Decorating glass techniques vary as widely as the potential glass projects themselves. Here are a small number of popular projects that you may be considering:
Stained glass effects and simple designs are popular especially in period style properties, small alcoves, porch and front doors as well as adding finishing touches to glass windows on stairs.
Wine and beer glasses
Printing styled and coloured text is often seen on many pub glasses and effects can vary from frosted to brand logos, engraved and raised print.
Decorated mirrors tend to be a little more subtle, maybe a design in the mirrors corner or small sets of draws with mirror fronts can often have printed silhouettes on them.
Clip frames often have printed border decorations to enhance the beauty of your favourite pictures. Flower borders and designs in corners are common.
Beginners embarking on their first glass painting projects often start with a selection of plain glass vases to decorate. Again flowers head the list of popular designs as they lend themselves very well to outliner and glass colour inks.
Decorating glass – techniques, options and expectations
Glass printing techniques vary as widely as the potential projects but for sure, certain techniques are far simpler than others. It all depends on what you need to achieve. For example, let us say that you needed to print “Congratulations Susan and James” onto several glass vases for their wedding day. As this is a one off event, this project could easily be achieved with waterslide papers.
Waterslide papers are fantastic for transferring any image, picture or text that you’ve printed, onto virtually any hard surface. Projects are not dishwasher safe but as the effect is required for one day only, this would be the correct choice as pictures of flowers or other images could also be placed next to the text without any additional effort.
How to use waterslide decal papers for decorating glass
Packs of waterslide papers often come in 5’s or 10 A4 sheets which is enough for potentially hundreds of decal slip designs. If you have an inkjet printer you will also need to purchase some clear varnish spray. If you have a laser printer, clear varnish is not required.
Start by printing your text and / or picture onto the shiny side of the waterslide paper. Waterslide paper acts like regular paper and will travel through your printer in the same way.
Once your design is printed, wait for around 30 minutes to dry before spraying a layer of clear varnish on. (Inkjet only) Apply a couple more coats of clear varnish in quick even bursts to seal the print on the paper. This is necessary as the next stage is to dip your design into water for around 30 seconds.
The backing paper will then start to slide off, enabling you to remove from the water and slide the film containing your design, onto the glass surface. You will have several moments to reposition your design whilst gently removing any remaining water from underneath your design with your fingers and thumbs. The design will start to harden onto the glass over the next couple of hours.
Reasons for not using waterslide decal papers on glass
If the glass surface that you wish to decorate is going to be exposed to the elements or washed in water, you may want to consider other permanent options if possible.
Decorating glass with glass paints
With a little artistic ability a permanent effect can be achieved with some tracing paper, outliner and glass paint.
If your glass surface is flat like a glass coaster for instance, place the glass horizontally and trace the outline of your design onto the glass. If your glass is rounded you will need to fix the design to trace onto the inside of the glass.
Obtain some glass paint and cern outliner. Vitrea as a brand are a good choice and both glass paint and outliner are dishwasher proof once fixed in an oven at around 150c for 30 minutes.
The purpose of starting with your outline is to prevent your colours from bleeding into each other. Take a simple design like a flower for instance and imagine drawing a stem and several petal outlines around the top of the stem.
Your cern outliner comes with a precision tip. Create your outline by squeezing a little outliner into a tissue to check there are no blockages or airbubbles in the nozzles tip. As you work, keep wiping the tip. This will help prevent lines becoming too thick.
The next step would be to fill each petal with colour.
Start by applying the paint generously by puddling the paint or using a pipette. This will give a flat, stained-glass effect. To get a lighter colour …