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Attn: Artsy People, Re: Acrylic Paint

  1. Dec 21, 2009 #1


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    Not sure where to post this, but either way. While running out of Christmas ideas this year, I had what I thought was a fantastic idea. The idea was hand-painted champagne glasses. I thought that I had a novel idea that would give some impressive results.

    I did some research and it seemed as if acrylic was the way to go. It could be used on glass and could be watered down to a pourable consistency. So, I would slightly water down some paint, put it in a bag with a small hole and drizzle it onto the glass while I spun it.

    I would do a bunch of different colors, each corresponding to a season. I thought it was a great idea. So I spend $70 (ugh) on acrylic paint and went to town. I mixed up a little bag, tested, and failed epicly.

    I couldn't get the consistency quite right. It either was too watery and ended up blotchy, or was too thick and wouldn't pipe out. I was hoping someone on this board who was familiar with acrylic could offer some advice on this technique or this effect that I'm trying to achieve.

    I am trying to stay away from simply painting because I think it will be a lot more work, won't give the "random" effect I was hoping for, and will be too thick of lines.

    Either way, if anyone has some comments or help, I would greatly appreciate it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2009 #2
    70$ on acrylic paints. Hmmm how many paints did you buy because that's expensive. lol. As for consistency, it's something that many people starting out to paint with acrylics struggles with. I wish I could help you with this but my paints come in big bottles and are already a liquid consistency so I hardly ever need to mix unless I want to give it a waterpainted effect like a wash.

    EDIT: these are the pants I use

    Since I assume you won't be going out to buy some new paints after spending $70 already then my only suggestion is when you are mixing do not go over 50/50. Only mix little quantities but try to remember your amounts so you can mix some more if one ends up working out. The reason being is that when you start mixing too much water with the paint it loses it's ability to adhere to the surface.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  4. Dec 21, 2009 #3


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    speaking of liquitex, after some more research it appears as their (or another manufacturers) "medium" may be worth trying. It seems as if its something basically other than water that you can mix with. It might help dilute it without getting it too watery.

    As far as the price, I just went to Michaels and into the paint section. All of the little sqeeze bottles were like $7 a piece. I wanted a good variety and didn't feel like mixing, so I got a bunch.
  5. Dec 21, 2009 #4


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    I would seriously recommend looking into using ink rather than paint. We used primarily vinyl at the sign shop, but for something requiring more durability enamel was sometimes preferable. Enamel's one drawback is that it's prone to chipping after prolonged abuse.
    While normally much thicker than paint (about like liquid honey), ink can be thinned to any consistency.
    Try checking with a local printer or sign shop. They can both supply and advise you.
    Vinyl has a typical outdoor lifespan of 5 years; if the glasses are treated gingerly, they should last for at least 20.
  6. Dec 21, 2009 #5


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    Hmmmm, I'm already fairly invested in acrylic. I think I'm going to try the medium tonight and see how it goes. Perhaps I'll post some pictures. I'll keep ink in mind for next time, any good suppliers I can search online?
  7. Dec 21, 2009 #6
    Instead of ink I would personally just use paints specifically made for glass. They are designed to go on glass and maintain the colours. You can also bake them to make them more permenant and enable you to dishwash them or microwave them without worrying about the paint.

    http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?productNum=cp0262 [Broken]
    This is one line of glass-paints. Depending on how you want to paint the glasses what style of glass, and what it'll be used for will determine which best glass-paint series to use.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Dec 21, 2009 #7


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    Well...I tried going to Michaels but they didn't have the medium stuff. So, I just started painting. I ended up with three (season interpretations) glasses done (probably will go over the "winter" one some more though). They are:


    I mean, they look 'nothing' how I had originally planned for them, but what the hell; they're passable as gifts, especially with a nice bottle of champagne.

    Either way, I think they for the most part turned out OK. It did seem that a quick test one I did yesterday was prone to washing off. Would baking this normal acrylic paint help with adhesion?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  9. Dec 21, 2009 #8
    I'm not sure about baking acrylic I've never tried it before. Those do look good though :smile:
  10. Dec 21, 2009 #9
    Baking normal acrylic wont help I do not believe.

    What were you cutting the acrylic with? An acrylic medium is better than anything else I can think of. Try going to an actual art store and talking with a sales rep. Art stores are generally more concerned about their employees have some real knowledge of the product. Micheal's is more of a crafts store so the employees may or may not have much working knowledge of the products though some may actually have some experience with the more 'crafty' type project you are working on.

    I worked in paints at an art store but it has been so long I do not remember much. :-/

    All i remember for sure is that a medium is probably the best bet for a quality end product. The store I worked at had all sorts for pretty much any conceivable thing you might want to do with the paint. Michaels may not have a very wide selection of mediums. Its unfortunate that you already spent so much on the paints because I am fairly certain you could have gotten a decent set of tube paints for much cheaper. It may have even come with some medium.

