If you’ve ever admired a faux painting design or a delicate stenciling pattern, there is a good chance you have unknowingly seen a glaze. Glazes are used in many decorative painting designs, and are quite different from the typical latex and oil-based paints.
Glaze is a layer of paint that has been thinned to an almost transparent consistency. A skillful art mastered and used by artists, the painter applies multiple coats of glaze until they reach the desired effect. Most glazing materials are water-based, although oil-based glazes are actually used to prolong the drying time of the glaze allowing you more time to work your design.
You can make your own glaze out of a mixture of wallpaper paste, artists’ acrylics and propylene glycol or extenders. This concoction can actually end up costing more than if you just buy a ready made glaze from a paint store. Mixing water with paint does not create a glaze, but a chunkier product called “scumble.”
Depending on the design you are using a glaze to obtain, the glaze is either mixed into your base color, or applied over the top. “Faux” simply means fake, and can actually refer to multiple styles. The sponging-on technique, for example, applies the glaze with a sponge over the dried base color. When trying to obtain the colorwashing cloud-look on the other hand, you mix the glaze directly into the paint.
Glazing techniques require a moderate amount of skill to achieve a quality look. With a lot of practice and patience, you can learn to create your favorite faux looks. Or, you can save yourself the time and trouble and hire a professional painter to give you an experienced hand. Request free estimates from pre-screened painting contractors in your area.
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