The Difference between Stain and Glaze on Cabinets

When you’re creating a new kitchen space, your cabinets are a special area of focus. They are often a focal point for the room. When you purchase custom cabinetry, you have the opportunity to select many aspects of your cabinets including the shape, size and wood. You will also need to select the finishes for your cabinets. You can pick either stain or glaze. It’s important to understand your options and how they will fit in with the design of your kitchen.

IMG_20140206_125617_810There are a wide variety of glazes and stains available to finish your custom cabinets. You can select them in different colors that enhance the appearance of your kitchen. The finishes can be applied to sealed and painted wood. They can provide uniform color and accent or highlight your cabinet wood.

When you select a glaze, it can produce a distressed look through faint streaks especially if it is applied over paint. A stain will produce a much smoother finish. Why? The stain actually penetrates the wood whereas a glaze will sit on top of the paint or wood. Many people think that a glaze produces more aged or distressed look. If you would prefer a more sophisticated, modern look, a stain is the better choice.

Glaze and stain combinations are popular. Custom woodworkers typically apply a stain when they want consistent color coverage. They will apply a base stain so that cabinet has complete coverage. Next, they will apply a glaze over the stain and handwipe it so that the corners of the doors have soft tones. They may also apply a highlight glaze which will enhance the variations in wood color.

Glazing is popular on wood products because it creates a one-of-a-kind finish. There will be differences among the wood on all parts of the cabinet structure. It can also soften the base color and create visual interest.

Some woodworkers only focus on applying stains. The artisan will hand-rub the stain into the cabinet to create rich color. The stains enhance the wood’s natural color, wood grain, knots and mineral streaks. The stain color will vary, even in parts of the same door. Typically, a designer can show you examples of cabinets with stains, glazes and combinations to help you make a decision.

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