Happy Friday before Spring and St. Patrick’s Day!!! It’s a great day to get your craft on with this fun set of retro glassware. I told you earlier this month how excited I am to be a member of the Blueprint Social March Street Team for Plaid Enterprises. I am having so much fun. They sent me a box of goodies to create with…and create I did. My box contained FolkArt® Enamels paint, adhesive stencils and foam daubers. Think spring, retro and St. Paddy’s day parties! That’s what I am thinking…
When the box arrived, I jumped for joy. I love surprises and crafting supplies are the best. All of these items can be found at your local craft retailer like Michaels, Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby and A.C. Moore. I created an inspiration board on Pinterest of ideas for painting glass and decorating for Spring parties. This way I can keep track of all the wonderful ideas out there.
Since I hold a Master Stenciler designation from the Stencil Artisans League, Inc. (SALI), this project is my chance to share my fondness for the art of stenciling. As Editor-in-Chief of The Artistic Stenciler magazine for 12 years, I interviewed and worked with the top stencilers in the world. I hope to show you how to stencil as the masters do.
Stenciling on Glass Tutorial
That’s right…we are going to learn to stencil on glass. We can do it because water-based FolkArt Enamels paints are specially formulated for painting on glass. When properly cured (see below), your glassware is top-shelf dishwasher safe. Even though FolkArt Enamels are non-toxic, it is best to keep painted designs and food serving areas separate so that paint never comes into contact with food. When painting a plate for use with food, I paint on the back using a Reverse Painting method. Same for the glasses…I put paint only on the outside and leave room at top for lips. 😉 Food and beverages should not come in contact with FolkArt Enamels. When painting glasses, it is best to leave 3/4″ top around the rim free of paint.
Reverse painting refers to the technique where painting is done on the back of clear glass (such as a plate) but is seen through the glass from the front. Therefore, the design is painted in reverse, with details first and basecoat last. When you have painted a clear glass plate with this technique, food can be placed onto front of plate. -Plaid website
I scored these dotted glasses at my thrift store for 99¢ each. So I have under $5 invested in the entire set. I will be able to use them for years as they are Spring colors as well as Florida colors. I saw some polka dot glasses last year at an antique store. I was going to go back after browsing the store and buy them. When I went back, another shopper was buying them. I have pouted about them for a year now. When I saw these dotted gasses at my thrift store this week, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them… These are my ‘Pout No More’ glasses. (You can click on the smaller photos for a more detailed view.)
- Surface Preparation: Thoroughly wash all glassware in warm, soapy water. Rinse in hot water and let it dry. Hot water keeps the glass from streaking. Dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and wipe the surfaces to be painted. This is to ensure any remaining soap film or fingerprints are removed. Let air dry for 15 minutes or so while you prepare your palette.
- Palette: Place a small amount of paint on palette. For the glasses, I used about a quarter size puddle of white paint and dime sized puddles of colored paint. Fill your water container. Lay out paper towels within easy reach. Arrange your brushes. Now you are ready to paint.
- Designer’s Note: If you don’t have a palette or foam plate, try this trick.
- Painting Glasses: Luckily, I found the glasses with dots in the glass…so I had a guide to paint. I painted every other dot white on all four glasses first. I used the largest dauber and pounced on the paint freehand. The dots are larger than the dauber, so I carefully pounced the paint in a circular shape. I was not going for perfection…I want them to look lovingly hand painted!
- Loading the dauber is critical, especially when stenciling…stenciling is a dry brush technique so most of the paint is removed before touching your surface. Dip the dauber straight down in puddle of paint at 90-degree angle. Swirl and pounce the dauber on the palette then dab on paper towel. It is called offloading in stenciling. This method keeps the paint evenly distributed without globs. Paint dots carefully reloading the same way every time. Take your time here.
- Designer’s Note: When painting dots carefully set your dauber down straight and lift straight up. If lifted at an angle, the dots will smear. Try this tip from Plaid’s website: once your tool is loaded, touch the surface, carefully twist in a circular motion, then lift to remove. The extra twist will ensure a full even circle.
- Stenciling on Glass: I wanted a bit of whimsey among the polka dots, so I decided to use the little flower stencil once on each glass. Load your small dauber as in Step 3. Position the adhesive stencil where you want it and press all edges firmly. I used my paper towel for this, not my finger…so I wouldn’t get any grease from my fingers on the surface. These stencils are great for two reasons – they adhere well, so the chance of bleeding is minimal and they conform to rounded and uneven surfaces. Plus they are reusable. Pretty nifty!!
- Stenciling: Lightly dab your loaded dauber over the openings of the stencil. It is better to put on several thin layers of pain than one great globby layer. Take you time and you will be thrilled with your results. I stenciled each flower with white first and then the color. Also, these stencils are tiny, so dab with precision so you don’t go over the edges. If you do, just wipe with a cotton swab dampened with rubbing alcohol. Designer’s Tip: Remove the stencil immediately…while the paint is still wet by gently peeling from one corner.
- Finished at last.
- Drying Times: Glassware should be thoroughly dry before handling, at least 24 hours. Drying time is different from curing time. To keep your artwork in place, the piece must be properly cured.
- Curing Instructions: FolkArt Enamels should be cured prior to using; there are two recommended methods:
- Air Dry Method: Air dry the project for 21 days before using.
- Bake Method: Place your painted glassware in a cool oven. Set the oven temperature to 350ºF and bake for 30 minutes. Designer’s Note: Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage. After 30 minutes at 350º, turn the oven off; let the glass cool completely in the oven. Painted glass should heat up and cool down in the oven, just like ceramics in a kiln. Rushing any part of this process can cause damage and/or breakage. Set aside for 72 hours.
Care Instructions: Once your painted stemware is fully cured, it can be hand washed in mild soap and water or cleaned on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Do not allow painted items to soak in water. Painted items are not microwaveable.
Other Things I Painted with Folk Art Enamels and Stencils
I got a little carried away painting this week…I made several more projects that I will share with you over the next few days. They might even end up in a magazine!!!
I stenciled our initials on Irish Coffee cups and beer glasses for St. Paddy’s Day.
I hand painted this glass vase like one I had seen at Pottery Barn last year.
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