What Are Glass Paints?

History of Glass Paints

A glass paint is a paint which is especially developed to hold on glass surfaces. Since glass surfaces are very smooth these paints must have a very good bonding. 
Glass paints are also called glass inks. 

The main reason why glass companies started to use glass paints to color glassware was purely economical.
The production of colored glass takes a lot of experience and special craftsmanship.
Producing tank colored glass is also very expensive, especially colored crystal.

The non-transparent enamels and transparent glass paints, which were developed and used through the ages 
in Bohemia and Murano, were after WOII adopted as standard materials in the glassware industry. 
These paints were no longer used for exclusive glassware only, but they became available for normal household glassware. 

The original glass coatings were applicable by hand painting, but now new application techniques like spraying and screen printing were developed. The use of glass paints flourished, but soon some major drawbacks showed up.
The high firing temperature made these coatings for glass expensive in use
, due to rising energy costs

Strengthening environmental rules limited the use of these glass paints further, since the colors originate from metal oxides. 
(Some metal oxides are very bad for the environment and health.)

Spray painted champaign flutes (Ormosol)

Organic Glass Paints

With the development of the Chemical Industry after WWII, a huge variety of organic colors became available and based on these organic colors new paints, also for glass, were developed.
These new paints for glass, based on resins, had an almost infinite range of colors and the glass coatings could be cured at low temperatures. The absence of metal oxides made them the environmental friendly alternative and so a glorious future lay ahead.

The array of organic glass paints is still growing. Nowadays glass can be powder coated, paints harden out under UV-light instead of by radiant heat, a whole glass can be covered in one or more colors by spraying and almost any logo can be put on glass either by the decal technique or by the very quick screen printing technique. And there seems to be no end to the developments of glass decoration techniques.

But also these organic glass paints encountered some problems. The final glass coating is rather thick and looks and feels like a plastic jacket. 
Although the mechanical and chemical resistance of these organic glass coatings improved much lately, it are the poor plastic looks which is working against the wide acceptance of the end users.

Hybrid Glassware Paints

A new type of glass paint, hybrid glass paint, overcomes the aesthetics based problem of organic glass paints and has a much better look.
Hybrid means in this context a combination of the vast range of organic colors embedded in a partly inorganic matrix. This partly inorganic coating is like a thin layer of glass. This thin film (at least ten times thinner than the plastic coatings!) is hard and endurable and enjoys the possibility to be colored by the infinite range of organic colorants.

Check out all the information about

the glass paint

and the crystal paint

OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are perfect examples of the superiority of the hybrid glass paints.
Application of OrmoSol and OrmoGlas is as easy as the application of the organic glassware inks. High-speed spraying lines or manually spraying, hand painting or digital printing are all possible.  

But most of all OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are appreciated, by the glassware and crystal ware industry, because of the glass-like looks and feeling. They simply look better than all the other glass paints!

Shot glass, hand decorated
(with opaque OrmoSol)

The Market for Glassware Paints

All these new glass inks for glass have made the choice very wide for the glassware companies, but also for the consumers. 
Either organic paints are used or hybrid glass inks, the choice is not anymore between a few colors coming from the addition of metal oxides.

Glassware companies can now color glass in any color and they are asked by the customer to match a specific, trendy 'pantone color'. The customer wants metallic or frosted colors, transparent or non-transparent and multicolored products. 

Not only is there an infinite range of colors, there is also an infinite number of designs possible. 
Plenty of glass painting businesses make a living only by decorating glassware with the new glass
paints. They don't need to invest in high firing equipment and can start right away when they have 
some paint and the right utensils. A good example is Lolita, a company which makes very funny and
nice designs especially for party glassware.

The use of glass paints have another big advantage over the use of tank colored glass. Glassware manufacturers can, with glassware paints, make a quantity of colored glassware exactly as large as the ordered quantity, so, what the customer wants is what he gets!