Applying paint to the underside of your paperweights can change the appearance of your finished design entirely. You can paint the glass to coordinate with the decor of your office. You can also choose a color that compliments the artwork or photograph being captured.
Painting your paperweights can be as simple and straightforward as using a single color, like the example pictured above. You can also use decorative painting techniques to achieve specific looks.
My next few blog posts will show you several examples of how you can use paint with PhotoWeights.
I recommend Plaid's line of FolkArt Enamels designed specifically for glass and ceramics. These are available in most craft stores and sell for around $1.99 for a 2oz bottle.
I'm going to start with a simple project that involves a single shade of paint applied to our Elegant Oval Paperweight Kit. The color is Lime Green (Plaid FolkArt Enamels 4138E). Although this paint has excellent coverage, you should plan to do this in no fewer than two coats with one hour of dry time in between. The number of coats required will vary by paint brand and color.
As you're painting, keep a few slightly damp cotton swabs on hand to clean up your lines and wipe away small mistakes.
Remember to follow the instructions for the particular paint you're using. Also, be sure to thoroughly clean your paperweight before you begin.
The first coat of paint (shown above) should be applied evenly to ensure you've covered all areas of the glass. If you look closely (click the image to enlarge), you can see the paint appears semi-transparent in some areas. This is perfectly fine.
This first coat is what will be visible through the top surface of the paperweight, so turn it over occasionally to check your work for air bubbles and skipped spots. Wait one hour before applying a second coat, or according to your paint's directions.
The second layer of paint should give you full coverage. If any spots need to be touched up, this can be done when the paint is mostly dry.
The photo above shows how the paint will appear when viewed through the paperweight.
FolkArt enamel paints have a recommended cure time to make the paint top-rack, dishwasher safe. Although you're probably not going to run your paperweights through the dishwasher, I cure my paint because it makes it more durable.
The cure time for the paint I used is 21 days if you're air drying. You can also use the method I prefer which is to air dry for 1 hour before baking it in the oven.
To cure the paint in the oven, I set the paperweight on a metal cookie sheet, placed it in a cold oven, and set the temperature to 350F. After the oven reached temperature, I set my timer for 30-minutes. After a half-hour, I turned the heat off and allowed the paperweight to cool in the oven before I removed it.
Be sure to follow the instructions for the particular paint you're using.
After the paint has cured, you can personalize your paperweight as you normally would. The self-adhesive bottom pad can be adhered directly to the painted rim.