How do Antique White Glazed Cabinets Wear Over Time?

misslivvyAugust 17, 2011

I am trying to decide whether or not to opt for a color glaze on my cabinets which I just purchased. (The cabinets are on hold while I decide on which finish).

To be more specific, I am trying to decide between the plain Maple Cream Glaze (basically an antique white) or the Butterscotch glazed in the photos below:

With the butterscotch glaze, the glaze color is thicker in the cabinet crevices, giving an aged look. I like the look but I worry that over time, if dirt accumulates in the crevices, these cabinets will look very dirty. Does anyone have experience with this type of finish?

Also, how would the plain cream glaze age vs. the linen white (just a plain white)?

Thanks in advance.


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Misslivvy, in my last house I had painted and glazed cabinets (vanilla bean with cocoa glaze) and this was never an issue. I lived in the house for 5 years and they looked as good when I sold the house as they did the day they were installed. Go for it! You will love the richness and depth of dimension that the glaze gives them! Please post photos...of all the things I loved about my old house, the kitchen was at the top of the list and I look forward to living vicariously through your pics! :-)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Not sure if this is what you're really asking, but the topic of glaze on painted cabs comes up occasionally. Many people, including me, feel a glaze is dated and/or makes the cabs look dirty. I want to scrub glazed cabs when I see them. Yes, glaze hides dirt. But is that what you really want? I'd rather see the dirt and dust and clean it.

I painted and glazed my old kitchen cabs 12 years ago as a temporary fix for the dark cabs until we could do a full reno. (The look was somewhat in style at the time.) They always looked dirty. I was tired of the look soon after doing it, but it was better than the depressing dark cabs. My new cabs are painted white, no glaze. Simple and elegant.

That being said, if you really love glaze and don't plan on selling anytime soon, then do what you like. If you're hesitating, I suggest not doing it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:53AM
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I agree with everything Breezygirl wrote. The glazing is (IMHO) a "faux" look that is dated. But as to real experience, my sister has glazed white cabinets in her kitchen. They are 8 years old, and were quite expensive when she had the kitchen done at the time. Now the cabinets just look shabby instead of "antique". She regrets choosing a glaze, and feels that if she'd just chosen a plain white paint, her cabinets would still look fresh and clean. She also says she doesn't know herself why she wanted an "aged" look when she chose her cabinets - her house, though not new, is not vintage either. So that's her experience with glazed cabinets. I hope that helps your decision.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 8:17AM
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misslizzy - I'm planning on the same brand of cabinets in the Maple Cream Glaze. Not because they are glazed, but because I am looking for a creamy white, not a stark white (which I feel the Maple Linen is).

Also, the Butterscotch really has a yellow-gold tinge to it and I didn't want that feel in my kitchen (I'm going with a grey-green paint that has a more cool feel). The Butterscotch is warm and brownish and, well, kind of has the dirty feel breezy talked about above.

What wall colors are you going with? What's the overall feel of your kitchen? Do you have other color/decor elements picked out?

The answers to those questions might help you decide between the Maple Cream and the Maple Butterscotch.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:38AM
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Hi akchicago, can you please clarify if the glazing on your sister's cabs are a solid antique white color (like the Maple Cream Glaze in the photos below), or if the glazing is the kind that is darker in the crevices?


    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:04PM
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Misslivvy - in answer to your question, I would say both. Though the photos on your links are so small, I cannot say whether they are like what is shown in the photos. As I said, her cabinets are meant to look aged. Though her home isn't that old, so she now is kinda "what was I thinking?" about it. So, overall her cabinets are glazed, so when you look at the raised panels where there are no crevices, they are glazed solid. Then when you look at the crevices, it's darker, mimicking wear from age.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:43PM
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Hi, Miss Livvy, you're right, there are two looks achieved with glaze.

