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How to Make Homemade Paint Glaze

Updated July 20, 2017

A glaze is a mixture of paint and oil- or water-based medium that can be painted over a base layer to create various effects, principally adding a glowing or shimmering quality to paint. The glaze forms a transparent or translucent layer that allows light to pass through it before reflecting back through the opaque base coat. Passing through the glaze alters the hue and tone of the light, allowing textured effects to be created on walls and ceilings as well as on the canvas. Mixing your own glaze provides you greater control over the particular effect you are trying to achieve.

Calculate the quantity of glaze you will need. As a very rough estimate, mix one pint per 10 square yards. This ratio is heavily dependent on the type of effect you are trying to achieve. Make this quantity to begin with and note excess or deficit for future projects.

Pour equal amounts of paint thinner and linseed oil into the jar, screw on the lid and shake vigorously. This process creates a plain tint that will add shimmer but have minimal effect on the tone or colour.

Add one part acrylic paint to four parts plain glaze to create a coloured glaze. Shake well in the jar before using. If painting on the canvas, experiment with this mixture on scrap before applying it to the painting. If you experience cracking in the glaze, add more paint to your glaze. Apply a thin layer and allow it to dry. Add slightly more oil to the glaze and apply another layer. Build up layers using slightly more oil each time.

Tip

Glaze takes at least 24 hours to dry. Stay well away from the walls as it dries, or risk damaging the finish and your clothing.

Warning

Open doors and windows to ventilate areas where you are using paints and solvents. Do not spend more time than necessary in the room where they are drying. Wear rubber gloves whilst painting to avoid contact with skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Twice-boiled linseed oil
  • Paint thinner
  • Screw top jar
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.