Glaze Effects

Glaze Effects are translucent water-based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes such as marbling, shabby chic, burnishing and color washing. Use over Water Based Wood Stains, Milk Paints, Chalk Style Paints and Pearl Effects. Glaze Effects can be intermixed or layered to create custom colors. They may also be layered over one another to create deeper, richer looks.

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Colors-Peral Effect

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If General Finishes Glaze Effects are applied over a fresh coat of product, such as General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat, sanding is optional.


If Glaze Effects are applied directly over an older existing finish, prep cleaning and sanding are required to remove dirt, grime and potential contaminants.

General Finishes Glaze Effects Application Steps

For more control of depth and placement of glaze color, apply Glaze Effects over 1 coat General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat, any sheen.


  1. Stir Glaze Effects to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.

  2. If desired, add 10-15% General Finishes Extender to increase open time; helpful in dry climates and on large projects.

  3. Apply 1+ coats:

    • Hand application: Apply using an acrylic bristle brush, foam brush, paint pad applicator or roller. Wipe away excess Glaze Effects with an absorbent paper or shop towel.

    • Spray application: HVLP: 1.3mm-1.5mm spray tip, medium air cap. Check with equipment supplier for proper tip sizes. Check equipment supplier for proper tip sizes. See our general guide for spray tip sizes. Wear a mask and work in a ventilated space. 

  4. Dry 3+ hours between coats and before topcoat in ideal conditions: 70*F 20*C; 50-70% humidity. Be sure to allow adequate dry time. You can tell if a water-based finish is dry if it forms a powder when lightly sanded with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper. If in doubt, wait longer. Rushing dry time can cause clouding/blush in topcoat due to moisture trapped between coats. Increase dry time if: 

    • Humidity is over 80%

    • A thick coat is applied

    • Applying over a previous existing finish

    • Layering General Finishes water- and oil-based products:

      • Water over oil: Let oil-based products dry 72+hr before applying water-based products

      • Oil over water: Let water-based products dry 24+hr before applying oil-based products

  5. If a smoother texture is desired, carefully finish sand between coats with a fine-grade (220-320) foam sanding pad or 400-grit sandpaper to improve smoothness and adhesion.

  6. Remove dust with a vacuum, oil-free tack cloth or clean water dampened rag before re-coating.

  7. Always seal Glaze Effects with 2-3 coats of topcoat to seal in the colorants.


Cure Time
Water-based finishes cure and harden for full use after 21 days in ideal conditions. Avoid placing heavy objects on surfaces that have not completely cured. Treat gently, and do not clean with commercial products during the curing period.

ALWAYS seal General Finishes Glaze Effects with 3 coats of clear topcoat, e.g. General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat. Apply a total of 3+ coats of topcoat altogether. If 1 coat of topcoat is applied before Glaze Effects, add at least 2 more coats over the glaze to seal in the color.


Topcoat Recommendations

  • Low- to High-Wear Surfaces: High-Performance Topcoat (brush or spray), General Finishes Enduro Clear Poly (spray only)

  • Low- to Medium-Wear Surfaces: General Finishes Flat Out Flat Topcoat (brush or spray)

Creative Techniques Using Glaze Effects     (All videos are attached in Video division )

Creating Custom Colors


You can design your own custom glazes, stains, washes, and varnishes with General Finishes intermixable water-based products. See tips and recipes below:


For the mixes listed below, General Finishes recommends the following two steps:

  1. Applying a base layer of General Finishes High-Performance Topcoat before applying your custom glaze.

  2. Protect all of these finishes with 2-3 coats of topcoat when you are finished.

Pastel Glaze/Whitewash:



  • General Finishes Milk Paint: Your choice of colors

  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Winter White OR General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain: Whitewash


Do not add more than 50% paint to the glaze or stain, or else there will be so much pigment it will be difficult to wipe away the finish.


Custom Glaze:



  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Your choice of colors


Pitch Black Glaze Effects + Winter White Glaze Effects.

Experiment with proportions and colors.


Custom Stain Colors:



  • General Finishes Milk Paint: Your choice of color

  • General Finishes Glaze Effects: Clear Base OR General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural


  1. 1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Pre-Stain Natural [50:50 mix] OR

  2. 1 part Milk Paint + 1 part Glaze Effects Clear Base [50:50 mix] OR

  3. 1 part Milk Paint +  2 parts Water Based Wood Stain Natural [1:2 mix]


Proportions are relative to the color you are reducing. Some colors may require 2 parts Clear Base to reduce strength, others may require 1.

Begin with a 50:50 mix, and add more Clear Base as needed.

Increase your color palette by mixing 2 or 3 Milk Paint colors together before adding the Clear Base.

Limited Warranty

General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using, including compatibility with other manufacturers products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products and will not be responsible for any costs such as labor, damage, or replacement costs.


If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Do not swallow; first aid: drink water to dilute product. May cause eye and skin irritation; first aid: flush eyes thoroughly with water. This product contains a chemical know to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. Chemicals that also are included in all the products of General Finishes Company.

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