    If you wanted to just drizzle the paint on for a random stringy splatter pattern you will not be able to prevent a level of thickness to the paint and still get the desired result. The glass will be textured by the paint. The biggest concern will be finding an instrument that will expel the relatively thick paint without it bunching and clotting. A bottle would be best. My first thought for macguyvering it was a plastic sandwich bag which would not be very good unless you got the consistency just right and made the aperture near perfect. Any old squeeze bottle should be fine, maybe one from a kitchen store for putting oil or what have you in. You'll still have the same curling and clotting issue though unless you get consistency right. At least with a bottle though you can stop and mix in more medium to thin it until you get it right. The next issue will be your technique. Doing this by hand may be difficult and require alot of trial and error to get it right. If you could some how get it set up so that you have something spinning the glass for you while you apply the paint it will be much easier to get some evenness and continuity but I can not think of a decent device for this. You could perhaps macguyver an electric hand mixer for the purpose, wrap some cloth or paper towels around the attachment so that the glass can fit nice and snug on it then run the device at a low speed. Note that this will require a bit of practice aswell. So long as you are using water soluble paints you should be able to make a go and then wash the paint off if it is not turning out right.

    For the direction you are going in now I would suggest taking some more time with brushes. Instead of going it freehand you can look for some designs or try to draw some and then roll the paper and put it into the glass so you have a visual guide or just put a dark (preferably black) piece of paper or cloth in there to give you a good contrast for your work. For something more slick and less blotchy go for a minimal impressionist look. For instance paint the edges of a flower petal and then streak the paint inward leaving some glass showing just dabbing and avoid putting large globs of paint on there. Then do a stem contour instead of painting in the whole thing. The less paint you use the easier it is to add a tiny bit more to fill something out rather than put a bunch on and wish you hadn't.

    I'm sure we could find some pages with this sort of thing online too, probably with better and more experienced advice....

    here's a couple
    http://www.frugalbride.com/handpaintedglasses.html [Broken]


    Ok, didn't find much with a quick search but if you make a google search you should at least be able to find some interesting examples of what you are trying.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Dec 21, 2009 #10


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    You do know that they sell glass paint?
  12. Dec 21, 2009 #11
    Its just a more expensive acrylic or enamel. Even the craft paints already bought are more expensive than buying just a normal set of acrylic tube paints. A good glass paint will probably bond better to the surface and have more of the desirable consistency but it isn't much different.

    edit: Which reminds me, Minger if you use your acrylics you may want to put a clear coat over your work to preserve it otherwise it may be very easily chipped off.
  13. Dec 21, 2009 #12
    Yes, those look very pretty, minger. The first concern that sprang to my mind, though, was how sturdy the paint would be on glass. I know they make acrylic paints specifically for glass, but previous experience is telling me it will otherwise come off very easily when scratched. Which then leads me to wondering if you might want to make sure that the paint isn't close to where someone would put their mouth so they don't wind up eating some -- depending on how stable the paint is.

    Your idea is terrific, and you certainly have the talent to pull it off. I'm sitting here scrunching my lips together and squishing my nose trying to figure out how permanent that medium is. (Not that it's your doing that I contort my face while thinking.)

    Edited to add that Dave and SA beat me to it.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  14. Dec 21, 2009 #13
    I think that spraying a thin clear acrylic coat over the end product should help it keep better. Just set it upside down and give the painted parts a couple light treatments. Unfortunately I am unsure if this may effect the clarity of the glass.
  15. Dec 21, 2009 #14


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    If I'm not mistaken, the glass paints are designed specifically to:
    a] not peel like regular acrylic will
    b] remain transparent, unlike the regular acryilic when the medium is added
  16. Dec 22, 2009 #15
    I think that most glass paints are thinner (coating the glass and so less likely to peel) and more translucent/transparent, I am not sure that is what Minger is going for (though a stained glass look for a christmasy decorated glass would be nice). he has also already invested a decent sum in paint.

    I would not argue against glass paints being better. I am just saying that what she has is servicable and can be worked with. As I noted earlier there are also a myriad of mediums one can use some of which are likely quite suited to this sort of project. There are translucent and transparent mediums though they will work better or worse with different grades of paint, its highly dependent on pigment load and the initial medium.

    One can get very nearly the same end product as a paint specifically for glass with regular acrylic paints and the right medium but you are certainly right that actual glass paint would be better especially for someone with no experience.
  17. Dec 22, 2009 #16

    Yeah, I've never baked acrylic paints before but I know for sure if you bake glass paints it will give it more permenance (it won't chip and won't wash away). As well they aren't always more translucent. You can get opaque glass paints as well, they also come with bottles to use for those 'stringy designs'. I didn't mention it until after because the OP has already spent 70$ on acrylic paints, which is a fair bit of money for getting acrylic paints :smile:. I agree though if he goes and speaks to a representative at an arts store they will be able to hook him up with some medium which should give just as good results.

    What he has now though is good though I'd say. I also suggest putting a protective clear coat on it. After it air dries and everything is good you can try handwashing it to see if the paint will be prone to rubbing away.
  18. Dec 22, 2009 #17


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    I appreciate all the replies and these ideas will definitely be taken into account next [if] time I do this. Unfortunately Christmas is only a couple days away. At this point I'm pretty content with giving my folks a half-assed attempt. If all else fails, they wash and have a nice clear set of glasses!

    So to sum up:
    : Next time go to an arts store and get special glass paint.
    : Glass paint can then at times be baked to further acheive adhesion.
    : Use a medium for better results
    : Potentially add clear acrylic coat (to even what I have now) to possibly protect the paint better.
  19. Dec 22, 2009 #18
    You're welcome. If you get glass paint you should not have to worry about a top coat or a medium though I don't think. Those were suggestions for what you are currently using.
  20. Dec 22, 2009 #19
    Nope no top coat and no mediums are necessary, it's a bit more pricey though. I think when it comes to art you really do get what you pay for though. (especially when starting off with these things)
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