How to cure enamel paint

Written by abaigeal quinn
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Enamel paints do not simply dry like other paints, they cure. The curing occurs when the enamel is exposed to oxygen and begins a chemical process that hardens the binder. Heat has a limited effect on speeding up the process, although is handy for certain enamels that are painted upon glass. Most oil-based enamels harden within eight to 24 hours and are cured once they feel dry to the touch. Latex enamels cure from the outside in, so may feel initially dry but can take as long as a month before they are fully cured.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Painted glassware
  • Baking tray
  • Oven

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    Speed-curing Enamel on Glass

  1. 1

    Allow the enamel paint to cure for a full 24 hours on the glass before applying any heat. If you prefer to slow-cure your enamel on the glassware, it can take up to 21 days.

  2. 2

    Preheat your oven to 177 degrees C for a minimum of 15 minutes.

  3. 3

    Lay your painted glassware carefully on a large baking tray and place it in the middle of your preheated oven. Do not allow any of the enamel paint to touch the surface of the baking tray, and do not allow glass pieces to touch each other on the pan.

  4. 4

    Time it so the glassware is in the oven for exactly 30 minutes at 176 degrees C before turning the oven completely off. Do not remove the pan from the oven and keep the oven door tightly closed.

  5. 5

    Leave the pan in the oven for a minimum of five hours before removing the glassware from the oven--it should be fully cooled to the touch. Carefully remove the glassware from the baking tray.

Tips and warnings

  • The best way to cure enamel paints quickly is to spray or apply it in very thin layers, allowing each layer to cure thoroughly before applying the next.
  • Enamel paint dries best when there is light air circulation in the room and low levels of humidity.
  • Applying a second layer of enamel paint over a layer that has not fully cured will keep the initial layer from the oxygen it needs in order to cure. This will keep the first layer from ever curing.

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