Ghost coating, also known as glazing, coats a wood surface that is already painted or had wood stain applied to modify the tone. Ghost coating still maintains the wood grain and integrity of the wood but is a quick and efficient way to change the color of the finished wood. For instance, if you had a piece of furniture that you wanted to take from a light oak color to a cherry walnut without completely refinishing the wood, you might use the ghost coating technique. This is a simple technique that helps update the wood piece and make it pop! Ghost coating works well for wood flooring, furniture or cabinets, and is an easy way to get an on-trend look for dated pieces.

Deciding Which Color To Use

You may know the look you are going for when ghost coating your cabinets, but how do you choose which color glaze or stain to use? If you are modifying an already-stained piece of wood with the intent of transforming the piece to a darker stain, you will want to use a slightly darker stain. This will allow the piece to get darker without covering the wood grain. If the piece of wood is already painted, you can use the color of stain you want to achieve, as it will highlight the distressed areas.

White Glaze

Say you have a dark piece of wood that you want to pop with a brighter accent. In this scenario, you can use a white glaze to make the dark wood pop. The glaze will adhere to the distressed areas and grain of the wood, highlighting these areas. These are very popular right now with gray and white tones.

Pros Of Ghost Coating

There are some major pros to ghost coating, but like with anything, there are also a few cons. We’ve broken down the scenarios when you would want to use the ghost coating technique, as well as why it can be beneficial.

Less Expensive

Since you do not need to remove old varnish or lacquer, or purchase the tools to do so, ghost coating can be less expensive than completely refinishing the wood piece. Instead, you only need the coating supplies and tools.

Easy To Update Classic Pieces

Ghost coating is an easy way to update classic pieces that you may not want to completely strip and refinish. Say you have a vintage rocking chair that is in great shape, but you want to update the coloring to something more modern. Ghost coating can provide a way to update this classic piece with a more modern touch, without having to redo the entire wood furniture.

Easy To Clean

Ghost coating is great for places that get a lot of use, like kitchen cabinets. Not only is it a quick way to update your furniture, but it is also incredibly easy to clean. If you notice a stain on the wood, you can use warm, soapy water on the piece, making sure to dry right away.

Preserves The Wood Grain

One of our favorite parts of log homes, wood cabins or wood furniture is the wood grain. That is one of the main reasons we use wood for these pieces in the first place, right? If you want a way to highlight the grain of the wood even more, ghost coating is the way to go. Because you are putting a coat over the top of an existing coat, the coloring adheres best to the portion of the wood piece that has the most texture – the wood grain. Ghost coating is the perfect way to highlight and preserve the wood grain.

Provides Protection

Ghost coating does not damage the original coating; in fact, it can add an additional layer of coating to the wood furniture, flooring or cabinets. This adds extra protection, making it just as damage resistant as the original coating.  

Cons Of Ghost Coating

In addition to the pros of ghost coating, there are a few drawbacks. Damage can sometimes be more evident on a ghost coating layer, as the top coat may sometimes chip to reveal the original paint or varnish. In addition, ghost coating is just a top coat, so it does not protect the wood as much as other coatings.

How To Apply Ghost Coating

Are you ready to try ghost coating on your home, furniture or cabinets? The team at Lovitt’s Coating is always available to help our customers find the right supplies and application tools or provide advice about a project. Here are a few quick steps to get you started, but feel free to call or come in to chat with our staff more thoroughly about your options.

Clean Your Wood Piece

With all projects, we advise you thoroughly clean your wood floor, log home or furniture before getting started to remove any dirt or grime that could interfere.

Load Stain On Surface

It does not matter how you apply the stain to the surface, but ensure you coat the entire surface. We often advise using a foam brush to apply ghost coating, as these brush types help apply the coating to small cracks and crevasses.

Wipe Excess

Use a dry rag to wipe off excess coating, ensuring it does not dry on the surface.

Mineral Spirits

If you are only ghost coating a specific area of the wood piece, you can use a rage with a small amount of mineral spirits to remove stain from any areas you do not want stained.

Are you ready to try ghost coating? Contact the team at Lovitt’s Coatings today for advice or assistance to get started.