Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to make a simple Glass Painting at home

Glass painting is not merely painting on glass.

Rather it is the use of transparent enamel colors to generate decorative effects on glass. 

Both the medium (glass) and the painting combine to give an ethereal effect.

Requirements :

  • A piece of Glass
    • Size & Shape: as per choice.
      [N.B. While purchasing the glass, ask the vendor to polish the edges in order to prevent cuts.] 
    • Type (Clear, Frosted, Pinhead...): as per choice.
      [N.B. The final effect of the painting varies with the type of glass used. Try out with each of the types to feel the difference yourself. For more details regarding Glass Types, click HERE.]
    • Thickness: Preferred 3mm or more.
      [N.B. Thickness less than 3mm is more susceptible to breakage. 3mm glass is optimum for framing the glass as well.]
  • A Design to be drafted
    • Outline or Image: as per choice.
      [N.B. To begin with use a simple image that would be easier to trace.]
  • Glass Colors & Liners
    • Glass Liners are used to create the image outline on glass. In general, liners are available in Black, Brown and Metallic shades like Gold, Silver, Bronze.
    • Glass Colors are used to fill the areas created by the outline. Various brands and shades of glass colors are available in the market. 
    • For more details regarding Glass Colors & Liners, click HERE.
      [N.B. Glass Colors are of two types : Water based and Solvent based.]
      [N.B. For a beginner, it is suggested to go for a glass color set which generally contains 4-8 glass colors of the primary shade and 1 black glass liner rather than purchasing individual shades.]

Glass Painting of a Peacock by CristalArt
Liner used : Camel's Black Glass Liner
Colors used : Camel's water based Glass Colors


  • Prepare the Glass
    • Clean the glass. Make sure that the glass is not oily or greasy.
  • Set the Outline/Image
    • Position the outline/image at the back side of the glass and fix it with tape so that the image doesn't shift its position while the outline is being traced.
      [N.B. In case of non clear glasses, the painting should be done on the smooth/plain surface of the glass.]
  • Trace the Outline
    • Replicate the outline of the image on the glass using the Glass Liner of a shade as per choice.
    • Let it dry for a minimum of 2-3 hrs to an optimum of 24 hrs for better final effects. 
  • Fill Colors
    • After the liner is dry, fill portions of the painting with Glass Colors as per choice.
    • Apply the colors directly on the glass. Use proper medium to lighten the shade, if required.
      [N.B. Use water as a medium for water based glass colors and thinner or more specifically N.C. Thinner as a medium for solvent based colors.]
      [N.B. Do not fill colors in adjacent spaces until the color applied is dry enough not to soak the shades from the adjacent space.]
    • Let it dry for at least a day.
  • Final Binding
    • After the entire painting is completely dry, take it to a nearby photo binder for binding.
      [N.B. Request the binder to take extra care as it is the piece of glass itself that comprises your entire effort.] 
    • Select a frame and a background as per choice.
      [N.B. Suggested using fibre frames instead of cheaper wooden frames for longevity.]
      [N.B. In order to retain the transparent effect of a glass painting, it is highly suggested to keep the background clear/open after binding.]  
Glass Painting of a Mustang by CristalArt
Liner used : Camel's Black Glass Liner
Colors used : Camel's water based Glass Colors

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