Glazing Cabinets for an Inexpensive Update

How To Glaze Cabinets for Inexpensive Update

For about $25 you can transform any cabinetry in your house whether it be bathroom or kitchen cabinets or built-ins in your living room. It’s called glazing. And it gives you a warm, vintage look! Here are the steps to get it done:

  1. Clean the cabinet doors and boxes. If the existing paint is glossy, wipe it down with deglosser or liquid sandpaper first.
  2. Apply the glaze generously with a brush to one door or drawer at a time, being sure to cover every surface that will be seen.
  3. While it is still wet, begin rubbing the glaze off with a soft cotton rag. The amount of pressure you apply as you wipe will determine how “thick” or “thin” the glaze effect appears.
  4. If the glaze seems to pool in a crevice you can remove some excess with a cotton swab.
  5. Leave the cabinets to dry overnight
  6. Apply a clear polyurethane sealer to protect the finish. We recommend a water-based one.

Other Tips for Glazing

  • Experiment a little with the first door to get it the way you want. If you remove too much you can always re-apply the glaze and start over with the wipe-off process.
  • The lines you create as you wipe off the glaze should follow the grain of the wood as you would if you were painting. For raised panel doors (like the ones in this video) that means you wipe the horizontal rails first before the vertical rails. This creates a clean beginning and ending point for the horizontal lines because the vertical lines extend to the top and bottom edges of the door.
  • The glaze will be thickest and darkest where two panels come together or where details are carved out of the wood. This adds character that makes all the difference to the plain painted surface.


  1. Hello. I recently glazed my cabinets. They have been dry for days and now I am going back over with polyacrylic to seal them. The glaze is coming up in many spots as I brush on the sealer. ?? Can you please help me.


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