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How to make a glaze for paint

Updated November 21, 2016

Glaze is a thin, milky liquid that becomes transparent when it dries. Glaze is used to thin paint and delay its drying time so it may be used for faux finishing techniques like sponging. Paint thinned with glaze can be applied to wood, drywall and brick. You can use glazing liquid with acrylic, water-based and oil paints. Universal tint (the tint that is added to paint to give it colour), can be added to the paint/glaze mixture to deepen the colour of the glaze. Glazing liquid can be found in the paint aisle of most home and department stores. The final colour of the glaze depends on how much paint is added. Glazing liquid lightens the tint of paints. Spend some time playing with the paint/glaze mixture, finding the ratio you like best, before applying it to your walls.

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  1. Start with a ratio of 4 parts liquid glaze to 1 part paint. The final ratio of paint to glaze will depend on what faux technique you will be using. For a technique that requires a lot of applications, like sponging, increase the amount of liquid glaze to paint, this makes a thinner, lighter coloured, slower drying glaze. For a technique like marbling or wood-grain increase the ratio of paint to glaze for a thicker, darker, fast drying glaze. The proportion of liquid glaze to paint is the same for oil, acrylic and water-based paints.

  2. Make a darker colour without changing the liquid glaze to paint ratio use several drops of universal tint. Remember, glaze dries one to two shades darker than the liquid colour.

  3. Blend the paint and glaze together, using a paint stirrer.

  4. Keep the glaze blended by stirring between applications.

  5. Tip

    Use a water-base polyurethane to seal the glaze after it dries. For complicated faux treatments, select a glaze that stays wet or "open" for at least 45 minutes. You can substitute a universal paint tint to colour the glaze. Water-based paints work better with liquid glaze than acrylic or oil paints.


    Do not use glaze made of oil based or acrylic paints in a child's room. If you do, be sure to seal with polyurethane. Using glaze over flat latex paint will cause it to dry faster, giving you less time to get the look you want. Glaze will dry a shade or two darker than the appearance of the wet glaze.

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Things You'll Need

  • Commercial glazing liquid
  • Acrylic, water-based or oil-based paint in the colour of your choice
  • Universal Tint
  • Plastic or metal container
  • Paint stirrer

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