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Cabinet Glazing: To Glaze or Pen Accent? That is the Question

Thursday, September 28, 2017 9:16 AM

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Hello, readers, and welcome back to the WoodCabinets4Less blog. In our last post, we looked at plywood, what it is, and the benefits of plywood features in cabinets. Today, we would like to turn our focus to cabinet glazing, which is an important aspect of cabinet finishing. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets are not only functional objects found in these rooms, they are also the most visible aspect of these spaces and, depending on the color and finish, can either make a room look gorgeous and welcoming, or dry and dull. With two different types of cabinet glaze applications available—full-body glazing and pen accent glazing—we’ve had many customers ask about glazing techniques and the difference between them and, in today’s post, we’ll explore both of these techniques. Please continue reading below to learn more.

What Is Glazing?

Glazing is the application of a thin transparent or semi-transparent coating on the surface of the cabinet door that alters the look of the finish.It can deepen or lighten the original/base color of the cabinet door stain or paint. Glazing is applied by hand or by brush to the entire door once the cabinets have been stained or painted and then cured. The glaze is then wiped off by hand. As a result, the glaze articulates the details of the cabinet such as the molding, bevels, and corners, while adding depth and color to the finish. Our Madison line offers some great glazed looks: Madison Pewter Frost, Madison Charcoal Frost, Madison Chocolate Frost & Chocolate Walnut Frost offering glaze and finish distressing are a few great options for those looking for a glazed cabinet style. Our premium line also offers countless glazed finishes on many wood species: Alder, Maple, Cherry, Hickory, Walnut and is also available in rustic wood style as well.

Benefits of Glazing

Glazing is great for creating a rustic, yet sophisticated look, especially on traditional raised panel cabinets. Some of the benefits of glazing include:

  • Creates depth and highlights cabinet features.

  • Adds subtle shading on cabinet doors and fronts for a stylish look.

  • Excellent for those looking for a more traditional kitchen or bathroom style that emanates elegance.

  • Perfect style for country or mountain homes with rustic or modern features.

  • Glazing adds a touch of class to any kitchen or bathroom.

  • Works well with a variety of kitchen and bathroom appliance finishes.  



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What Is Pen Accenting?

Hand-applied glaze pen accenting is applying a transparent, semi-transparent, or colored coating to the grooves and bevels found on cabinet doors, particularly traditional raised panel styles, to highlight the architectural features such as the molding, corners, and bevels. Adding either a single line, double, or multiple lines to the bevels on the cabinets creates the illusion of a high contrast to accentuate every detail of the cabinet. This glazing technique may also alter the appearance of the surface texture of the cabinet, creating the illusion of deep grooves while drawing attention to the craftsmanship of the cabinets. Some of our styles featuring a penned accent glaze are: Cream Glaze, Cinnamon Glazed Maple, Mansion Pearl, Mansion Brown, and Belgian White Chocolate Glaze.

Benefits of Pen Accent Glazing

Pen accenting is a premium finish that offers an excellent way to add a unique, antiqued look to any kitchen or bathroom. Some of the benefits of pen accenting include:

  • Hand-applied pen accent provides a concise line.

  • Cabinets have a depth and contrast, unlike other, more streamlined cabinets.

  • Adds a vintage, rustic, or Old World look to any kitchen or bathroom.

  • Works especially well for rustic and country style homes.

  • Enhances the appearance of stone countertops.

  • Goes well with a number of kitchen appliance finishes and hardware features.



While both of these glazing and pen accent glazing techniques are simply a matter of taste and style preference, either can significantly improve and enhance the aesthetics of any kitchen or bathroom. For those looking for a more modern, sleek cabinet, check our shaker line, which includes our Oxford White Shaker and Storm Grey Shaker cabinets. If you would like to upgrade the appearance and function of your kitchen or bathroom with glazed or pen accent cabinets, contact our cabinet experts today at WoodCabinets4Less and start designing the kitchen or bathroom you’ve always wanted.

Posted in Wood Cabinets