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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 critical.

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 firings.

Click here for more on achieving a matte finish, including alternative approaches to the standard one detailed above.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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