Altered Art: Frosted Glass Vase

I’m exploring different mediums available to me via the DecoArt Helping Artist Program – and yesterday had time to experiment with their Americana Frost Gloss Enamels. These are paints that create a translucent etched glass appearance, and stick to most smooth surfaces. Application is fast and easy, dabbing on with a fine sponge, and relatively quick touch dry time allows layers to be added without too much waiting. After curing for four days, the items can be baked in the oven to make the frosting dishwasher safe. Just one note: the finish is not food safe. Wash up is easy – just rinse with water. And if you go horribly wrong, I’ve found recently applied enamel can be wiped off with rubbing alcohol.

Starting with an Ikea BESKÄRA clear glass vase, I initially added the coloured enamels (purple, pink and blue) directly to the glass using a foam strip as a stamp. The translucency of the finish came to the fore, and aside from the purple, I couldn’t see much. Wiped clean with alcohol, and test two began.

I wondered if mixing the colours with the silver metallic enamel would help with the opacity issue – sometimes the silver pigments give the colour pigments something to play against. Not in this case – it helped, but not enough – DecoArt really have managed to keep the metallic frosting translucent. So, wipe clean and onto test three.

This time I used two layers of the white frost gloss enamel to get an even and a little more opaque layer for the colours to work on. I used the same foam strips as stamps, sponging the paint onto them before rolling/pressing onto the vase to make the vertical stripes. As before, the purple was the strongest colour, so I stamped a second layer of the lighter colours, and that helped. After that, I added the dots and flowers using an embossing ball to apply the paint (a skill set familiar to nail art fans). After drying overnight, the colour developed a little more (probably due to darkening) and the dots became more translucent.

You’ve gotta love a project that you can wipe clean and start again when you’re experimenting with finishes! Expect more altered glass – I basically went round Ikea’s Market Hall popping anything glass into my yellow bag.