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How to Stain with Furniture Glaze

Ditch the usual stained wood routine and learn the secret to the look without the use of oil-based products!

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Staining is one of my least favorite part of refinishing, so I am always looking for alternative methods to avoid the use of an oil based product. Using glaze as a stain is one of my favorite hacks. I have done this many times, and I have created many pieces using this technique.

What is Furniture Glaze?

It is a water based product often used to add special effects to furniture. It creates depth and dimension to a piece by getting into the crevasses of details to make the pop. It's also a great way to add age to a piece. Most furniture paint company offer many shades of glazes.

To create the stained look with these glazes I use shades in gray, brown, and black. These are going to be the most natural looking wood, but you can totally play around with different shades. It just depends on what look you are going for.

Supplies Needed:

Synthetic Paint Brush - better quality brush that will last longer


  1. Prep your piece by sanding to remove the old finish and smooth it out.

  2. Open the glaze and stir well. Being sure to lift everything in the bottom to mix in, as well.

  3. Work in sections. Paint on glaze over one section. Wipe back with a lint free cloth. A lightly damp blue shop towel or microfiber towel will work. I wipe back the excess with a damp cloth. If the cloth is excessively wet it will remove too much.

  4. Once dried repeat the process. I usually do two or three coats of glaze to achieve the shade I would like it to be.

Photo Demo:

The photo below shows the top sanded down with no stain or glaze. Under the tape line I have applied one layer of Country Chic Graphite Glaze.

A chip brush works great to apply.

Working in sections I brush on the second coat of glaze.

An example of how big of sections I work at a time:

And wipe back with a lightly damp blue shop towel.

Here is the final result and the difference in appearance after the wood has been stained with glaze.

Without the tape:

& the full example board.


Water based furniture glazes make a great alternative to oil-based stains. They can create a gorgeous wood finish without harsh odors, so they can even be used indoors! Refinishing can be much easier, lighter, and more fun with this technique.

If you give it a try let me know what you think! I would love to see your work - drop a photo or comment below.




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