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Glaze for Specialist Paint Effects and Faux Finishes

Listed under Blog, faux, Lee Simone, marbling-graining, Polyvine Posted Feb 06 2018

Traditional Painter in Yorkshire, Lee Simone, has used and researched all manner of materials for creating decorative paint effects like this.

marble effect

If you have never quite found a modern equivalent of olde worlde oil glaze, this article on Glaze for Specialist Paint Effects and Faux Finishes is for you.

Transparent Oil Glaze from Ratcliffes

For those of you that have done any specialist paint effects, I’m sure at some point you used the original ‘Transparent Oil Glaze’ from Ratcliffes. This was a brilliant product with a fantastic open time that allowed you to play around to your heart’s content, to achieve the exact effect you wanted. Quite a few years ago this ‘original’ Ratcliffes glaze was discontinued (I believe due to the VOC content) and trust me that was a bad day in decorating! I used this glaze for specialist paint effects all the time, on all my faux finishes and on many of my murals too, what was I going to do??

Ratcliffes Water Based Oil Glaze for Specialist Paint Effects and Faux Finishes

Ratcliffes Water Based Oil Glaze

Transparent Water based Glaze from Ratcliffes

After tinkering and tweaking, Ratcliffes then released their water-based version which was kind of a hybrid, being water based but made with linseed oil. Yay, I thought – it said on the back of the tin that it had a good open time, things were looking up. Unfortunately this was not a good product and the ‘supposedly’ good open time was far from it. In my experience you had about 10-20 seconds (certainly less than a minute) before it started going off, which was no good to man nor beast. I don’t think it has come as much as a surprise that Ratcliffe have now stopped making their replacement oil glaze and removed it from the market.

Simone Oil Glaze

So what was I going to do? I needed a transparent oil glaze and there just didn’t seem to be one available. Next came months of researching the internet and leafing through dusty library books trying to find a recipe for an oil glaze that I could make myself. There had to be one out there! What did all the old boys use before the original Ratcliffes, what did the Victorian artisans use to create their faux marble and faux wood effects??

After a lot of searching I finally found a recipe that worked, and for more than a year I toiled away in my workshop cooking up new batches of my very own ‘Simone Oil Glaze‘. It actually worked really well, but was pretty time consuming to make and messy to boot. And then along came the new kid on the block……

polyvine oil scumble Glaze for Specialist Paint Effects and Faux Finishes

Polyvine Oil Glaze

Polyvine Oil Glaze

Polyvine Ltd was established in 1986 and ever since, has been one of the leading innovators in specialist decorative paint systems. They manufacture a wide range of specialist materials, (many of which I have used extensively, and info on their Decorators Varnish for example, is all over this site), so when I heard they had brought out a ‘traditional oil based scumble glaze‘ I was naturally very intrigued and eager to test it out.

I have now been using it for more than a year and I have to say it’s a really great product and, in my opinion, a worthy successor to Ratcliffes original glaze.

Polyvine Oil Glaze for Specialist Paint Effects and Faux Finishes

Polyvine Oil Glaze – quite dark

When I initially opened my first tin of Polyvine Glaze, however, I was more than a little concerned. It is really quite dark, (a lot darker then the light brown of the Original Ratcliffe’s Glaze) and I wasn’t sure if this was going to significantly impact the tinting of light colours.

Very surprisingly it doesn’t seem to alter the colour of light colours much, if at all. Even if you mix it with white, the transparent glaze you get is white, not sludgy white or very light brown…happy days 🙂

Although it works out a little more expensive than making my own glaze, it’s definitely a lot easier and a lot less mucky to just open a tin, tint it and paint. It’s now my go-to glaze for all my paint effect and faux finish projects, (an example here) and definitely worth having a tinker with if you haven’t done so already.

If you would like to see more examples of my paint effect and faux finish commissions, please visit my website at Imaginative Interiors.

Thanks for reading and happy glazing! 🙂



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