Raw Umber Glaze

tfm1134March 23, 2012

I am getting ready to glaze my kitchen cabinets and would like to use a raw umber glaze, but can't find this already tinted so will have to get the tintable glaze at Lowes. Can anyone give me a paint color that is very close to a raw umber color? I guess I am supposed to tell the paint person what color.. I looked at making this easy and getting Van Dyke Brown but it is a little too dark.

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I don't mean to be rude here, bu your post suggests that you have very little basic paint color knowledge or experience with actual paint application or glazing. You need to STOP right now and get more experience before tackling something as difficult to do as kitchen cabinets. It's not rocket fuel formulas, but glazing does involve individual tweaks to traditional paint formulas.

All glaze is basically just clear paint that you tint minimally to use for decorative effects. Raw Umber is one of the primary color tints, not a "color". It's one of the "ingredients" used to create colors in paint. Depending on the paint company, there can be as many as 20 tints that can be dispensed into a base to create a paint color. The base provides the "glue" to make the tints stick to the wall.

When you create your own custom glaze color, you mix tint or an already mixed paint with glaze in varying proportions until you achieve the ratio that works for your particular application. There is no "standard" that any paint store employee will mix for you because it's your own judgement call. A traditional "recipe" has been to use a 3:1 glaze to already mixed paint ratio and that's what I'd suggest as a starting point in your experiments.

You may want to adjust the ratio to a higher or lower number, and you may want to experiment with other tints. It's a trial and error process, and the application and wiping of the glaze is as integral to the look achieved as the ratio or color choice. You will get very different results by just varying one of the variable. If you wipe heavier with a darker glaze, you can end up with a heavier look than if barely wiped a lighter glaze. A brown glaze can go all pinky with some glazes or muddy with others, also depending on the amount applied and wiped.

You need to acquire some yard sale furniture and practice extensively before tackling something like cabinets. There is no "right or wrong" way to glaze something, but it does take a lot of practice to get consistent with the look you are trying to achieve. Learn how to create these effects every time before trying to work on a large project or you will end up with an even more varied "handmade" look that you might not care for. I also suggest visiting your local craft store for the small little bottles of craft paint so that you can create small batches of glaze colors to experiment with. It will be a much cheaper learning experience that way rather than paying for full sized experimental samples.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 1:33PM
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I recommend going with the small bottles of acrylic glaze at craft stores too. It's cheaper, and you can actually do the whole project with a few tiny bottles. You can buy a few bottles of clear and one each of different browns- "Raw Umber" is a different color depending on brand. Make sure to buy a brand that is not being discontinued.

I practiced on the back side of my molding before doing the front. Start with very little color to glaze ratio and see how you like it. You can always go darker if you want more contrast.

The hardest parts are the inside corners- the glaze is hard to get smooth there and I had trouble with getting double layers of glaze in the corners when I moved from the top to the side. That said, I'm very happy with the results now. Good luck on your project!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 3:02PM
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