Oil on Glass

Q. I’ve found painting on glass with oils to be exciting and challenging, with dramatic results. But will the paint stay adhered to the glass, or will it eventually peel and flake off? Would baking the finished piece help?

A. I’m afraid that in the long run, your oil paintings will peel and flake off the glass. Glass is non-absorbent, and there’s no tooth to the surface to help the paint stick. All the oil paintings on glass that I’ve seen show noticeable defects. And baking the finished painting will actually hasten the deterioration of the piece.

But if you like painting on hard, clear surfaces, you might try using acrylic emulsion paints on Plexiglas. Even better, use an acrylic solution paint, which is essentially a liquid acrylic resin paint thinned with mineral spirits. (Golden Artist Colors make a version called “MSA paints,” which stands for mineral spirits acrylic.)

You’ll have to do some experimenting to find a method that suits you, but in the end you’ll have more enduring paintings.

Loraine Crouch is associate editor for The Artist’s Magazine.

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