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Using Enamel Paint with Glass

Shashank Nakate
Enamel paints are mainly used in hobbies, art, and craft to decorate stuff, making it more beautiful and stylish. However, regular dishware can also be decorated using these paints. Here is everything about enamel paints, the types available in the market, and their use.
Using enamels to decorate pieces of glass is a relatively new concept as compared to the art of stain glass painting. They harden after being exposed to air and attain a glossy finish after hardening and look fabulous on transparent surfaces like glass.
These paints and a number of their variations are available in the market. The paintings can be air-dried or baked to harden them once the colors have been used on them.
To excite the creative person in you, try your hands with enamel paints on glass, wood, and a variety of other surfaces. A brief info on these products and the technique of using them is given here.

Delta PermEnamel

Although made primarily for painting on glass, this paint can be used for different materials like metals, tiles, and ceramics as well. The surface to be painted with PermEnamel must first be cleaned with soap and water. The next step is to paint it with the conditioner, which you generally get when you buy such paints.
This helps in binding the paint to the surface in a proper manner. A hazy layer of conditioner is formed on the surface after its application. Leave this layer undisturbed for at least 10 days. This period is known as the curing period.
After the curing period, the PermEnamel paint can be used to paint and realize your creation. In addition, to give it a better effect, the Gloss Glaze from the same brand can be used to make the paint appear transparent.

Plaid Folk Art Enamels

These are acrylic enamel paints meant to be used on glass. These paints cannot be used with water. Before using these paints, clean the glass surface with alcohol.
In order to add a greater degree of transparency to the paint, you can add the clear medium provided by Folk Art Enamels. The curing process for this paint requires a period of at least 21 days in air-dry condition.

Decoart Ultra Gloss Acrylic Enamels

This product can be used on different surfaces like resin, candles, plastic, and glass as well. Clean the surface of choice with vinegar and warm water first.
This glossy paint product is resistant to scratching and maintains the integrity of the patterns or the designs for a long time. Unlike other products available in the market which need conditioners for the paint to bind properly, the Ultra Gloss Acrylic Enamels can be used independent of any conditioners.
Air-curing is the process that is normally used for this paint. In order to make enamel paint suitable to dishware, one should consider baking it in the oven after application.

Enamel Paint Pens for Glass

These paint pens are handy and can be used for all kinds of surfaces including glass. The tip of these pens is around 2 mm and their average cost ranges from $4-$5.
The time required for enamel paints to dry can range from a few hours to several days and depends on two factors which are, temperature and humidity. It may amaze you to know that these paints don't actually dry; they are 'cured, which happens after they are exposed to air. At this stage, the paint gets oxidized.
An art work takes longer to dry when the temperature is low. Humidity is another factor that affects this time period. The hot and dry conditions help in quick drying/curing. Thickness of the coat also affects the time needed for drying. A thick coat requires more time for drying and vice versa.
Enamel paints can be used to decorate glass utensils which enhances their appearance. One should however, take the necessary precautions while using these paints for dishware. Enough amount of curing/drying should be carried out, so that it makes the glass utensils safe to use.