Screen Printing on Glass
Here's the easy way to learn to screen
print (some say silk screen) on glass. All it takes is a
few small items and an hour or two of practice.
Purchase a kit for screen printing
t-shirts. In the US, these are made by Speedball and
should cost around $50. The kit contains ink, a squeegee,
and a screen, complete with frame and all necessary chemicals
Set the ink aside. It's not made for
printing on glass, but you can use it for t-shirts if you wish.
Instead of the ink, you'll need to use glass enamels. Any
brand of enamel will work, so long as it is compatible with the
glass you're using. An oil based enamel (like Paradise
Paints) tends to work better than most water based mixtures.
Now follow the directions in the
kit. The ones from Speedball give you information on
screen printing using three different techniques, ranging from
drawing on the screen to using photo sensitizer to make simple
images on glass. The kit is capable of rendering detail as
fine as 12 point lettering, and multi-color screens are
possible. Everything you need is included, except that for
the photo process you'll need to buy a special kind of light
bulb from a photography shop.
addition to using enamels instead of the ink provided in the
kit, the main adjustment to the standard instructions is to make
sure you allow for the thickness of the glass when setting up
and pulling your screens.
That's it. The directions (here's
an online pdf:
are straightforward and tell you just about everything you need
to know. As you get more experienced with screen printing,
you may want to invest in better tools, equipment, and chemicals but the
Speedball kit is an inexpensive way to get
started and see if you're interested enough to invest in other
screen printing alternatives.
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker. All rights
Most of these tips came from
posters on the Warm Glass bulletin board.