Home Decorating Your Wall

Home Decorating Your Wall

Painted glass

You can install a window or panel of real stained glass that has been specially designed and made for you by a craftsman, but a much cheaper alternative is to paint a glass panel in imitation of a stained-glass window. You can obtain special glass paints for this and fake lead strips or special relief paste for separating the colours from art shops, but you can also use artist’s oil colours, thinned to a greater or lesser extent with linseed oil and turpentine or white spirit and mixed with a small amount of polyurethane varnish.

Draw your design first on paper. It need not imitate traditional stained glass found in churches and Victorian houses. Look at contemporary art and abstract stained glass for inspiration. It may be wise, on a first attempt, to keep to simple geometric shapes.

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The best method for achieving this is to paint a piece of glass, keeping it flat to avoid colours running, and replace the existing glass in a window with this new piece. However, it is possible to paint on glass in situ, provided the paint is kept sufficiently viscous. The glass must be completely clean, free from grease (including fingermarks) and dry.

Lay the design behind the glass and secure it in place with masking tape. Use special relief paste to demarcate the outlines of the design, using your drawing beneath as a guide. Fill in the areas with paint using a fine artist’s brush. Take care to avoid the paint running by ensuring there is minimal paint loaded on your brush. Thin layers can be built up if necessary. If you make mistakes, either remove the paint while wet with a clean rag dipped in white spirit or scrape it off when dry. When the design is completed, allow the paints to dry thoroughly before spraying with polyurethane varnish.

A The panels of this kitchen door have been painted red and yellow to create an idiosyncratic effect that adds the finishing touch to this personalized, madcap kitchen. Once the glass panels are prepared or in place, an effect like this is easy to achieve with glass paints. Even small areas treated in this way will enliven a space instantly.

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