We have quite a few articles on Glass Painting Materials but in this one we will be looking at some glass painting equipment. Things which will make your glass painting easier and help you get a higher standard of finish. Some of the items are common craft products which you may well already have in a draw. Others are a bit more specialised.
Whilst you may not need every single item on the list for every project most of them you will need sooner or latter.
As with most people I like (need!) to spend my money wisely. With some items there is no problem with buying cheap and cheerful, for example masking tape and a no brand blu-tack. On the other hand 15 years ago I splashed out on a Royal Sovereign Colour Shaper solid paint brush. Itwas a bit expensive but it has lasted me 15 years so in the long term I’m sure it has saved me money.
Glass Painting Equipment.
Blu-tack and masking tape.
Both are really useful for fixing things down when you are working and/or fixing designs to the backs of pieces. As mentioned above I tend to buy no brand blu-tack and bundles of masking tape from my local cheap shop. My main problem always seems to be finding where I last stuck the blob of blu-tack when I had finished using it!
Sheet of Thick Film / Perspex or glass.
I always keep a sheet of this around. Whether I’m working on a small roundle, a piece of acetate or some other item I can place it on the sheet and work like that. Designs can go under the sheet, light (from the lightbox) can go through the sheet and it makes it easier to move a store items whilst drying. Although you can use glass I prefer not to as it is quite easily broken.
Always worth having a good quality craft knife around. You can use it to cut the making tape, acetate, cut of outliner and even scrape off dried paint. Plastic ones are “OK” but I found it better to buy a good one in which the blades could be replaced. (Having said that I found them on offer when I last went into a DIY sore and found it was cheaper to buy a new knife, which came with a pack of replacement blades than it was to buy the blades on their own!).
Again, always worth having around for mixing up new colours, lighter versions of colours etc. You have to be very careful which plastic the pots are made from. It doesn’t really matter for waterbased paints but some solvent based paints will react with some plastics. They can even melt through the bottle.If in doubt go for glass bottles.
Whichever type of bottle you use you must ensure it is airtight. This normally means the lid will have a foil/foil and cardboard liner in it.
Thinners and Clear Glass Paint.
Two items I use quite a lot of. Thinners for when the paints thicken up and clear to lighten colours. You MUST ensure you get the correct thinners for the correct paint. Normally this means buying the one supplied by the paint brand you use.
As a painter your paint brushes are one of your most important pieces of equipment. For flood filling I always recommend using the solid brushes. They are so easy to clear and are less likely to add air bubbles to your work. Unfortunately they don;t work so well for brush painting, like you do when you are painting a 3D objects. For this I revert back to a “normal” paint brush. It doesn’t really matter which brand you use as long as it is a fairly decent one where the hairs won’t come off into your work.
The size of the brush you will need will depend on the size of the piece you are working on.
I’m not going to say too much about the lightbox as I did do a separate article all about it which you can find here. Suffice to say I find it extremely useful and wish I’d stated using it years ago. I bought mine on Ebay where you can find them at very reasonable prices.
If you are sticking to the same brand of paint for a while then it really is worth making yourself up a little colour chart. Even the basic colours tend to vary between brands and sometime it can be difficult to remember exactly what shade some of the special colours (Green Gold!) actually are.
Obviously I am going to mention greaseproof/parchment paper which I use to make up little piping bags. We have other articles on this site about how to make and use the bag.
As I said before, you don’t have to have every piece of glass painting equipment mentioned above but having most of it will certainly make your painting easier. None of it will replace the need for experience and practice.