Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Glazed & Confused Part Two:The Comparisons

She blinded me with science

Let's take our glaze discussion to the lab, shall we? In my last post I outlined the different products in the line of glaze mediums from Faux Effects International. This time I set up my own experiment:

First I selected one color, Van Dyke Brown, that is found across all the color mediums in the line.  It is available in Faux Creme Color, Faux Color, Stain & Seal, and the Concentrate.  Then I selected a brown paint color in a flat sheen with a clay base (along the lines of Aura or other low VOC paints)

Each of these colorants, except the concentrate which I will address later, was then mixed in with a different glaze medium in the same ratio and applied in the same method: by a brush and pounced with cheesecloth.

Then I sat at the DMV all day to get my damn driver's license updated to allow my swatches to dry. When I was finally released from hell granted the privilege of driving another few years, I came back and sanded the surface to check dry times/bonding.

First up: Aquaglaze.  Yes, the Aquaglaze looks funny like a fermented cheese. But lots of things look funny but still have a purpose:


Even if that purpose may be hard to define!

This is Aquaglaze and Flat Paint.  It is slightly lumpy and I added a small amount of water that helped the two parts mix together better. The light curdling went away when I brushed the mix out on my Neutral White Setcoat surface

Then I mixed Aquaglaze with Van Dyke Brown Faux Creme Color. 

You can tell by the picture that this mixture didn't blend as smoothly-the same thing happened when I mixed the Aquaglaze with the Van Dyke Stain & Seal. But both mixes did brush out on the board.
The above picture is Aquaglaze and Van Dyke Faux Color mixed together. Yes that is Van Dyke.
While it is a pretty caramel color it doesn't look like the traditional blackish brown we associate with Van Dyke Brown.  So please note, you can not substitute Van Dyke Brown Faux Color for Van Dyke Brown Faux Creme Color-they don't look the same.  This also goes for Dark Brown.  This mix probably clumped the most.

The above picture is pretty much how all the Aquaglaze mixtures brushed out.  It was not difficult to get it to lay out and to pounce. 

Next I mixed Faux Creme Clear with the flat paint:

The mixture tightened up pretty fast. But I was able to brush it on the Setcoat and pounce it out.
Then I mixed Faux Creme Clear with Van Dyke Brown Faux Creme Color.

As expected, this made for a blended mix of light density that was fairly sheer when applied to the Setcoat.

The Faux Cream Clear and Faux Color mix above created a very creamy mixture with a thicker consistency that I actually like when glazing.  This mix had more body when brushed on the Setcoat.

The Faux Creme Clear and Van Dyke Stain & Seal mix is very similar to the mix made with Faux Color in both consistency and density.

Next up is Aquacreme (which I admit, I really like).  When I mixed the Aquacreme with the flat paint it actually made a very creamy spreadable glaze. This may be due to the nature of the clay based paint.

Again, the Aquacreme and the Van Dyke Faux Creme Color produces a very creamy glaze with dark  but translucent color.

The above picture is Van Dyke Faux Color and Aquacreme. What is interesting to note is not the consistency but the color. Compare this color to the same mix made with Faux Creme Clear.  The more opaque nature of the Faux Creme Clear dilutes the color slightly but enough to notice a difference between the two glazing mediums.

And, then I mixed Aquacreme with Van Dyke Stain & Seal. This is a favorite mix for wood graining because the thicker texture holds the graining tool shapes well:

The last glaze I tested was FX Thinner which is usually for thinning Stain & Seal.  This is the only glaze medium I feel comfortable mixing with the Concentrate Colors based on my own field experience, so I didn't try mixing the Concentrate Colors with other glazes.

FX Thinner and the flat paint made a very thin glazing medium that brushed well but dried quickly.

The FX Thinner and the Faux Creme Color did not want to blend well but I was able to brush it over the surface.

The FX Thinner and the Faux Color blended better due to the more liquid nature of the Faux Color. And Finally I mixed the FX Thinner with the Van Dyke Stain & Seal:

This made for a light liquid mix although sometimes the Van Dyke Stain & Seal color looks like pepper.  Adding some blending solvent will fix that.

Now some conclusions:

These four squares are done with flat paint and all the glazes.  The mix made with Faux Creme Clear and Paint (upper right corner) was the most sheer while the mix with FX Thinner (lower left) dried the fastest.  The best choice is Aquaglaze because it was designed for paint but the Aquacreme did really well in terms of mixing and coverage (this is the lower right square). All of the mixes did bond over night and did not sand off the next day.

The above board is Faux Creme Color mixed with the different glaze mediums.  The Aquaglaze (upper left square) is the most sheer because I had to brush out the clumping.  The Faux Creme Clear mix had the most open time while the Aquacreme mix had the most even coverage.  The color did not want to blend as well in the FX Thinner mix (lower right color)

This board is Faux Color mixed with the glaze mediums. The Aquaglaze medium took over night to dry (upper left).  The Faux Creme Clear mix and the Aquacreme mix gave very even coverage that stayed open longer then the FX Thinner (lower left).  The FX Thinner mix stayed on heavier.

This board is Stain & Seal mixed with the glazes and is the most consistent in final color. This is most likely due to the concentrated color nature of Stain & Seal.  The Aquaglaze square (upper left) was the only one where the stain bit into the surface.  Both the Faux Creme Clear and the Aquacreme mixes needed to be very dry before applying any more layers because the surface would re-wet. The FX Thinner dried faster then the Faux Creme Clear and the Aquacreme but didn't re-wet when more color was applied an hour later.

All the glazes did mix with the different mediums and did bond to the Setcoat surface.  The biggest differences were:

 Spread Time (how fast did the glaze grip the surface). Faux Creme Clear and Aquacreme mixed with Faux Creme Color was easy to brush and remove.  FX Thinner was in the middle with most colorants except paint where it dried fast.  Aquaglaze and Faux Color moved well but took overnight to dry.

Mixability.  Aquaglaze didn't blend smoothly with any of the colorants and took a little more brushing out but it did work.  Faux Creme Clear and paint created a mix the consistency of sour cream but again it did brush out and bond.  Aquacreme actually mixed the best with all the colorants tested.

Dried Color:  This was the biggest suprise. The actual density of the glaze material had an impact on the final color with the more opaque glazes having a bigger change then Aquacreme which is very translucent. Even between the Faux Creme Clear and the FX Thinner there is a color difference probably due to the looser nature of the FX Thinner.  Next time someone calls with a question about why a color is different then a sample I will be sure to ask what glaze medium they used. This may be the reason and not the colorant.

The final blog on this is about glaze application. We all get hung up on product and color forgetting about how important the application choice is to the final outcome.  I call application the third wheel of Faux Finishing.  So I will leave you today with another third wheel:

At least you get to take your shirt off-a lot!


  1. Rebecca, you are AWESOME!!!

    Your blog is so informative and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom. I've taken many FE classes and there's limited time to explain all the things each product can do and FE does not give out much information. So your information is beyond helpful!

    Thank you again