Achieving a Matte Finish
Although it's more common for finished glass pieces to have a
shiny appearance, there are many people who prefer a matte finish.
Done properly, glass can be fired to take on a satiny appearance
that is both appealing to the eye and pleasing to touch.
The basic approach to achieving a matte finish is to sandblast
the piece after fusing, then fire to a temperature between 1100 and
1250F (600 to 675C). A short soak (or no soak at all) is all
that is needed. The precise temperature depends on many factors,
including the following:
1. The specific glass being used
A soft glass such as black generally needs to be fired to a lower
temperature than glasses that aren't as soft. Every color and
type of glass will behave a bit differently, so experimentation is
2. The grit and type of sandblasting medium
Generally, a grit from 120 to 200 is preferred, with aluminum
oxide performing a bit better than silicon carbide.
3. The particular kiln being used
As with many situations, each kiln is a bit different. What
works in my kiln may not work in yours. Start with a
temperature in the middle of the range above and adjust depending on
the results you achieve.
4. The finish you want
A few degrees can make a huge difference in the look of the final
piece. Make sure you keep good records of the specific firing
schedule used so that you can make adjustments if needed for future
Click here for more on
achieving a matte finish,
including alternative approaches to the standard one detailed above.
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.