How to create coloured glass
There are essentially three ways to create coloured glass:
- Coating one surface
- Through adding minerals and other pigments to molten glass during manufacturing
- Laminating two or more pieces of glass with a colored material sandwiched in between
The problem with laminated technologies is that their appearance isn’t always good (the depth and quality of the coloured glass applications), the edges are not attractive, the material can be difficult to work, the types of glass are limited and may not support tempered glass, and most importantly, it is very expensive. Colouring molten glass is often not suitable since it is translucent, there are only a handful of colour options, and it’s also very expensive. This is where glass paint stands out.
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. So the answer is, that only proprietary glass paints should be used. This way you can ensure that it will chemically bond to the glass and provide a durable and lasting finish.
Although many companies promote that they have some form of back painted glass treatment, few if not none have had it tested to see how it withstands the conditions these applications go into. Why spend all the money only to have it peel off after the installation has occurred?
How to evaluate a potential coating for coloured glass (back painted glass):
- SABS tested?
- Tested for internal and external applications?
- International testing (ASTM)?
- Track record in the country?
The GlassKote Difference
About 20 to 30% of all GlassKote™ work is replacement of other back painted glass applications.