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What is Highlighting?

Highlighting is a technique to add depth and interest to the finish of cabinetry. To create this effect, glaze is applied. There are numerous theories as to the best way to apply highlights to cabinetry, but there is not a single correct way. The most common application method is to use a cloth to generously apply the glaze to the surface then wipe away the excess. This method allows the glaze to accentuate edges and corners by accumulating there. Another popular method is to apply the glaze only to the edges and seems of the woodwork in order to draw the eye’s attention with deepened accents there.

Just as the methods for applying glaze vary, so too do the types of glaze that are recommended for use. Generally speaking, a local hardware store employee should be able to point out which glazes are available and what outcomes can be expected with their use. Applying a crackle or antiquing glaze can be interesting, but highlighting is typically done with glazes that simply deepen the tone of the existing finish. Note that any cabinetry that has been highlighted will present a difficult situation should any of the doors need to be replaced in the future because of the unique appearance of the cabinetry’s finish.

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