Edit

How To: 'Dye' Clear Glass Any Color (We Test Two Techniques)

 

Dyed glass feature image
Photo: DIY Maven

 

A few years back, we profiled a new technique to 'dye' clear glass any color. The original maker included instructions that called for mixing acetone (nail polish remover) with Vitrail glass paint. Since posting the profile of the technique, the original how-to has vanished from the internets. We decided to take our own stab at the technique to see if we could replicate the outcome and devise our own how-to.

With some trial and error, we were able to do it...but not without some   surprises. 


Before we begin, let's talk about those surprises. The original materials list consisted of clear jars, acetone, and Vitrail glass paint. We tried that technique--and we'll reveal the results. However, another option is using Vitrail Lightening Medium instead of acetone. In the material list listed below, we've included both acetone and the lightening medium. You can decide, after seeing the effect, which you'd rather use for the project. 

MATERIALS

Dying glass supplies
Photo: DIY Maven

Step

 

adding Vitrail to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

We'll start with the original technique, which utilized acetone.

To begin, make sure your jar is completely clean and dry, both inside and outside. Shake the Vitrail paint to mix well. Dip a plastic straw into the paint and dribble paint inside the jar so it touches only the bottom--NOT the sides of the jar. (The amount of paint you put inside the jar will depend upon the size of the jar, of course, but it's better to error on the side of a little too much than too little.)

Step

 

adding acetone to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

Using another clean straw, draw up some acetone using the finger-over-the-end-of-the-straw trick. Put in about 1/2 as much acetone as paint. Again, ONLY put the acetone at the very bottom of the jar--not on the sides of the jar.

 

Don't forget to read Curbly's Bottle Cutter Shoot-Out to find the perfect cutter for your painted bottles and jars!

bottle cutter review

 

Looking for more great ideas? We like this book:

bottle art

Step

Mixing acetone and paint
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Use another straw to mix the acetone and paint. Mix it WELL. 

Step

 

swirling the acetone and paint
Photo: DIY Maven

When the paint and acetone are completely mixed, rotate the jar on its side to swirl the paint, thereby painting the inside of the jar. 

First surprise. Acetone does NOT mix with the Vitrail. Now, although this was a complete fail, the outcome is really cool. It looks kind of like a static lava lamp.


Now let's try the other technique, this time using the Vitrail Lightening Medium.

Step

adding Vitrail to jar
Photo: DIY Maven

 

 

Again, make sure your jar is completely clean and dry inside. Shake the Vitrail paint to mix well. Dip a plastic straw into the paint and dribble inside the jar so it touches only the bottom--NOT the sides--of the jar. (To repeate: the amount of paint you put inside the jar will depend upon the size of the jar, but it's better to error on the side of a little too much than too little.)

Step

Vitrail Lightening Medium close up
Photo: DIY Maven

Using another clean straw, dribble lightening medium into the paint. Remember, ONLY put the lightening medium at the very bottom of the jar--not on the sides of the jar.

adding Vitrail Lightening Medium
Photo: DIY Maven
Using the finger-over-the-end-of-the-straw trick works for the lightening medium as well. 

Step

Mixing paint and medium
Photo: DIY Maven

Advertisement:

 

Use a straw to mix the lightening medium and paint. Mix it WELL. 

Step

 

Rotating Vitrail and Lightening Medium mix
Photo: DIY Maven

 

When the paint and lightening medium are properly mixed, rotate the jar on its side to swirl the paint, thereby painting the inside of the jar. As you can see from the picture, the lightening medium and paint mix perfectly, as expected. (They are meant to mix after all.) The mixture is much more viscous than the paint/acetone mix, which means the paint will flow slowly, meaning you'll have to rotate slowly to coat the entire inside of the jar.

Step

Jar on straws
Photo: DIY Maven

 

When the jar is completely coated with paint, prop it up on a couple of straws so the paint will drip out of the jar completely and help it dry faster. 


 

Now let's do a side-by-side comparison of the techniques. Acetone technique is on the left and lightening medium technique is on the right. Notice the mottled effect of the of the paint/lightening medium? It's cool, but it's a far cry from the liquid-y finish of the original post. (How the maker achieved the effect, I have no clue. Mineral spirits, maybe? That will require further investigation best saved for a future how-to.) 

jar comparison
Photo: DIY Maven

 

OKAY, now for the final test. The original tutorial claimed the Vitrail and acetone combo was waterproof. Sadly, it is not. After letting a jar dry for 48 hours, I poured water into it and let it sit for about an hour--a much shorter time than you'd keep flowers in a vase. 

When I poured out the water, this is what happened:

ruined jar after subjecting it to water
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Oops. Now, before we dismiss the fixative property of Vitrail, keep in mind that Vitrail glass paint is WATER-RESISTANT, which, technically speaking, means it's "able to resist the penetration of water to some degree but not entirely."  That means NO jars that are painted on the INSIDE with either of these techniques using Vitrail glass paint can be used as vases. Sorry folks. 

That being said, they'd be lovely for candle holders or simply objets d'art.

Vitrail Glass Paint + Vitrail Lightening Medium=

Vitrail Glass Paint + Lightening Medium
Photo: DIY Maven

 

Vitrail Glass Paint + Acetone=

Vitrail Glass Paint + Acetone
Photo: DIY Maven
How to Dye Glass Pinterest Image
Photo: DIY Maven

So there it is. Although we've busted a few myths, we still love the options both these techniques provide. (My favorite...the groovy lava lamp effect!)

 

 

 

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

View/Add Comments (3)

3 Comments

(2000 character limit)

Jerri-Ann on Nov 28, 2016:

Pebeo Vitrail should not be shaken, it needs to be stirred gently & thoroughly. It is highly pigmented which is why you mix it with the Lightening fluid made for adjusting the color and acting as an extender. There is another Pebeo product called Porcelaine which comes in opaque & transparent colors which can be baked for permanence. You don't bake Vitrail because it is oil based & lightening fluid is a solvent.


Des on Nov 19, 2016:

@Vikki I have seen this video before, and the lady in the video painted the glass on the OUTSIDE. On this site they are trying to tint on the inside. One of those paints cannot be baked due to its flammable properties; I can't remember which one.


Vikki L. Y. on Apr 03, 2016:

You're suppose to bake it that's why yours don't look right, watch this here and it does become waterproof after you bake it :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J_8_fFaD9U


All comments
Comments RSS