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To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Posted by linjbo (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 22, 12 at 11:08

(oops I think I previously posted in off-topic...trying again.)
I am having my oak cabinets painted BM White Dove. I've had 3 or 4 people quote the job...all say I should put some sort of "glaze" or the white will be stark and look like we just slapped a coat of white over old cabinets. I think glaze makes the cabinets look aged and country. I am looking for a cleaner, more contemporary look. Many say adding the glaze makes white cabinets look more sophisticated, custom, high end and will look cheaper with plain white. But my gut tells me stay white. Thoughts? (P.S. we have Emerald Pearl granite - which is black with silvery flecks)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I've been trying to decide the same thing. I've looked at many samples and some look good to me and others look like a dirty cabinet. I think this can be a very difficult question to answer and often it just comes down to personal preference. I think a glaze on white can look good, but it also seems to have a higher chance of looking crappy compared to doing it on something other than white.

I think most of the pics I've seen of white kitchens with a more modern/crisp/clean cut look do not have a glaze. But kitchens with a more traditional/old world feel that often use more of an offwhite do use glaze/distressing more and it can look good.

Maybe it comes down to the overall look you're trying to pull off and how clean/contemporary the rest of your kitchen looks?


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

They can look "glazed" in no time if you have kids and a birthday party with chocolate syrup squirted everywhere.

They just want to upcharge you for the glaze. Keep it simple and classic. Glazing has had it's day and is out again as far as trends go---if you care about that sort of thing.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Don't listen to the people giving you quotes. Go with your gut! The pure white will match the look you are trying to achieve best.

(FYI - I have bright white cabinets, and I love the brightness they bring to my room.)


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I would think they could make a sample of each for you?
I like glazed but have seen some bad ones. It depends who is doing them, etc... and what look you're going for : )


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I'm positive that the fact that glazing is usually a 20-25% upcharge has nothing to do with the fact that they are recommending it to you! LOL!


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

go with your gut.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

It always looks like dirt in the edges to me. Many times I've run my hand over glazed samples thinking the joints and edges needed to be scraped and sanded.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I'm not sure what's sophisticated or high end about white cabinets looking like they need cleaning, go with your vision and keep them a crisp white.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

It used to be if I did a white kitchen, at least 75% of the people wanted ornate doors and lots of glazing. You couldn't even find a plain painted door in a non glazed finish, you had to go with thermofoil if you wanted plain white cabinets and no glaze and were on a budget. Now, it's 75% the other direction. If it's white, it's more about the agony of which white, and glazing isn't even brought up. Even those who want glazing don't want the heaver glazing. They want a very light touch. And 75% want shaker or something else with clean lines. Only the folks who want wood doors are still going for the more ornate look. And I live in a conservative flyover state where trends take 5 years or so to gain a foothold.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Skip the glazing. You don't want it. Simple decision.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

To my mind, whether glazing is "in" or "out" at the moment is not
the issue. Glazing on wood stained cabs has an enhanced, "rich"
look. On white or light painted cabs, it just looks dirty.

For the contemporary, clean lines you're looking for, go with the
crisp white. It'll look great with the Emerald Pearl counters!


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I looove my glazed cabinets. They are ivory with a chocolate glaze. It is a certain look that you either love or hate!


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I have Dove White and I was surprised how stark it can look in my kitchen with lots of natural light. Not so in the showroom with little natural light. So how this white will read in your house will depend on how much natural light you get in your kitchen.
That said,I would not glaze this color white cabinet. Glazing looks nice on wood or ivory toned cabinets, not white.
I do agree that it is not as popular as it once was.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

We have glazed cabinets at our beach house, and while I would never have chosen them myself, they're really quite nice. They are ivory with glaze (kraftmaid) and they don't look dirty at all; just sort of old world traditional. Not my look but they don't offend.

One reason cabinet makers/painters like glazing is that it hides the inevitable cracks you will get with painted cabinets. I was told this by the Crystal Cabinet rep when I bought my bathroom vanity around 12 years ago and I had to fight to get it unglazed. I may even have had to sign a waiver about the cracks.

I also agree with the notion that without glazing, it may look like a coat of paint has been slapped onto old cabinets. It depends on the style of the doors. I don't believe all door styles take simple white paint the same way. I'd be worried that it would look like thermofoil if you have traditional arched doors with raised panels. This could be what they are talking about when they say it might look cheap. Can you post a picture of your cabinets?


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Well I've never posted a pic on GW before but here goes! Hope it works. Thanks to all for your input!

Here is a link that might be useful: My


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I know many seem not to like glazed but I do. Here is an example where (I think) it doesn't look dirty. This door style is actually not what we are going with but I love the off white and to me the glazing looks rich/interesting without looking dirty. You may disagree... The glaze in this case is only in the creases and in person doesn't show on the white itself.
I believe a more simple door than pictured will also show less glazing...

DSC09145.JPG

DSC09138.JPG


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RE: To glazeI or not to glaze white cabinets?

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. It's a matter of personal taste. Also a matter of whether the glaze is applied with a light or heavy hand. We have light green and cream cabinets in our kitchen, both subtly glazed. I think the glaze adds a depth of color that I prefer to a flat coat of paint. You may or may not like my cabinets, but I don't believe they look dirty, cheap or dated.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Maybe they could paint a door white then glaze another door so you could see the difference. I do agree that sometimes older cabinets painted look a little flat. Maybe a light glazing would give them interest.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

First, go with your gut. Don't let anyone talk you into something you know deep down that you don't want. Second, I agree that white cabs with glaze look dirty. I want to grab a brush and scrub.

Maybe you could have them show an example of the glazing?

If your chosen white is too stark, you might consider a different, creamier white to avoid having to "warm it up" with glaze. Don't get caught up on using a particular, popular paint color if it's not right in your space.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I think your cabinets could look good with or without glaze. Like Sas95 says, you'll want it applied with a light touch. Have the painter do a few doors and see how you like them. The glaze can always be added later if you think they are too stark or plain. I agree with Breezygirl that a warm white will give them a richer look.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I have grown tired of the glazed look and we will be putting in just off-white cabinets into our new house, no glaze. I don't think all glazed cabinets look horrible, but there is definitely a version of the white / off-white glazed cabinet kitchen that I think is starting to look like a fad that's passed.

IN YOUR CASE - I would say don't glaze because of the look you've described that you're going for, AND because I really don't think it will look very good with your granite color.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

My SIL recently had her old builder-grade cabinets painted and glazed and they look amazing, but in her case she went to a medium darkish cream, which I think looks much better with glaze than white cabinets do. I'm with the others--white is fine on its own.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Don't do the glaze if that does not fit with your vision. Everyone told me to glaze also. Apparently, the white shaker cabinet trend hasn't hit our part of the midwest yet :)


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

Glazing is a matter of personal preference, but cabinet finishes are trending towards cleaner looks. However, we are on the east coast and atill do a good amount of glazing. Almost all of our stains are glazed and about 60% of our painted finishes, most with a light pearlescent tone to it, and a VERY light hand. It's done to add depth of color, not an aged look, and lately, never on oak.

The issue you may have is that you are dealing with oak cabinets. Oak has grain pores which will collect glaze, hence the dirty and country look. But even without glaze the doors may not have a clean, modern look. Painted oak looks like painted oak, which, by it's nature looks more rustic and country. And if the doors have dated architecture, like arches, that just magnifies the challenge.

Good luck with whatevr you decide to do.


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RE: To glaze or not to glaze white cabinets?

I don't care for the glaze, I do like the slightly off white colors that look rich but not glazed. My sister has glazed and honestly they are new only a couple of years old and already look tired and sad..JMO


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