Back painted glass is glass that has been painted on one side so that the color shows through; it is usually installed on a wall, with the painted side towards the wall, although it can be used on horizontal surfaces too, for example countertops. It makes a good material for backsplashes as well.
When done right, the colors lend a luminous modern look to a kitchen, bathroom or any room in fact. Used in a kitchen, pastel greens and blues have a soothing ocean beach look that sets off silver fixtures and aluminum finish appliances particularly well.
The paint used on the glass is important, as you cannot use any old acrylic interior paint. So what is the best way to do this décor technique? There are ways to approach the backpainted glass effect.
Here are your options:
1. Remodeling or glass contractor professional service: Hire a pro to do the whole job. They will adapt your design or suggest one, order the glass, have it painted and install it. Cost- from $40 to $75 per square foot.
2. Glass Supplier: Some glass and tile shops offer backpainted glass made in-house, but it is hard to find someone that knows what they are doing. Cost about the same as above option, minus installation costs.
3. Glass tiles: Using backpainted glass tiles won’t give quite the same effect, it will be less clean and unbroken looking, but can still have a colorfully striking, modern look. You can install the tiles yourself, although it is a little tricky (in terms of cutting tiles and matching grout colors), or have a pro do it. DIY Cost: $30/sq ft for standard colors from Home Depot or Lowe’s, $50 and up per sq. ft for designer colors/textures. This option also has higher upkeep associated with it, as you clean the grout and tile edges.
4. Paint and install yourself. There is only one paint on the market that adheres well to glass for this application, and that is GlassPrimer from http://www.glassprimer.com. Cost for this option is less than a dollar square foot for the paint, plus around $5-10 per sq. ft. of ¼ inch tempered glass. There is also an Australian paint called Glasskote that can be used.
For painting and installing your own backpainted glass, it is best to use 1/4 inch thick tempered glass, especially if it is to be installed near a heat source, like over an oven, where it is a must. Starphire glass also looks good, as it is low in iron and does not have as much of a green tint as regular glass, although it is a bit higher priced.
When using the Glassprimer glass paint, it is not required to sandblast the glass in preparation, as Glassprimer is specially formulated to bond to the glass permanently; in fact it actually alters the molecular properties of the glass’s surface so that the paint will not delaminate from the glass over time, as ordinary paint would.
It is best to have the glass cut to fit when you order it. If you need to do some trim work or cutting yourself, you will need to use a diamond blade for glass cutting. Mark the glass with a scorer on the back side where it will be painted, and cut from the front side, in order to avoid chipping on the back surface, where it will show up more when painted. (See: How to Cut Glass)
To apply the paint, you can use either a roller or a paint sprayer. Once dried, the glass can be installed the same way you would install a mirror. For best appearance, you should avoid drilling holes and using screws, clips, fasteners etc. The glass can be sanded around the edges with 120 grit sandpaper to remove any overspray.
For installing backpainted glass, you will need a roll of double-backed glazers tape and a tube of clear silicone construction adhesive or Liquid Nails.
Before you hang the glass, make sure the wall or countertop it is going to go on is flat, with no bumps or high spots. Any sharp points or grit in the paint or surface will tend to scratch the paint from the back of the glass and make a visible spot on your nice new glass where the old wall shows through.
Clean the back of the glass and the wall or surface where the glass will be installed, making sure they are both free of grease, grime, dust and so on.
Apply quarter inch wide beads of silicone construction glue from the tube in wavy s-lines on the back of the glass, then put pieces of double-backed tape around the perimeter of the glass back; this will hold the glass to the wall until the glue has a chance to set and cure. Make sure to use clear adhesive, as anything else could show through the paint, especially lighter colors.