This confused me too. One cabinet maker suggested that if I wanted maple, I do a glaze not a stain, because maple doesn't take a stain well. I thought he meant the aged, in-the-crevices kind of glaze mentioned above. He said, no, it could be an all-over glaze. He said the difference between a stain and a glaze was that a stain penetrates the wood whereas a glaze does not.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 8:40PM
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I just saw my white glazed cabinets today and I love them! They are BM Cloud White with a licorice glaze and I was worried they would look dirty or dated, but the glaze is in the crevices and not on the door front as much, so the white looks clean but the glaze gives depth. I cannot tell you how they wear over time as I haven't even had them installed yet. But I think they look clean and fresh but the glaze adds warmth.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:11AM
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The whole point of glazing is that they look dirty and used from day one. For someone with an older home, they may feel that something a little less NEW shouting is more appropriate to the home's age. Really though, in the days when the home was new, that older home would have scrubbed and painted them fresh if their cabinets if they looked that dirty!

Glazing was a big trend 10 years ago during the housing boom. The trend was toward more ornate, showy, and fou fou kitchens like the faux Tuscan look. The current trend is away from anything ornate at all. Simple lean lines and modern styles are in. If someone isn't comfortable with the full blown modern look, then the transitional clean lines with little ornamentation can be a bridge between the modern and traditional. Thus the popularity of shaker cabinets.

But, don't let what's popular tell you what you like. If you like something that isn't fashionable, if you wait long enough, it will come around again to be fashionable. There are plenty of 1970's walnut kitchens with vanilla countertops that could pass for current installations if the appliances were updated. Concentrate on making your layout work for you and creating good bones, and the decorative elements will play a secondary role to the actual food and family that your kitchen contains.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 1:22AM
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Misslivvy - I think that in order for us to truly help you with this decision, you should respond to Editionk's questions above. Cabinets are usually the most expensive part of a kitchen renovation. They're also of course much harder to change in the future than, say, appliances or faucets. So before you plunk down all those dollars, you should consider what does the rest of your kitchen look like, what kind of decor is your home in general, is your home contemporary or traditional or in-between, what look are you going for in the kitchen. Also, what sink are you getting - a modern stainless steel, a white cast iron, a farmers apron sink or something else? Please let us know.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:21AM
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We put glazed cabinets (Vanilla Bean with some kind of dark brown glaze) in our kitchen 4 years ago and they're wearing just fine. I didn't pick the style so they'd look "not brand new," though. I like the glaze because it adds dimension and contrast instead of just being a wall of off-white.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:36AM
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After considering the responses, I am leaning towards either a pure white or a solid antique white (no artificial darkening/shadowing in the crevices). The photo posted of the glazed kitchen is gorgeous, but I am too chicken I think given the cost of cabinets.

Regarding the rest of the kitchen, most likely I will go with an oak hardwood floor (to match the rest of the house it will be stained a golden & pecan color), stainless steel appliances, and I would like to keep the main color scheme relatively neutral. Most likely a travertine looking backsplash and beige to medium brown paint colors. I already posted a link to the cabinet door so you can see the style which is traditional-transitional, full overlay. The ends of the cabinets will be done in beadboard, as will the sides of a small center island. I was planning to do beadboard/wainscotting all the way around the breakfast/eating area to continue with that idea.

The house is a 1942 Spanish style in Southern California, one of those Hacienda looking style homes, although it is kind of transitional since 1942 is getting out of that era.

The link below shows an antique white kitchen that has many elements of white mine would probably look like if I did antique white.

On the other hand, I think pure white cabinets could also work:

My main concern is about how antique white vs pure white cabinets age/wear over time, which is why I was originally trying to stay away from talking about the rest of the kitchen. I worry the antique white will start to look dingy if they pick up dirt over time. I want a white kitchen in some way shape or form, I just want to pick the right shade of white that I will be happy with over time.

Thanks for everyone's help. Can someone please tell me how to set up my profile to be notified when someone responds to my thread? I looked in the settings and I'm not seeing it.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 12:50PM
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Misslivvy - I am posting a link to the Read Me thread. There is really a lot in there, a lot of links within links, that you will find helpful. Regarding your question about how to be notified, look in the attached link for the link entitled "Getting emails sent to you", on the post of Aug. 4, at 14:27.

Here is a link that might be useful: Read Me thread

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 8:57PM
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