Back-painted glass is a decorative building material consisting of a thick tempered glass pane covered on one side with specially formulated glass adherence paint. When mounted with the painted side against a surface like a backsplash, the colour shines through the glass creating a transparent glossy surface that can be of any colour and is as easy to clean and maintain as any other glass surface. Going the DIY route for back-painting your own glass is a fairly simple process. All that's required is the special paint and a glass that's low in iron content to reduce glass tinting that could alter the final colouring.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Dust sheet
- Masking tape
- 1/4-inch tempered glass
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towels
- Bonding glass paint
- Wooden paint stirrer
- Paint sprayer
- Paint strainer
- Work gloves
- Diamond glass cutting blade
- 120-grit sandpaper
Tape a dust sheet to the wall and lay it across the floor in your work area. Lean the glass against the dust sheet on the wall and on the portion spread across the floor so that you can easily reach the entire painting surface. Clean the glass with paper towels dampened with rubbing alcohol. Allow the glass to dry completely after cleaning.
Mix the permanent bonding glass paint by combining the paint with the catalyst with a wooden paint stirrer, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Thin the paint if needed with acetone, up to 15 per cent, to create a misting consistency. Fill a paint sprayer with the mixed paint, running the paint through a paint strainer during the fill process. You can purchase the bonding glass paint from a home improvement store or paint store.
Set the paint sprayer between 60 and 120 psi. Hold the paint sprayer about 6 inches from the glass surface and direct the nozzle straight at the glass.
Trigger the sprayer, covering the glass with the paint using a back and forth motion across the glass going from the top to the bottom. Apply four coats of paint to the glass, waiting five minutes between each to allow the paint to begin to set. Allow the last layer to dry for 48 hours.
Tips and warnings
- Have the glass precut to fit before painting.
- Wear a protective face mask or respirator during the painting process to avoid breathing in harmful paint fumes. Open windows and doors to the area and place an exhaust fan in a window to create a well-ventilated work area as well.
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