Painting – How to Make and Use a Glaze

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 131,425
    Professional painter Donnalynne Lefever discusses faux painting and demonstrates how to make and use a glaze.

    Donnalynne Lefever

    Donnalynne Lefever is the owner of Lefever Designs and has been in business now for more than 10 years in which she creates faux finishes, murals, tromp l'oiel and artwork of any kind in homes and businesses on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture,etc. mostly in the Metropolitan Washington DC area. She graduated college with a theater degree at the University of Maryland and moved to NYC shortly afterwards to make costumes for Broadway. Upon returning home to Northern Virginia, she met a designer who introduced her to her current field and has been painting ever since. Starting in 1990 she worked with that designer for 3 years, then with a business specializing in faux finishes, murals and tromp l'oiel for an additional 3 years before branching out into her own business. She's taken faux finish classes in the materials she currently works with and numerous art classes as well. One of her favorite materials to work with is leafing; gold, silver or copper. This year, summer 2007, one of her clients/designer had her home featured in the magazine, Washington Spaces, in which a few of the rooms Donnalynne worked on are photographed. She mostly works with designers and by word of mouth which keeps her quite busy. When not creating for others, she creates her own artwork on canvas, clay or other various things. She belongs to the local art organizations of Del Ray Artisans in Alexandria, Virginia and Springfield Art Guild in Virginia in which she is currently co-president.

    Donnalynne Lefever: Hi, My name is Donnalynne Lefever and I am back to talk about now on glaze. What is it and how to mix it? So, now we are going to start with doing some samples and getting you prepped for actually making some samples. To start with, you want to get some poster board. I have already cut mine in half. It just makes it easier. You don't need to do a huge huge sample. But anyway, you can get it, wherever poster board is sold. So, from that what we go to is, you will use some paint. We are going to go back to using whatever -- I have already got a mixture here. So, this is house paint and what you do is, you will take -- I do for samples, I take a sponge brush and with that egg shell kind of finish paint --. whatever egg shell satin, you can use pearl, semi-gloss, gloss but it's not necessary. All you need is the minimum shine, so you just take it and you thinly apply it. The other best friend of a faux finisher is a hair dryer. So, once you -- usually you are done with this, if you are doing your samples you hair dry it, so that you can get it to a state of where you want. But you want to cover the entire board. Usually two coats and then you are ready for doing your glaze.

    Now, for the glaze, I am going to do this as a real, real beginner would do it. I mix with a bunch of colors I have. Colors all behind me I have colors all over the place but the easiest way for a beginner to mix is find a color. So, like on those color wheels, when you took a darker color, you would -- from your lighter one. You would pull up the actual paint and you would have a glaze. Glaze can be found at a number of different art supply stores. Some paints stores carry it. I recommend water based. Water based is non toxic. It's easier to clean up and with the regulations of Northern Virginia all the way to Maine so the clean oils are hard to get anyway for certain things.

    So, this is a much nicer solution to a lot of things. Glaze looks white but it's actually clear. See, it just goes completely away. So, it's nothing more than a translucent medium that helps you move the color. So, you will pour some of that into a mixture. So, what you basically end up wanting to do is just put a little bit of your color in. Usually, I figure with the house paint. You want to be conservative. You probably don't want to put more than about 25% into 75% of glaze to start with. To see how it's going to react because it maybe and in this case, it's really thickening up my glaze. You may have to water it down. But you can see how it's moving. So, this is actually a good consistency. What I would recommend with house paint after doing that is having a little bit of water go into it just to keep it moving. So, that you are not. You need your glaze to move and not dry your suction and everything and of course, you can see how messy I am it's already flying all over the place.

    But once you got that and you decide you like it you can see that you can, it's manipulative. You can do whatever you want with it. So, that is how a glaze works and it works with any house paint this way. It works with any acrylics this way. As long as you are staying water to water you are fine. You could probably put water color in it. It will be fine because this medium will then bind the water color into it. I tend to use acrylic or specific paints that are made straight for the glazes that I do use. You can get glazes online that is not a problem. You can get your colors online or you can get them at the paint stores. So, I don't think you really should have a problem within doing that. So, oil tends to be messy like I said and clean up, this tends to be toxic. This is just a soap and water, wash up, when you are done. You just throw it in. If you know more about color, you want to mix colors then you can go ahead and take your actual colors. So, you can see how where I will start with a color and then I will add other colors to it to get to where I really want to go. So, it's a matter of if you know it's too clean, may need to add amber. If it's too dark you may need to add white. But those are just tips, if you already know about color. You can go ahead and mix them. So, I think we are pretty much at the end of what we were going to do, for right now on the mixing and we are ready to start to do some finishes.