Painting Glassware by Hand


Hobby glass paints 

There are many glass paints available in the market. 
Flower vases, hand painted in light colors

When people like to paint glassware for their hobby they can get those glass paints from most hobby shops.
These paints can be used on glass, ceramics, metal and many other hard surfaces. There are glass paints which are water based and some which are non-water based. The water based glass paints have the advantage of the ease of use. Utensils can be washed with water while for the non-water based glass paints thinner is needed to clean the utensils. 

All these hobby glass paints are based on resins. Some are air dry and others have to be baked. It depends on the art piece which paint is preferable. When it is purely 
for decorative purpose, an air dry paint does well. When it comes to utility glassware, like wine glasses or tumblers, a glass paint which has to be baked is the only option (some resistance to dish washing).

The resin based glass paints can have transparent colors and non-transparent colors.
These hobby glass paints can be used for glass vases, votives, glass tableware, glass bottles, etc. 
The paints can be applied by any kind of brush. However, some of the paints require squirrel hair or red sable hair brushes. These natural fibres are very fine and are less likely to leave brush marks on the painted object.

Black dotted champaign
flute with black stem

Professional glassware paints 

For glassware factories or glassware painting businesses, who want to paint glassware by brush, 
the most important thing is that the coating is strong, the application is easy and the costs are low.
The hobby paints are therefor not an option.
For the glassware industry there are mainly three types of coatings available which can be
applied by hand.

Resin based paints (organic colors)

Resin based coatings are most often polyurethane resins or epoxy resins. 
Since glass industries are most interested in transparent paints, (as an alternative to
colored glass), these resin based paints have a wide range of transparent colors. 
The problem with these organic colors is that the resulting coating is relatively thick, some-
thing like 25 micrometer. This gives the painted glassware a plastic like look and feeling.

Hand painted Panther
design champaign 
flute (OrmoSol)

Lustre Paints

Lustre paints are also used for painting glassware. Lustre paints have a limited number of colors.
The colors of these paints come from the metals they contain, like Gold, Copper, Chromium and Lead. Lustre paints have a nice shine (lustre) and that is partly due to the reflection of the metal particles which are formed during the baking.
Curing takes usually place at high temperatures around 560°C. 
Lustre paints are very well brushable and give a nice thin glass-like, transparent coating. 
The big disadvantage of lustre paints is the content of the heavy metals. Most of the safety regulations
for drinking ware limits the use of this kind of paint.                                                                                                                             

Hybrid Paints | OrmoSol and OrmoGlass     

OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are so called Hybrid Paints. 
OrmoSol is a glassware paint, OrmoGlass is a crystal paint.
The name "Hybrid paint" is because it combines organic colorants and an inorganic matrix. 

After a short baking time, within the temperature range of 160 - 185°C (320 – 365°F), these paints make a nano-film which is, after the curing, chemically bonded to the glass surface. 
The coating is only 1 to 3 micrometer thick (OrmoSol) or 0.5 to 1.5 micrometer thick (OrmoGlass).
Due to the chemical bond the coating, although ultra thin, is very strong and resistant to solvents, dish wash
proof and scratch resistant.
Important to the industry is further, that OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are absolutely non-toxic, so food safe.

The resulting coating looks like glass and feels like glass and the result is that the decorated glassware looks
as if it was tank colored, like colored glass straight from the furnace!
For hand painting with OrmoSol and OrmoGlass, any type of brush can be used. Hand painting wine glasses,
tumblers, lamp shades, shot glasses and vases can all be easily done.
When the artwork has been done in a good way, the result is not to be compared to any other paint.

Check out all the info about

the glass paint

and the crystal Paint

Tumblers with brush painted bottom (OrmoSol)

Brush painting: seven GOLDEN tips for a perfect result 

1. Be sure to clean glass before painting. Alcohol or isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) remove any residual grease left on the piece. 

