A glaze is a thin transparent or semi-transparent coating that modifies the appearance of the underlying layer, creating rich, finishes by adjusting the chroma, value, hue, or texture of a surface. Historically, many artists used glaze out of necessity to create strong, vibrant colors, or to achieve color blending. Glazes can also be applied for additional protection of the underlying surface.

Material testing and analysis reveals details about the composition of historic glazes and informs the design of conservation treatments during the restoration of decorative paint and finishes.