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Glitter Glass Background

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by fresh, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    We are working on a new project and want to try a technique we've seen around... Does anyone have experience using glass glitter on exterior signs? If so, how did you do that?!?

    I found glass glitter online, and I read that you literally just glue it on the substrate and then clear coat over it. Do you know what kind of glue would be best to use?

    On a side note, we always brush our signs, but I want to try my hand at spraying. Spray booth is not in our budget, I plan on taking home any spray projects and setting them up in my garage or backyard. What should I look for in a modest-priced spray gun (we already have a compressor.)

    Thank you!
     
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  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Glitter glass?
    Do you mean smalt?
     
  3. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    Honestly, I have no idea what it is called. It looks like glass glitter, and I did a search for "glass glitter" and looks like what I saw on a sign.

    Do you have experience using smalt?
     
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I always see these guys advertize in SignCraft Magazine, never used them before, but it may be a possibility

    Solarray
    www.radiantmfg.com
     
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I have used smalt many times, it looks like crushed glass, comes in an assortment of colors and is generally used with carved signs though I haved used it on flat panels too.
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Don't know much about glass smalt, but for a spray gun get a gravity fed gun from Harbor Freight since you are just starting out. they work well and are cheap as chips. Especially if you wait for a sale then use a 20% off coupon.:smile:
     
  7. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    I did some quick research, and that is exactly what I want to use. We will be using dimensional letters, and want a textured background. This is going to be for a Jewelry Store (in the ghetto :rock-n-roll:) and want to bling it out.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to use it? What do you use as the adhesive? And THANK YOU so much for pointing me in the right direction. I found an article that actually references I book I already have. I swear I've read it from cover to cover, but I guess I just skipped over the parts that didn't make any sense to me. Thanks again.
     
  8. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    These guys should have everything you need
    http://store.qhfonline.com/onlinestore/results.cfm?subcat=Smalts&category=FA

    When doing a job with dimensional letters I usually paint the background a color close to what color smalt I am using. Then test fit the letters, remove and mask the area the letters will be fastened to. I usually add a small outline around the letter.125". Apply the smalt then after it has set up reinstall the letters.
    Of course you could apply the letters and then smalt.
     
  9. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Smalt is pretty easy to do and creates a really nice effect.
    You can get it Here or Here you'll also need Smith's Cream to add to the lettering enamel you'll use as glue.
    If I can do it, anyone can.
    Love....Jill
     
  10. Keith Jenicek

    Keith Jenicek Member

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    We use smalts quite a bit. The process is fairly simple.

    First we paint the background using a 50/50 mixture of Smith's Cream and Lettering Enamel. Then apply the smalts liberally to the area. Let it dry overnight. Flip the sign over a tarp or newspaper to collect the excess. (Smalts is not cheap!) It's that simple. For more information, please check out our site. We have some tips & tricks along with some advise from the late master craftsman, Rick Glawson.

    www.Artisan-Signs.net
    Keith Jenicek
     
  11. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    yep, that's how it's done. it looks great on a sign background. what looks really nice is to gold leaf some dimensional letters and stud munt them to the sign. if you do that, stick some studs into the drilled holes before you apply the smalt so you can find them after. it works better than trying to drill after the smalt it applied
     
  12. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Yeah, we have two signs in our shop that were made back in the mid to late 1880's and used smalts and gold leaf with carved and sculpted features. The original signs couldn't be repaired any longer so we duplicated the signs and they turned out great. Only problem is, a few years ago the church was sold to some Spanish congregation and they threw our signs out and put up a hand-made banner.

    Smalts is relatively easy, but it still takes some time to getting used to. Experiment with flat pieces before you go crazy on a paying job.
     
  13. Keith Jenicek

    Keith Jenicek Member

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    Ahh...Letter application:
    We route our letters separately and gold leaf them. On the smalted substrate we have the same letters with about a 1/8" contour border that are raised and flat. That is, when the gold leafed letters are mounted, they are mounted to the raised flat letters on the substrate which results in a 1/8" border around the letters. This will greatly speed the process!!

    When attaching the letters, drive in a few panel nails to the flat, raised letters and clip the nail heads low enough to get a bite on the gold leafed letters. Apply some silicone to the back of the letters before mounting and you are done!

    More tips... www.Artisan-Signs.net

    Happy Smalting!
     
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