Paint for glass?

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Don't need anything artistic. I just want to permanently mark levels
on a glass jar to use for measuring. Item will be hand-washed
reasonably carefully. I just want to know what to look for and where
to find it. TIA

Re: Paint for glass?
For reasonable permanence and careful hand washing, you can probably get
excellent service from plain old "Sign Painters Enamels"... such as One-Shot
or Sherwin-Williams. These enamels have excellent adhesion to glass
surfaces, and decent color-fastness. They are formulated with pure color
pigments so they can be mixed and get other colors, instead of mud. Their
adhesion can be dramitically improved, if needed, by first sandblasting the
glass to give it tooth (use a mask to put etch only where needed). I have
examples around in excellent shape that I did 30 years ago. Your mileage may

Alternatively, you can buy a kiln and some pricey vitreous glass enamels and
put TRULY permanent markings on your project.... but it seems like total
overkill. Might be best to just drop by a sign shop and farm it out. Or a
glass studio that does fired enamels.

Personally, I have several makeshift 'beakers' around that I placed marks on
with a Sharpie marker ... still there years later, and easy to fix if they
go away.

Good luck Frogman, Jacques Bordeleau

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Re: Paint for glass?

There is a middle road--there are some bake-on finishes
that can be applied in an ordinary oven.  They claim to be
"dishwasher safe," whatever that means.  Here's a pointer
to one.  I haven't used it, but I've seen a couple pieces that
had one of these used on them and they looked pretty nice.


        Mike Beede

Re: Paint for glass?
Yes, that too. I used some once and AFAIK it's still intact after 18+ (?)
years. I did sandblast the surface before painting the 'dots' I wanted for
flower stamen, which certainly improved adhesion. Then I switched to
vitreous enamels shortly after and never went back. I figure for my
purposes, for what I am doing, vitreous is part of 'doing it right' .... I
impressed myself to no end, when I took a screwdriver and tried to scratch +
scrape at the fired enamels .... no degradation at all. I decided that was
what I wanted for MY glasswork efforts. On the other hand, I will still use
a Sharpie to create an instant beaker ... heheheheh... and it works mighty

Note:  The 'new' metallic Sharpie pens seem superior for marking glass for
grinding, to the old paint pens I've gotten from SG suppliers. For one
thing, the marks dry almost instantly, compared to the old paint pens. The
durability under water while grinding as at least as good. They work great
for marking sheets of dark glass with my code #s also. I haven't used one to
make a 'beaker' yet, but I bet I'd be satisfied.

Regards, Jacques Bordeleau

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Re: Paint for glass?

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Those paints, if I understand it correctly, are actually just finely ground
colored glass in a solvent.  Hard to work with, but when you fire them
on, you are left with nothing but glass melted to glass.

I've seen people paint a grall with those, fire it, then pick it up on the
pipe, gather over it, and blow it out.  The colors stand up extremely

I like the part about using the metallic Sharpie to mark for grinding.
Does it work better than those china markers?

        Mike Beede

Re: Paint for glass?
Not sure Mike... maybe the pens I got previously were China markers...dunno
by name. They were black barrels, with a spare tip in the tail end, and came
in white, yellow and black paint from SG wholesalers. I bet they're selling
Silver Sharpies too, by now. a metallic silver in a bulk pack
of misc Sharpies, tried it, loved it...and found a dozen more on ebay,
cheap. Most folks can probably buy them locally, but in the middle of
nowhere, here, they'd be $5 apiece, IF i could find them. Think I scored
them for about $1 apiece on auction.

Yep...the vitreous enamels I fire-on are just that....finely ground colored
glass. Not that tough to manipulate, but it requires some dedication to
develop your methods. I've done some near photo-real work with them by
shading and firing multiple (25) times...just like building up color in an
'egg tempera' painting .. heheh. Not for the hobbyist, but not
impossible....after all, I did it...;-)  Actually, the very first time I
used vitreous enamels, it was a tiny jar of some black mystery-paste ...
turned out to be China paint, I believe...and IT worked great, but required
a couple firings to build-up density enough. Still perfect after almost 2
decades in restaurant/bar location.

Cheers, Jacques Bordeleau


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Re: Paint for glass?
C'mon Jacques, your vitreous enamels aren't just ground glass. They're glass
frit (probably uncolored), flux and oxides rather than just ground glass of
a certain color. Ground colored glass indeed. You're spending too much time
on the slopes.

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Re: Paint for glass?
They aren't?  Heheheheheh..... shows ta go ya', I don't always retain what I
read unless I use it firsthand...the greatest teacher! Then again, half the
stuff I try is because I haven't read that "I can't" .... or already I
forgot "I can't" so I do...

that makes sense?

season over....    41 days this year.... I feel better now....;-)
Needed it!   jb

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Re: Paint for glass?
Just to be specific, the 'old' paint pens I am referring to are from
Mark-Tex Corp, #PM-41 Brite Mark. They have served me well for a loooong
time. I expect to get superior performance from the 'new' metallic Silver
Markers from Sharpie. They dry faster and hold up at least as well as my
slower drying pens, assuming an equal amount of water and grinding involved.
The silver markers also DO seem to hold up much better than a 'black'
Sharpie, or I wouldn't use them. They also do not have a 'plunger' type
valving that tends toward leaky surprises at times. The silver shows up
great on darker glass, and acceptably on light or white glass. Often, I
brush a little vaseline over the marks if I need extra resistance to water
for sawing or major grinding, no matter what pen I am using. Haven't pushed
the silver ones too far yet. Happy surprise!

Ciao, Jacques Bordeleau


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Re: Paint for glass?

<snip interesting methods>

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Just got out a Sharpie and marked a clean glass jar. We'll see how it

I regularly make the same salad dressing recipe and keep it in a small
glass jar. If I can draw the levels on it, I can avoid having to
(hand) wash a measuring cup and spoon.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tblsp. rice vinegar
1 Tblsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Any salad dressed with this benefits from the addition of some toasted
sesame seeds.

(the original recipe had 2 Tblsp of sugar, which I omit. I add about
1/4 tsp Thai dried chile flakes)

Thank you for the information. I'm sure I'll be happy with at least
one of your suggestions.

Re: Paint for glass?
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How about an engraving tool?
Won't get off the glass.

Something I found after a short google.


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