Preparing your glass paints properly is very important. Unless this has been done then you aren’t going to get the finish you either expect or want. I’ve broken this up into different types of paint as what you do may be slightly different in each case. The types are Thick Waterbased, Flowing Waterbased/Solvent and finally specialised paints such as pearlised, Fantasy Prisme and Fantasy Moon.
Preparing the paints takes a bit of organisation. In most cases you will need to prepare the paints at least 2 or 3 hours before you start working with them. Sometimes it will be a full day. This is because we need to either avoid adding air bubbles to the paint or, if we do, give them time to come out.
Preparing your Glass Paints.
Thick Waterbased Paints.
As with most glass paints these will separate if not used for sometime. As these paints are normally used straight from the bottle the fist sign of this will be thin watery liquid coming out when you first squeeze. This of course will leave the rest of the paint in the bottle thicker than normal. If the paints have been used fairly recently then you should be able to solve this by using a small stick to give them a gentle stir. The gentle is important as you don’t want to add any air bubbles to the paint. If you can get away with doing it this way then you should be able to use the paints almost immediately.
If the paints haven’t been used for sometime then they may take a bit more working at before they will be ready. Firstly you should open them up and stir them. At the same time check there aren’t any stringy/dried bits in there. If there is take it out and throw it away. You should also check the nozzle is clear using a pin and again remove any hard bits. Finally whist you are in there you can check the paint isn’t too thick. If it has thickened up you can add a few drops of water, but not too much. Next put the top on and give it a good shake. This will obviously put air bubbles into the paint and as it is a thick paint you should give it at least a day before you try and use it.
Flowing Solvent and Waterbased paints.
In some ways these are the easiest paints to sort. Most often a quick gentle stir will sort them but in more extreme cases and stir and then a shake will be necessary. If the latter is done then you will need to leave them a couple of hours before you use them. An occasional tap of the bottle on the table top will help get the air bubbles out.
If the paint has thikened a couple of drops of water will sort the waterbased paints. With the solvent based paints it is important that you use the correct thinning agent. If you don’t know what this is then you can look your particular brand/make up on the internet. In some cases they will sell their own thinners, in other cases they may recommend a more generic white spirit or such like.
Specialised Paints. Pearlised, Fantasy Prisme, Fantasy Moon etc.
These are perhaps the most difficult paints to deal with. The pearlising pigment can get very hard and it will take quite a bit of scrapping to get if off the bottom of the bottle. You should be able to tell quite easily if it has seperated, you will see the layer of pigment on the bottom of the bottle. First you will need to scrape this off the bottom of the bottle using a stick. Try and get as much as you can off and don’t forget to scrape the stick on the side of the bottle, you will to keep as much of the pearlising pigment as possible. After you have done that you will need to give the bottle a really good shake. You will see immediately that the paint has returned to it’s normal luscious state. Of course all the shaking will have introduced a lot of bubbles into the paint and you will need to leave it for a good couple of hours before you use it. Again the odd tap on the table top will help this along.
Whilst Preparing your Glass Paints may all seem like a lot of hassle it really is worth doing. You aren’t going to get the correct colours or effects if the paint has separated. If you are using the paints every day or so then this won’t be an issue but if you go through periods of weeks without using them then you will need to do it.