Acrylic is one of the most popular painting mediums due to its versatility. It can be mixed with a variety of additives and it will always dry, which makes cleanup easy. Due to its fluid nature, acrylic paint can easily be thinned down until you get the desired look.
Acrylic paints are characterized by their smooth, glossy finishes. This characteristic can sometimes be an issue when trying to stick the painted surface to another surface. Because the top layer of the paint has such a strong desire to remain separate from the other surface, it often doesn’t want to bond well.
Getting past this sticking stage can be quite difficult without using special tools or techniques. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your painted artwork more durable and longer lasting. These tips work for any kind of art!
This article will go into detail about some helpful strategies. So put on your painter’s hat and let us get started!
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Use acrylic sealant
For all of you beginner artists, getting your paints to stick to the glass can be tricky!
One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is using too much rubbing alcohol or acetone when trying to work with liquid materials like paint. Liquid media will take away some of the glue in the surface of the glass, making it less likely that they’ll bond properly.
Acetone and alcohol are both very corrosive substances so only use small amounts of either one to see this article.
Instead, try taking some plastic wrap and rolling it up into a sleeve. Spread some acrylic gel onto the painted side of the glass and roll this sleeve down over the painting. Now rub the other end of the sleeve across the sprayed gels to get rid of any excess and let sit for a few minutes.
Use a spray of acrylic paint
When you are painting your glass, it is important to make sure that the surface you plan to use as a canvas has a good quality coating. If you wash or soak the glass in water first, the glass will absorb some of this water and can dry out slightly.
This could cause the glass to break down just a little bit and create very porous areas. These pores may not be enough to prevent most colors from sticking, but they can affect how heavy the painted layers stick together.
If you plan to use paper for the canvas, try rubbing the glass with a piece of cloth to see if that helps. If it does, great! But if you have to use plastic or parchment paper instead, then there are certain types of alcohol that you can use to help get the same effect.
Some people like to use alchohol gel to do this, but our favorite way to do it is by using an aerosol spray of acrylic paint.
Use a primer
For most people, using acrylic paint is their first experiment in trying out different painting styles or experimenting with new colors. Luckily, getting your paints to stick onto your canvas or glass surface can be quite simple!
The easiest way to start is by using a primer. A primer is like the base layer of paint that covers everything else before you apply any other layers. Most manufacturers suggest applying an easy going coat of their primer product to all surfaces of your artwork to ensure proper sticking power.
After this initial coating, you can then choose to add more detail oriented coats to create beautiful effects.
Use a mixture of oils and acrylics
For anyone who has ever tried painting with acrylic paints, you have probably noticed that their new color just would not stick to your surface.
Acrylic paint is made out of polymerized oil and alcohol mixed together along with other ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which are used to increase opacity and strengthen the base material respectively.
However, when trying to apply this paint to a glass surface, it will always come off in thin strings of very slowly drying down paint. This can be annoying as you must start over and re-apply the paint!
Luckily, there are some easy ways to get around this problem. You can use a mix of oils and acrylics as a way to glue the two surfaces together. Depending on what type of look you want to achieve, different colors and ratios of oils and acrylics should do the trick.
Use a mixture of oils and acrylics with a clear top coat
When painting onto glass, choosing the correct surface to work on is very important! Most people begin trying to paint glass by using oil as their medium, but this may not stick properly.
Acrylic paints are much more durable than most types of oils, which can be scratched or smeared easily. This does not apply here though, because you can choose from many different brands of glazes that are designed to stick to glass!
Many professional artists use these types of glaze’s when painting, so there must be a way to do it! There are several ways to get this done.
Making sure your glass is clean will help make sticking the glaze easier. To test if it is smooth and easy to hold up a brush, hit it with a fingernail. If it breaks then it probably isn’t quite ready.
Use a mixture of oils and acrylics with a matte top coat
Acrylic paint can easily be worked around, but it does require some special care in using glues or other products to help it stick to its destination.
Acrylic is a chemical compound that contains both hydroxyl groups and free radicals. When these atoms are combined together, they form molecules of water! This is why most types of acrylic paints have a large amount of alcohol as an integral component. The alcohol helps break down the surface of the glass, removing oxygen from the surface and preventing the formation of a protective layer of dry air.
When painting onto glass, your first line of defense against droplets breaking off and rolling away comes in the form of oil. Oils contain no polar bonds, so they will not interact with the acidity of the glass surface. Most oils also do not evaporate readily, which helps keep the painted area protected.
To prevent your artwork from sliding off the glass, use a light coating of either polyvinyl acetal or vinyl silicone spray primer. These can be sprayed directly onto the unpainted areas of the glass and allowed to dry naturally before applying any additional coats of acrylic paint.
Let it dry naturally
When painting a new project, you will need to let your paint dry properly. This is particularly important when working with glass because if the surface is too wet, the chips may stick together or even run down the edge.
When painting liquid metals such as pewter or silver acrylic, there are two different methods depending on whether the metal has a natural oxide layer already on it. For most metals that are painted onto clean bare surfaces, this does not matter but for advanced artists it can!
For those who have never painted using metallic paints before, their dried coats usually look very hazy and dull. The reason for this is due to the thickness of the coat. If the coating is thick enough, some of the lighter elements in the paint get covered up and cannot be seen- thus creating a darker area where the brush touched the metal and then moved away.
To avoid this, professional painters either use a laminator to thin the layers or they scratch off the old coating so that the metallic base material comes into contact with the fresh paint. Both of these must be done with extreme care to ensure that no powder gets left behind which could affect the final color.
Use a lot of paint
When painting a new room, or just because you feel like it! Start with some test tiles using only very few drops of acrylic paint. You can use any shape glass that is easy to hold onto such as bowls, dishes, or even empty trays.
Once you are happy with how many layers stick to the glass and how smooth each layer is, then add more colors and thinner coats. Once everything is dry, repeat the process until your desired look is achieved!
Acrylic will always take longer to fully cure than other mediums so be careful not to press down too hard while waiting for it to set. That could cause bubbles or cracks in the coating.