Highlighting is a technique that is used to enhance the finish of cabinetry and create depth and interest. This is accomplished by applying glaze to the surface of the woodwork. There are various methods to apply highlights to cabinetry, but there is no single correct way. The most commonly used application method is to generously apply the glaze with a cloth and then wipe away the excess, which allows the glaze to accumulate in edges and corners, accentuating them. Another popular method is to apply the glaze only to the edges and seams of the woodwork to draw attention to them with deepened accents.
Different types of glaze are recommended for highlighting, and local hardware store employees can typically provide guidance on which glazes are available and what outcomes can be expected with their use. While crackle or antiquing glazes can be interesting, highlighting is typically done with glazes that simply deepen the tone of the existing finish. It’s important to note that cabinetry that has been highlighted can present challenges if any of the doors need to be replaced in the future due to the unique appearance of the cabinetry’s finish.