Glass Paint Mixing and Storage Tips

With glass paint and a little time, you can get that stained-glass look without the work (or price) of real stained glass. Glass paints can be used to creat faux stained-glass windows, beautiful one of a kind stemware, glass plates and ceramic pieces. Once dried, these pieces are both durable and beautiful.

Choosing Paint for Glass
Glass paints are easy to find online and in craft and specialty stores.You can purchase colors individually or buy kits that include an assortment of colors and brushes.

Along with colors, you'll need to choose between two different formulations. Thermohardening glass paints get baked in an oven, which creates a durable finish that can withstand handling and washing, ideal for plates and glasses. Air-drying paints aren't as durable, but they're a good choice for hanging pieces that won't be handled.

Some glass paints, such as the Delta Glass line, require an additional step before painting. Before using Delta Glass paint, you must apply a special surface conditioner, which coats the glass so the paint adheres. This creates a durable finish without heat setting, but the surface conditioner requires 10 days to cure, before you can even start painting.

The Pebeo Vitrea 160 line of glass paints can be used on glass, porcelain, glazed terracotta or metal. Pebeo paints are water-based and don't need to be heat set. Once it dries, the surface is like enamel. Pebeo Vitrea also has glass paint markers, which are water-based paint markers specifically for glass that are great for fine work.

Mixing Colors
Custom colors, and darker or lighter variations of colors, are achieved by mixing colors together. The colors can be mixed on a special paint palette or a disposable plate. Be sure to mix your colors on a glass surface, so that they won't dry too quickly and so that you won't be surprised by your final result. Work with small amounts of customized color; glass paints dry quickly, and the colors cannot be stored for future use. 

Don't mix opaque colors with transparent or iridescent colors. This can cause clumps on the surface of the glass and uneven effects. Avoid mixing paints from different manufacturers or different lines made by the same manufacturer. Differences in the makeup of the paint could prevent it from adhering or drying properly.

Some manufacturers have special glazes that can be added to thin the paints. Try not to thin too much, or you'll be chasing runs instead of finishing your project. Never thin glass paints with water; this upsets the formulation of the paint and prevents proper adhesion.

Storing Glass Paint
The best way to store paint jars is upside down. About 20 minutes before using the paints, turn them right side up and give them a good shake. Always stir paints for at least one minute before you use them, to ensure proper distribution of the pigments. 

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