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Basic surface preparation 
Glaze and Glazing

Material descriptions 
Patching drywall 
Paint & varnish removers
Sanding techniques
Sealers & sealants
Solvents & thinners




Quick Tips
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In this section:  

General glazing tips:

How to glaze:
When glazing, always work from top to bottom. If you start at the bottom and work upward, any drips or spills occurring can damage already treated lower portion finish.

Where to start:
Always start the glaze application in the least visible area of the room. As you continue glazing, a rhythm is achieved and the overall appearance of the glaze treatment improves.

How to fix drips and spills 
If wet glaze gets onto an area that has already been finished and has begun to set, it may dissolve the previous finish. Simply blot area with a dry rag to remove excess. Any attempt to repair area before completely dry may result in a mess that is virtually irreparable. Small areas are manageable. Large areas may require the complete area to be removed then re-treated.

  • Small area repair - Once completely dry (24 hrs.) fresh glaze may be touched in with an artist’s brush until desired results are achieved.
  • Large area repair - Treat before drying is complete.  If a large area of glaze is affected and begins to burn away, or dissolve, the removal of the entire glazed surface may be required. To do this, dampen a rag with mineral spirits and wipe surface until clean, using multiple rags if necessary.

Alternatively; you may allow wall to completely dry (24 hrs.) then repaint base coat and begin again.

Transparent glazes:
To create a transparent glaze, white pigment or paint is rarely used in the glaze composition. White tends to add a degree of opacity to the glaze, diminishing the transparency and clarity of color of the glaze.

If glaze is to fluid and continually sags, allow to set momentarily then return to soften glaze the apply rag texture. Be aware that latex glazes set quickly.

Striee glazing and Dragging:
When striee glazing, always work from innermost areas to the outside. For example, when glazing a door, start with the inner door panels, top first, then lower. Moving progressively outward towards the edges until door is complete.

Decorative painting and Faux finishing:
Always use egg-shell sheen as the base for decorative finishes. Flat (matte) finishes do not allow for fluid movement of glaze over the surface, and similarly, semi or high gloss allows easy movement of the glaze but very little adhering ability of the glaze to the painted surface. Glazing on semi or high gloss sheen’s increases the risk of damage to the surface by rubbing, dragging or scrapping against the surface by items such as furniture, pictures, mops and brooms.

Paint sheens:

Windows, doors and trim:
Satin or semi-gloss paint sheen is commonly used for windows, doors and trim and generally creates a nice contrast to flat (matte) or eggshell wall finishes.

Oil-based paints are often used for windows, doors and trim. It provides a stronger bond and a more durable surface for these high use areas.

Matte or flat finishes tend to work best for ceilings. This is because these sheens are non-reflective, thus hiding limiting any irregularities or paint blemishes which might otherwise be exposed by reflections from windows and light fixtures.


Water vs. oil undercoat:
Oil and water based interior and exterior paint, such as Paintmanufacture products, can be applied over oil-based primers.
It is generally a rule of thumb never to apply oil based varnished over water-based primers.

Taping and masking tips

Test area first:
Always test an area to be taped before beginning the masking job. Wallpaper is particularly susceptible to tearing. Lacquer and varnish surfaces on furniture may come off easily with the tape and the item could be severely damaged.

Remove tape regularly:
Always remove tape at the completion of each working session on a project. Tape dries out and can leave a tacky residue that often is very difficult to remove. The risk of damage to the masked surface increases proportionately with time. Even over night maybe enough time for the adhesive to dry sufficiently to tear or pull off wallpaper or paint from the masked area.

Taping and glazing:
Taping ceilings, base moldings, door frames and window frames prevents rag from hitting exposed areas and once completed with the rag treatment removal of the tape makes for a quick, finished result.

Low tack tape:
To create your own low-tack tape using regular masking tape, tear desired length strips of tape. Stick to your shirt or other fabric. Remove and repeat. This process catches lint in the adhesive, and subsequently reduces the stickiness or tackiness of the tape.

Tape film removal:
To remove old tape adhesive residue use acetone on a clean rag. Always test in an inconspicuous area first as acetone my damage surface.


Keep the sponge texture:
When sponging a surface, the spottiness created by the sponge is desirable. Keep a light touch during application.

Cleaning your sponge:
Sponges may be rinsed clean. If you are unable to complete the sponged effect in one sitting, rinse and store in ziplock bags to retain freshness for the next day’s continuation.

Hammer tips:

Keeping hammer heads tight and secure.
A blacksmithing technique. Place hammer into automotive antifreeze for about 48 hours. This will swell the wood of the hammer and fills the wood fibers. This process provides long lasting results, as the process seems to resist drying out.


You can reduce the grit (or coarseness) of any sandpaper by rubbing two pieces together, face-to-face. For example, rubbing 2 pieces of 120 grit sandpaper together will abrade each surface to produce the rough equivalent of 180 grit sandpaper. This will be slightly irregular however, so be attentive to item being sanded.


Shellac is a rapidly evaporating product that provides quick drying time and a rapid bond with the surface. Allow time to harden before applying additional coats.

Shellac and priming:
Pigmented shellac, such as BIN, found in aerosol spray cans are ideal for priming cover plates for light switches and electrical outlet covers.

Paint and varnish Strippers

Sanding after you strip:
After stripping paint, varnish or wax from wood surfaces, a light sanding, always in the direction of the wood grain, may be required before proceeding to next step in the re-finishing process.


Waxed furniture:
For waxed surfaces, it is recommended that the furniture be completely stripped so that no wax or residue remains before repainting, staining or varnishing.

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