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A mirror is just a decorative piece of glass in which you can see your reflection. You would do it just as you would for any other glass piece to seal paint on it.
But how to seal paint on a mirror to get it to stick and not peel, flake, wash, or come off is the question that needs to be answered. When sealing a mirror, will the technique differ according to where you hang the mirror, or is the technique the same no matter where it is hung?
This article will cover all the information you need to have a beautiful, decorative, and functional mirror. We will cover the type of paint you should use and the process of sealing the paint on the mirror.
- Getting Ready to Paint on a Mirror
- How to Seal Paint on a Mirror?
- Caring for Your Sealed Mirror
- Does Glass Paint Wash off?
- Why Does Paint Not Stick to Glass?
- What Kind of Paint Works Best on Glass?
Getting Ready to Paint on a Mirror
There are many things you have to do before you can seal paint on a mirror. The first step in how to seal paint on a mirror is to make sure that you have the right type of paint, which would be acrylic paint.
The question is if it is just regular acrylic paint, or do you need a particular type? Here are the things you need to look for to ensure you have the right acrylic paint for your mirror.
- Opacity: This is the first thing to consider. The rule to remember is that the opaquer it is, the darker and brighter it is. Opaque means it is not transparent and will not let any light come through it. This will give you a solid color for your product.
- Type: This is one way to categorize acrylic paint. You can get acrylic paint that is washable or permanent, so you need to know if you want the paint to be permanent or have the ability to be washed off. If you are not sure what you want your design or the mirror to look like, go with washable first.
- Once you know what you want it to look like, you can apply the permanent type. The reason to do it this way is to get it perfect, so if you are not happy with it, you can wash it off until you get it right. You are not stuck with something you are not happy with.
- Finish: Once you have decided what you want the finished project to look like, you need to decide the finish. This could be glossy, frosty, or matte.
In addition to deciding about the paint, you need to know that acrylic paint will work best on smooth surfaces, which most mirrors are. You should use high-grade paint because it is easier to work with, lasts longer, and gives you a brighter color.
You should choose a synthetic brush if you want to use bolder brush strokes, but you should use a brush with natural hair if you want a smoother finish.
Preparing the Mirror for Painting
Before painting your mirror, you want to make sure that you have prepared it so the paint will adhere to the mirror and give you a beautiful finish when done.
You first need to wash your mirror, using warm water to ensure no oil is sticking on the surface, then allow it to air-dry.
To keep you from leaving your skin oil on the mirror’s surface, it is suggested that you wear latex gloves. The drawback of latex gloves is that they can be a bit slippery to hold onto the mirror.
Dampen a paper towel or microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to rub down the mirror after cleaning. Let it air dry again, and then you are reading to paint on your mirror.
Painting Your Mirror
Now that your mirror has been cleaned and the brushes and paint chose, it is time to start painting your mirror. The first thing to do is prepare the paint. You need to take the time to read the instructions on your paint set to see what you need to do.
You may need to apply an under or overcoat. You also need to see if you need to do any preparation before you start painting.
To get the best results, make sure that you follow the instructions that come with the paint to get the best results. Then it is time to decide on a design, which should be done on paper before it goes on the mirror. After you have the design figured it, outline the mirror using a permanent marker.
Use the outline as your guide to painting the design. If the area is small that you want to paint, you can use a syringe to apply the paint. This will give you controlled, small amounts, so you do not mess up your design or project, especially using permanent acrylic paint.
If you make a mistake, you have time to correct it immediately by dipping a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Once you are finished, it is time to seal your mirror. It will generally take 24 hours to dry but can take longer.
How to Seal Paint on a Mirror?
Always ensure that the paint is completely dry before starting the sealing process. There are two ways in which you can seal paint on a mirror.
1. Sealant Method
With this method, you can use your preferred sealant. There are two types, which are brush-on and spray-on. The next step is to read the package instructions, which are normally found on the back of the bottle.
The area where you seal your mirror should be well-ventilated because sealants have toxic, strong smells. You should do this in an open area. These steps are to be followed with either method of applying sealant.
If you use a spray sealant, lightly spray it at least twelve inches from the mirror, using a sweeping back-and-forth motion. Never spray one area too long to ensure the layer is evenly sprayed.
Generally, it will take about fifteen minutes to dry, depending on the sealant you use. The drying time should be on the instructions. You should have at least three even layers of sealant.
When using the brush-on method, dip your brush into the sealant, holding the brush over the container to let any excess drip off. Do not put the entire brush into the sealant but just about an inch of the brush.
Once it has dripped, brush it on the paint, using light strokes to give it an even coat. Use the same back-and-forth method as if you were spraying it on.
The brush-on sealant will take longer to dry, so you must wait at least an hour between coats. You should put two or three more coats on, letting each layer dry before adding the next one. With either method, the piece needs to dry for at least twenty-four hours undisturbed.
2. Baking Method
The first thing to do is read your acrylic paint package for instructions on how to heat or bake the final piece. These instructions will also have the temperature required to get the best results.
You do not need to preheat your oven before you put the piece inside. To reduce the chance of it breaking, make sure that you allow the mirror to heat up gently and cool down.
Put parchment paper on the oven shelf and lay your mirror on it, turning the oven on to 300-350 degrees. A thermometer ensures the oven gets to the desired temperature before closing the door.
Let it back for thirty minutes. Once it has baked, turn off the oven, letting it cool down inside your oven. With this method, you do not have to use a chemical sealant.
Caring for Your Sealed Mirror
Although either sealing method will protect the paint on your mirror, you need to ensure that the mirror does not become dirty and grimy, so you have to wash it all the time.
You should dust it often to prevent it from becoming dirty and needing to be washed. You should dust it at least once a week, more often if possible.
You can wipe it off with a slightly damp microfiber cloth if it becomes too dusty. Avoid wiping the painted parts with a damp cloth as much as possible. Do not use any abrasive material when you are cleaning your mirror. These can scratch the smooth, delicate surface of the mirror.
Following these tips will help to make sure that your painted mirror will last for many years. Your piece will last longer if they are not exposed to direct sunlight constantly.
Tips for Successful Sealing
- You should choose a sealant that gives you a glossy finish for the best results.
- Let the paint completely dry before you seal it, whether baking it or using a sealant.
- When using the brush-on method, it is recommended that you use a polyurethane varnish, which will give you a glossy finish.
- Always purchase a glossy sealant or polyurethane varnish because the natural look of your project could be ruined if you use a matte finish.
- Always read the instructions carefully for the sealant you are using because there may be additional steps you have to take to get the finished project you desire.
Does Glass Paint Wash off?
Yes, If it is washable paint. This is why it is important that you use permanent acrylic paint on your mirror and then seal it, so it does not wash off.
If you do not use permanent paint on mirrors and seal it, eventually, with handling the mirror, it will wash or come off.
Why Does Paint Not Stick to Glass?
The main reason that paint will not stick to glass is that it is dirty and has skin oil on the mirror. To help with this issue, make sure that the mirror has been cleaned and when handling it, make sure that you are wearing latex gloves. This will help to keep the oil from your fingers off the surface.
What Kind of Paint Works Best on Glass?
The best types of paint on glass are acrylic and glass paint, but always check to make sure that it is formulated specifically for glass. You can also use enamel paint on glass. There is even an acrylic enamel blend you can use on glass.
How to seal paint on a mirror is a long process and is something that cannot be rushed. In this article, we have taken you step by step on how to do that. Once the project has been completed, you will have a beautifully painted mirror to put on display.