An unfinished piece of new wood furniture can be made to appear antique, or an old, worn piece of wood furniture can be made to appear refreshed, both thanks to the process of adding glaze.
A glaze is any finish that is added to wood furniture either for the purpose of adding natural-looking highlights or for giving the piece the typical marks of distinction that come with age. A glaze is a thick translucent liquid that can also be tinted to add color. When properly applied to a piece of wood furniture, glazing achieves the desired result of making the item look even more attractive.
If you are working with a piece of new wood furniture, it's important to take the time to sand or strip the wood's surface of any existing finish in order for the application of glaze to take hold. If the item for glazing is an older piece, simply wipe the painted or stained surface with a clean damp cloth prior to beginning to add the glaze.
Be sure to purchase the right type of glaze for the surface you are working with. If the wood already has an oil-based painted surface, then choose an oil-based glaze. If the surface already is covered with a latex paint, it's preferable to use a water-based glaze. If you have added a color tint to your glazing mix, be sure to apply it to a piece of wood you can't easily see as a test patch in order to get the depth of color just right prior to applying it to the entire piece of wood furniture.
If the piece of wood furniture you are glazing contains metal hardware or any upholstery, it's a good idea to remove both prior to applying the glaze so that neither hardware nor upholstery gets accidentally covered with glaze.
There are several different ways to apply glaze depending upon the effect you want to achieve. You may want to apply the glaze with a sponge prior to wiping away the excess with a clean dry cloth. You can also brush the glaze onto the wood furniture, making sure you are brushing in the same direction as the grain of the wood. It's a good idea to practice your sponging or brushing techniques on a sample piece of wood first prior to working on the actual piece of wood furniture you will be glazing. Work slowly and consistently, finishing one section of the furniture at a time.
Allow the glaze to dry overnight prior to applying a finishing coat of either furniture polish or varnish. Purchase a polish or varnish that will allow the wood to breathe. Once that coat is completely dry, you can reattach any metal hinges or hardware pieces that you removed earlier and replace any upholstery that was taken off as well. Now your newly glazed piece of wood furniture is ready to enjoy!