Cleaning with alcohol or isopropyl alcohol is also the standard procedure for OrmoSol and OrmoGlass.
For OrmoSol and OrmoGlass it is sometimes beneficial to wash the glass with a diluted caustic soda solution. This is especially the case when the glassware is older. Glassware which is exposed for a longer time to air has water (from the air) bonded to the surface. To free the glass surface from the water the surface can be treated with the caustic soda solution. Another effective procedure to remove the water is to torch the surface with an oxidizing (blue) flame.
Both procedures to remove the water make the glass surface more 'active' towards OrmoSol and OrmoGlass and results in a better chemical bonding and hence a stronger coating.

If the glassware to be painted had a so called cold-end treatment, which means that it has a polyethylene wax layer, then the surface should be torched with an oxidizing flame to remove this wax layer. 
Torching with an oxidizing flame (blue flame) is at all times a good thing to do, to clean and 'activate' the glass surface.

2. Follow the instructions carefully for each paint product selected. Some paints require an undercoat and overcoat to be applied before and after the color.

OrmoSol and OrmoGlass require only one paint job and don't need an undercoat or overcoat.

3. When baking for the curing of the coating is necessary then don’t worry, because all glass can easily handle temperatures up to 400°C (752°F). Be sure to place the art work in a cool oven, allow the oven to heat gradually to the desired temperature, set the timer and bake for the required time. After baking allow the art piece to cool down before removing it from the oven. In that way thermal shock and thus breakage can be avoided.

OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are cured at low temperature, 160 - 185°C (320 – 365°F). 

4. The advantage of paints which after application have to be cured, is that until the baking the coating is simply removable. Use thinner, water or alcohol as what is described for the paint you use.
Utensils, like brushes, can be cleaned with soap and water, alcohol or thinner, depending on the type of paint that you use. It is always best to clean the utensils immediately after usage.

OrmoSol and OrmoGlass coatings can be cleaned, before curing, with alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.
Also use these solvents for cleaning the utensils.
Be sure not to use any water since water reacts with the coating to a sticky substance (before curing) and that makes it more difficult to clean.

Birthday shot glasses

5. For a good result one can use ordinary brushes or high end brushes, usually made from squirrel hair or red sable hair. Sometimes the ordinary brush gives a better result. Important is to understand what you are doing. The brush is a tool to carry paint from the stock to the glass surface. Viscosity of the paint, evaporation of the solvents are all factors that determine the type of brush that can be used. If you have a larger surface to paint, then the size of your brush must allow enough paint to be carried, in order to cover that surface. It is most of the time not advisable to paint the area in more than one time to avoid brush marks. 

6. Work dust free and be sure that you meet the glass temperature and room temperature requirements of the paint that you use.
OrmoSol and OrmoGlass are very vulnerable to dust since the coatings are very clear and transparent. Any anomaly is then easily to be seen. While cleaning the glass item use fibre free tissue or cloth.
Most important for OrmoGlass and OrmoSol is the relative humidity. The relative humidity should be always lower than 60%.
When the relative humidity of the air is too high, then working in an air conditioned room solves the problem of the humidity.
The recommended glass temperature, for OrmoSol and OrmoGlass, is 18 - 30°C (64.4 - 86°F) and the recommended room air temperature is 18 - 36°C (64.4 – 96.8°F).

7. If an area is too large to be painted by brush ( not an even coating) then try sponging. Like with brushes, the larger the surface to paint, the larger the size of your sponge must be. For the material both natural sponge and synthetic sponge are possible.

Brush painting in your factory or workshop?

With hand painting, beautiful colored glassware can be made. Decorators with great artistic skills can make the finest designs on glassware and can enjoy painting on glass as a hobby or for their profession.
Check out all the info about

the glassware paint

and the crystal Paint
It is possible to do large scale production with hand painting, while using OrmoSol and OrmoGlass
We have a lot of experience with teaching companies how to paint glassware by brush.
Especially in the initial stage of using these glass paints, it is not always wise to invest in an expensive automatic spraying line.

A production of 400 to 1000 glasses per person a day (8 hour shift), by hand painting, is easily possible and with those numbers it is very well possible to do a production run. Automation is quickly done afterwards.

Applying OrmoSol and OrmoGlass by brush can be a very powerful tool and the only thing what is needed, is some time to get the skills, some brushes and paint. The material costs are low and the application is quick.

Want to start with hand painting your glassware?  Contact us for more information.