Back-Painted Glass: Your Questions, Answered!
My back painted glass journey started about ten years ago a supplier brought me a sample of Dreamwalls – ultra-clear glass with the back completed coated in white paint. He assured me that the trend was hot in Europe, Australia and New York but, it seemed a little ahead of its time here in sunny Florida.
Fast-forward a few years and I still could not get the look out of mind- it was beautiful, sleek and seemed to cry out for custom coloring options. So I broke-out my inner-DIY and got to work. After four-years of trial and error our own in-house process has been perfected and gives our clients the flexibility to choose literally any color.
What did I learn along the way?
To start-off, this look only works on ultra-clear glass – standard glass tints the final product and robs it of a clear, true-color matching result. Second, the glass must be ridiculously-clean, clean enough to make Martha Stewart stand back and say “wow” – even smallest speck of dust is visible in the final product so there is no room for error here.
Since the process requires an acute attention to detail in both measuring the glass and applying the color, our team uses templates to double check sizing before fabricating, cutting, painting, curing and then installing all back-painted glass.
Guess what else? Back-painted glass functions exactly like a dry erase board – without the residue. This makes it ideal for scratching down a grocery list, channeling your child’s inner van Gogh, or even jotting down notes in the office. The swipe of a damp paper towel cleanly removes all traces of the dry-erase ink – beauty and functionality…what’s not to love?!?
Bringing Perfectly Painted Glass to Our Clients
After landing on the right mix of technique and products and installing it in my own kitchen, the requests for similar installations started rolling-in. At first, there were challenges. This is an intricate process – which means that if I wanted it to be right, it had to be done in-house.
We now proudly offer our clients perfectly-sized products, 100% color-matching and flawless installations. In fact, we were recently recognized by the Collier Building Industry Association (CBIA) and took home the 2016 Sand Dollar Award for Best Specialty Feature for our installation of back-painted glass as a backsplash in a stunning Naples home. This sleek design has back-painted glass running the entire length and width of the wall – including above the cabinetry.
Since working hard to obtain expert-status in the manufacture and installation of back painted glass, the interest we see in this product has only grown. We receive calls to our shop everyday with questions from clients that want to have this sleek feature installed.
That is why I wanted to take this opportunity to answer some of your most commonly asked questions right here on our blog.
Can’t I order custom back painted glass colors online?
Yes, there are suppliers of custom, back painted glass that will ship the final product to your home. However, I must warn you there are some issues that can crop-up when ordering a piece like this online:
- Color matching is not always accurate.
When my customers bring me a swatch to match, I prepare two to three samples. The client can take these samples home, see how they look in the space and then come back to make adjustments or choose the color that best suits their needs; this simply isn’t possible when ordering online. We take pride in being the only local dealer that creates custom back-painted glass 100% in-house.
- Measurements are difficult.
When ordering online, the client is responsible for supplying the measurements. This means that if you mistakenly order the wrong size, there is nothing the online supplier can do. However, when ordering from our shop, a team of experts will come out to precisely measure the area. We then template, fabricate, cut, paint, cure and install a piece of back-painted glass created specifically for your home. There is nothing for you to do other than enjoy the beauty of your new look.
Where can I use back-painted glass?
The most common uses are as kitchen back splashes and in bathroom showers. When installing as a kitchen backsplash, I recommend relocating outlets to under the cabinetry so as not to disrupt the seamless look of the glass. However, if this is not possible, our team will be happy to create custom glass outlet covers painted to match your new backsplash.
Back-painted glass is also a popular choice in bathroom showers because it eliminates the need for grout and provides an easy-to-clean surface that always looks magnificent. It also functions beautifully as a countertop, table top or as an insert in a cabinet door.
But why stop there? We have installed back-painted glass as a background to an outdoor water feature at the entry of a stunning home; inset back-painted glass into closet doors; used it to create dimension and depth in a wet bar and even installed it as tiled pieces on wall of child’s room.
Do I have to choose a single color?
Nope. We can create a custom design using any colors or shapes you choose. We can create an abstract backsplash using multiple cuts and colors or use up to two colors on a single, large piece of glass. We have even installed custom mosaics made completed of our custom back-painted glass. The possibilities are endless!
What other customization options are there for Back Painted Glass, other than shape and color?
Your custom color choices can be applied to frosted or satin glass to create a matte look or to textured glass like rain glass, water glass or English burnished glass. Each choice brightens the area in which it is installed and provides a sleek, slightly reflective surface.
Can’t I just paint the wall and install clear glass on top?
This may be the most common question I receive – painting the back of a piece of glass gives dimension and depth to the color; installing glass over a painted surface does not have the same effect. So, in-short, of course you can install clear glass over a painted wall – however the end result will look more like a framed photograph than a feature piece.
I want to install back painted glass in my kitchen. Does the glass need to be tempered first?
My advice is to only temper the small section of glass that will be installed over the oven range. It is not necessary to temper any other areas. Since we cut all of our glass in-house, our team will take precise measurements and make recommendations regarding when tempering may be necessary. Pieces that require tempering are carefully transported by our team to be tempered and then returned to the shop for painting and curing.
Is there any style that back-painted glass does not complement?
Because the look is modern, back-painted glass looks best when installed in sleek, contemporary-styled environments. It may not be the best choice for kitchens that have a Mediterranean or rustic look.
That’s it! I hope I answered your question but if not, please drop me a note or call the shop. We would love to hear from you!