If you’re looking for an artistic, colorful glass installation idea in your upcoming project, your glazier may propose using back-painted glass. While Kensington Glass Arts does not produce back-painted glass, we do have a lot of great supply partners that do, and often fabricate the tempered glass for other organizations, such as Classic Glass Inc. use for their back-painting needs. In this article, we discuss what back-painted glass is and its uses.
What is back-painted glass?
Back-painted glass refers to a process where glass that is painted on the backside (away from the viewer) and then sealed or backed with a protective mask. This creates a signature color or logo protected from wear and tear by the glass while creating a depth of field view. Because back-painted glass can be made from nearly any type of glass, the fabrication process for back-painted glass is variable. Simply put, the glass goes through the normal fabrication process (cutting, polishing, and tempering) before being painted. Typically low iron glass is used for back-painted glass, this is because clear glass tends to skew the visual perception of the paints to a green tint, while low iron glass does not as much. In addition, back-painted glass often requires a top-notch graphic designer to create a stencil for the painted piece.
Back-painted glass can be installed anywhere. In the commercial construction space, back-painted glass is often used in hallways as an alternative to wallpaper and other wall treatments. In addition, back-painted glass also has some residential uses. For example, kitchen backsplashes or a backdrop for a display feature or wall are often back-painted glass pieces.
Furniture companies may create tabletops and countertops using back-painted glass. In this back-painted glass piece, a large glass tabletop was painted black for a corporate conference room creating a richer more striking piece than simply a tinted piece of glass would create.
Another application of back-painted glass is markerboards. White back-painted glass with colored markers surpass the performance of any chalkboard. You can make the markerboards magnetic to adhere items to the board. Further, markerboards can be any custom color and custom-cut to nearly any size or shape, even to include internal cutouts for voice/data ports in, for example, a video conference wall.
Further, some signage may use back-painted glass. For signage, back-painted glass can be used to display multi-colored corporate logos. For example, in the image seen to the left, Classic Glass, Inc. sandblasted the oval glass piece so the backlight could shine behind “InstallNET” without bleeding through the blue oval. On this piece, Classic Glass back-painted the oval with 8 coats of paint to achieve the desired result. Overall, this back-painted, multi-colored glass piece with etching functions in the art to diffuse the LED lighting in the back of the glass.
Glenn Goldenhorn, Chief Operations Officer of Classic Glass Inc., says that because back-painted glass can open up the world of color, it allows for designers to get creative. “For instance, we can select colors from paint or fabrics that coordinate other areas in the design. If the decorator says ‘Oh, we’re using Pantone matching system color,’ we can convert it to a back-paint, which brings the wide world of color into the construction project.” Further, Glenn notes that back-painted glass is much easier to install and remove in comparison to painted drywall or wallpaper.
Next time you’re thinking of a bold, colorful design feature piece either on a wall, ceiling or furniture top, consider the colorful world of possibilities in back-painted glass.
About Kensington Glass Arts, Inc. and Classic Glass, Inc.
Kensington Glass Arts, Inc. (KGa) is a commercial glass fabricator, installer, and commercial service division. KGa utilizes Classic Glass Inc.’s back-painted glass in many of our projects, such as the table InstallNET signage pictured above. If you’re interested in decorative glass art, consider using our friends at Classic Glass, Inc. Classic Glass, Inc. produces custom glass art, stained glass restoration, on-site etching, and more! Learn more about Classic Glass, Inc. on their website here.