Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I clean paint overspray on backpainted glass?
To clean off any paint overspray on the front of the back-painted glass or on the edges of the back painted glass, use light steel wool to remove overspray from edges of the glass and use lacquer thinner and a cloth to clean off overspray on the front of the back-painted glass. For really thick overspray, use single edge razor blades to help remove the thick overspray followed by the methods suggested above.
2. How do I remove imperfections in backpainted glass?
Sometimes glass is not completely cleaned and dirt/marks are still on the surface of the glass that you just painted. To fix this problem, wait until the paint is fully dry, use 120 grit sand paper and hand sand the paint off of the glass in the areas where the dirt/marks are located. It is ok if you obscure the glass surface with the sand paper. Once the paint and dirt/marks are sanded away, mix up a small amount of Glass Primer Paint and touch up the areas with your finger or a paint brush. The color tone might seem slightly off at first but you will notice a perfect blend once the small touch-ups dry.
3. How do I totally remove paint from glass?
To remove or 'strip' paint from glass, lay the backpainted glass on a flat table or garbage can, cover the painted side with conventional paint stripper and let sit for 15 minutes, once paint becomes loose, spray the paint off with water (hose) and repeat if necessary. Once most of the paint is removed you must finish the paint removal with a single edge razor blade.
4. How do I clean paint from my paint gun?
We recommend lacquer thinner and a cloth to clean out your paint gun after each use. Spray lacquer thinner through paint gun for 30 seconds. Sometimes it is good to disassemble the paint gun and clean all of the internal parts with lacquer thinner as well.
5. What's the installation method for backpainted glass?
Back-painted glass can be installed exactly like a mirror. The industry's favored solution include paint can style black mirror mastic, glazer's double-sided tape and neutral-cure silicone gluing compounds (GE Silicone II works great). Pay attention that you don't get acid (acetoxy) cure silicone glues – these are mostly for masonry, tiles and other kiln-cured materials, and are corrosive to metals. Most silicone glues from the GE Silicone II line are neutral-cure glues. While acetoxy silicone glues don't have negative interactions with Glassprimer™ paint, we nonetheless don't recommend their use for installing backpainted glass.
6. Is back painted glass tempered?
Generally backpainted glass is not tempered (just like glass mirror). Tempered back painted glass is only recommended if the glass will be subject to fast temperature fluctuations like behind a stove or cook top, as well as in front of a fire place etc. If your application requires tempered glass, the glass must be tempered before painting.
7. Why can't glass be painted using normal paint?
Our research shows that no paint manufacturer actively promotes or for that matter recommends that its paint be used on glass. Glass is quite an unusual substrate to work with because of its chemical makeup. Normal paint applied to glass will usually peel or crack over time, and generally doesn't stand up to humidity and other common environmental stresses.
So the answer is, that only proprietary glass coatings should be used. This way you can ensure that it will chemically bond to the glass and provide a durable and lasting finish.
8. Can coatings be scratched and damaged?
Virtually any architectural surface can be intentionally damaged. A sharp metal instrument taken to granite, metal, wood or glass will scratch and abrade the surface. What is important is whether the surface is durable under normal use, not intentional abuse.
In the case of color coatings for glass, all coatings can be purposely scratched. However, the coating should be hard enough not to scratch under normal handling, including transportation and installation. Once installed, the coating is always BEHIND the glass and will not be abraded.
If you are testing a sample coating, you will be able to scratch it with a knife or key. What is important is how well it scratches. By this, we mean does it cut cleanly, or does it bubble and chip? Very hard coatings like epoxies will tend to chip when cut & edged on glass, because they are brittle and ultra hard. Soft coatings like silicone will scratch too easily under normal handling (you can scratch it off with a fingernail).The ideal is a durable coating with good harness, but excellent adhesion and suitable softness to undergo glass working (cutting and edging) cleanly.
9. How should I choose a glass color coating product?
There are a number of factors that should be considered when choosing a color coating process & product:
a). How long has the product been in use? Can you personally visit an installation that is 10+ years old? If not, can you really trust the durability?
b). How does the product look in samples? Is there a real depth and richness to the color?
c). How does the product stand up to testing? Such testing includes scratching / adhesion, water immersion, boiling etc. Normal paint will peel and crack over time. Even automotive paint will come off of glass under humid conditions or if exposed to water. You shouldn't be fooled by the appearance only.
d). Is the product safe? What type of chemicals does it contain?
e). What is the warranty? Will the company stand behind their work? It tells you a lot about their faith in the product?
f). What kind of support does the company provide? What is your pre-sales experience like? Is the company responsive? What happens if the company goes away? Can you source the product from more than one place?
10. For a backpainted glass counter top, what type of glass should I use?
Low iron glass also known as Starphire® glass is the ideal choice for backpainted glass counters and countertops. The recommended thickness for colored glass countertops is 3/4'' to 1,1/4'' or 19mm to 32mm. You can also choose acid etched glass, laminated glass, thick glass etc.
11. I would like to install painted glass backsplash. What type of glass should I use?
low-iron glass also known as Starphire Glass®, is the most popular choice to create back painted glass backsplashes. This type of glass is ideal because of its optically clear properties. Normal glass is not the best choice for back painting backsplashes due to the fact that regular glass has a green tint that can distort the back painted color. The ideal glass thickness for colored glass backsplash applications is 1/4'' or 6mm. The ideal glass thickness for colored glass countertop applications is 3/4'' to 1, 1/4'' or 19mm to 32mm.
12. How do I apply Glassprimer™ Glass Paint with a spray gun?
Spraying is the best application method. It is best to use an HVLP spray gun with a tip size of 1.5-2.0 mm. Spray paint with 40-120 psi. Spray 3-4 coats onto glass waiting at least 5 minutes in between each coat. We recommend thinning paint 15% (1 part) with conventional acetone when spraying.
note: some bright colors require more coats to reach full opacity. Some applicators like to put a final coat of a light gray color to achieve quicker opacity with minimal coats when applying bright colors.