquer? I did not spray a clear coat over the white topcoat before I glazed. Would that help?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
I find that paint thinner won't have any issues with lacquers as long as your lacquers are completely - I said completely - dry.

Are you using a store bought glaze or have you mixed up your own from scratch? I understand some of the store bought glazes could have some acetone in their mixture, and acetone on lacquer could be why the glaze is grabbing onto the lacquer a bit more than you like.

If removing the glaze with paint thinners is working for you, that's fine. Just don't rub too hard or you might cut through the clear coat.

From the original questioner:
The glaze came from Camjer Coatings where I purchased the lacquer, so I would hope they know that it is okay going over the lacquer. I did not spray a clear coat over the white before I glazed and was wondering if I should have.

From contributor M:

What sheen of pigmented lacquer are you using? A higher sheen can make the glaze easier to wipe off.

From contributor R:
I missed where you mentioned that you did not apply a clear coating over the white. When I do a finish like you are, I apply a clear over the color. A clear coating over the color coat is void of any scuff scratches and the glaze sits on a smoother surface instead of hanging out in the scratch pattern.

If your glaze from Camjer is behaving itself and you're able to remove it with a bit of paint thinner on a rag, I'd say just continue with what you're doing.

Contributor M's addition is spot on too. A glossier coating is easier to remove a glaze from than a satin/flat is.

Next time you do a finish like this you might consider applying a clear over the base color coat. Proceed with your glaze and then topcoat everything in your flavor of sheens. If you're in the experiment mood, mix up your own glaze. All you need is a can, some paint thinner, a drop of linseed oil, and a color. Unlike a stain, a glaze usually consists of a heavier color concentration in the mix, so a bit of experimentation is needed to find the happy zone.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the reply. I have only glazed one shelf and 1 door; I still have a lot to glaze, including the cabinets, one of which has a lot of detail, such as fluted columns, crown and other moldings. It is a flat sheen on the white and clear coat that I am using (wanted it to look old). Is it possible maybe the white lacquer was not dry enough? Sprayed in the morning and let it dry overnight. I would rather not use paint thinner if I don't have to.

From contributor R:
I got a hunch that the lacquer was dry enough and the issue I see is, you're trying to glaze over a flat sheen. The flattening agent in the white material is acting like a sponge and drawing in the glaze, making the removal of it difficult.

If you don't want to use paint thinner to remove the excess glaze, how else would you remove it?

Since you have only glazed a few pieces, why don't you spray a light coating of a gloss material on one of the shelves and go about your glazing process after the gloss has dried? See if it's easier to remove the glaze over the gloss than it is over the flat material you have on there right now.

Your last post is confusing to me. In it you say "it is a flat sheen on the white and clear coat that I am using." Where does the clear coating enter into the picture? Are you applying the glaze over the white and then applying a clear coat over it, or are you applying a clear coat over the white and then glazing it and then when the glaze has dried, you're applying another clear coat?

From the original questioner:
Sorry about the confusion - both the white and clear coats are flat. I am glazing over the white with no clear coat. If I do spray a gloss coat now over the white and then glaze, then spray the flatter clear over, will the sheen be flat?

From contributor R:
Notice in my last post I mentioned a light coat. You simply want to create a barrier between the flat, so don't consider the gloss as a final, full-on topcoat. I don't see an issue with your final topcoat of flat to be altered sheen wise with just a light coat of gloss in between. But make a sample!