DIY Silk Screen Printing
Screen Printing on Chalkboards 0
Screen Printing on Chalkboards Process Video
These time lapse videos show how easy it is to silk screen on chalkboards. The same process can be used for wood, t-shirts, ceramic, glass, and much more! As you can see, adhesive stencils are not a necessity when printing on chalkboards or any non-porous surface.
- Sloane Simmons
DIY Silk Screen Printing on Glass Techniques 1
From our own experience, screen printing on glass and other non-porous surfaces has proved to be a more difficult task than printing on fabric or porous surfaces. If you use too much paint or too much pressure, you will sometimes get bleeding since the paint has no where else to go but out. However, with much trial and error on our end, we have figured out the process that we most recommend to customers who want to silk screen on glass, and of course, with professional results.
This may be a long winded technique page, but it is well worth the read if you want to avoid all the mistakes we have made when printing on glass. Here we go!
We have tried dozens of craft store brand acrylic and enamel glass paints. We encountered the same issues with almost every brand: bubbles and/or bleeding. Many craft paints would create bubbles on the glass surface when the stencil was removed, and most others would bleed and ruin the design. We tried to resolve these issues by using tacky stencil adhesive spray that can also be found at local craft supply stores. Using stencil spray just created additional issues. Some sprays did not have a fine mist, but instead, it would shoot out in streams and ruin the stencil. Others that did have a finer mist would sometimes clog the mesh in the stencil. One head ache after another. We tried lightly wetting or dampening the stencil, but that would cause further bleeding. Our conclusion: cheap but easily available craft store paints were not worth the time and hassle.
A customer recommended to us years ago to mix half Speedball screen printing ink and half an enamel or acrylic glass paint of choice. Somehow, mixing the glass paint with Speedball ink resolved the bleeding and bubbling issue. We tried, and actually, it worked! The only issue with this method, because Speedball ink is not meant for glass, the paint could chip and it would not be dishwasher or food safe. In conclusion, we found this method worked amazingly well for the printing aspect of the process. We would recommend using a glass suitable clear coat to apply to the glass after the ink/paint mixture has dried. This will prevent chipping and usually (depending on clear coat brand) will make the glass dishwasher safe.
Above is an example of our attempt at mixing half Speedball green ink and half DecoArt Americana acrylic paint in green. The results were very good! Click on the photo to view our step by step process on this project.
The most professional and our highly recommended method of printing on glass (drum roll please): using kiln firing glass paints. Yes, we understand most of our customers do not have access to a kiln. But with firing paints, we have experienced little to no bleeding or bubbling issues. We like the Color Line Paints brand Silk Screen Pastes which work incredibly well with our stencils when printing on glass, and they can even be used on ceramics. Typically, we have used HiDef stencils to print on glass and other non-porous surfaces, but Color Line silk screen pastes are recommended for 120 mesh stencils, so our Standard screens work better with these paints with a 110 mesh count.
"But wait, EZScreen ladies, I don't have a kiln!" Did this cross your mind? We totally get it! So if you would like to try out kiln firing paints for printing on glass, we would suggest looking for ceramic studios or glass fusing studios in your area that will let you use their kiln, and find out what they charge for doing so. If this is not a possibility, there is not a studio around you or they do not allow non-members to use the kiln, then go back up to paragraph 4 where we recommend mixing craft store glass paints with Speedball inks. That will be your best bet on getting the most professional results without needing a kiln.
View Color Line's video on using our EZScreen stencils to screen print on glass. Skip to 6:15 for the screen printing process.
Use a flat artist brush when applying the Speedball mixture method to the stencil, especially on curved surfaces. Squeegees may be too rigid and not coat the entire stencil in paint, leaving voids on the printed surface.
Color Line shows the squeegee method on a flat glass surface.
- Sloane Simmons
Ready-To-Use CHRISTMAS Silk Screen Stencils 0
Ready-To-Use CHRISTMAS Silk Screen Stencils
View our catalog of beautiful and unique Christmas design stencils. Some available in 3 sizes.
- Sloane Simmons
BOGO Deal - Ready-To-Use Stencils 0
Buy 4 Ready-To-Use Stencils and get the 5th one FREE!
Free stencil of equal or lesser value.
Add all 5 stencils to the shopping cart then add coupon code BOGO5
- Sloane Garwood
25% Off Jacquard & Versatex Inks 0
Save 25% Off
Jacquard screen printing inks and Versatex products!
No coupon code necessary!
Sale ends Tuesday, October 2nd
Jacquard Screen Print Inks
These professional, permanent screen printing inks can be used on a wide variety of porous and non-porous surfaces. Ideal for commercial applications, they have a soft hand and a long open time, giving the user more time to work with individual colors.
Jacquard Opaque Inks
These inks are archival and lightfast with much less water content compared to other water-based inks, allowing for superior detail and coverage. Use Jacquard opaque inks on dark fabrics and surfaces.
Fix your heat setting problems with Versatex Fixer! No heat setting necessary when you add to Jacquard or Versatex screen printing inks.
Versatex Ink Sets
The Versatex Screen Printing Ink Set includes 8 jars of semi-transparent printing inks. They are inter-mixable and produce vibrant colors on fabric and paper without wrinkling.
- Sloane Garwood
Techniques for DIY Screen Printing on Glass 0
View EZScreen products that work on glass.
EZScreen DIY silk screen stencils can work on a multitude of surfaces, including curved surfaces like glass, plastic, and metal. After creating glass projects ourselves, we realized that not all glass paints are created equal, and there are certain techniques that help the project turn out better. Here are some of our suggestions when screen printing on glass:
1 - The type of paint matters
- We went through multiple brands of glass paint and came to the conclusion that Liquitex Professional Acrylic Paint work the best and can be found relatively easily. Other store brand acrylic or enamel paints will leave bubbles or bleed under the stencil during printing. However, we had the best results with Liquitex.
- Color Line paints and pastes are the best professional grade enamels for screen printing on glass. These glass paints require firing and are used by artists for their high pigmentation.
- Another tip is mixing Speedball screen printing ink with store bought acrylic or enamel glass paints. Somehow, adding Speedball ink eliminates bleeding issues than just using the acrylic or enamel by itself. But by doing this, the ink/paint combo will not be permanent on the glass surface and will require a clear coat to seal it in.
2 - Use a brush or soft squeegee
- When applying the paint on a curved or hard surface, we recommend using an artist brush. A regular squeegee may be too rigid. Other customers have found using a soft squeegee worked well for them. Everyone develops their own preferences and techniques depending on the project.
3 - Use spray adhesive
- It is extremely important for the stencil to have complete contact with a glass surface during printing. If the stencil is dry, then the paint will bleed and the results will not be pretty. Apply a light spray of the repositionable glue on the underside of the stencil and rub away any air bubbles once placed on the glass surface (we found Aleene's Repositionable Tacky Stencil Spray to work well). After printing with glass paint, remove the stencil immediately and place in a bucket of water or wash off in the sink. The stencil will remain tacky if repositionable stencil spray is used.
- Be sure to use a tacky spray that sprays a light mist. If the spray comes out chunky, it could clog the screen and block the paint from passing through the stencil.
4 - HiDef EZScreen stencils
We recommend using HiDef emulsion stencils when printing on hard surfaces, especially glass. The higher mesh count in the high definition stencils are less visible than the more open mesh in the Standard stencils. Because HiDef screen print stencils have a higher mesh count, you can achieve more detail in your designs. Choose between our Basic Starter Kit with HiDef stencils, or our Mini Starter Kit with smaller HiDef screens.
- Sloane Garwood