Faux Stained Glass
Faux stained glass is basically a window covering or accent made to imitate how the real leaded stained glass looks. Apparently, its use is decorative. Using a faux technique to create a stained glass look is an economical way to accent a plain window. Its modifiability is advantageous, as these items can be displayed at certain times, taken down again for storage, and then reused. You can use faux stained glass techniques to create temporary motifs and all sorts of personalized window accents.
Faux stained glass is an excellent alternative to real stained glass, as the latter can be quite costly. Although adhesive sheets of stained glass can be used to cover ordinary glass thus producing the same effect, this can still be quite expensive. Instead of splurging, you might want to consider creating faux stained glass using clear contact paper, or leading.
What is it made of?
The effect of stained glass is achieved with a combination of plastic-based paint and dimensional paint. Also, globs of creativity wouldn't hurt. There are suppliers that offer faux stained glass product lines, along with pre-made leaded shapes and paint that dry to a flexible finish.
A form of simulated leading is applied to the surface to serve as main canvass. The design is formed here, and then color is added to mimic real stained glass. You can purchase pre-made leading that comes in precision-cut shapes and has an adhesive backing. The backing is then removed and the leading is placed directly on the glass or window surface. If you are a beginner or prefer your designs finished quickly, then this type of leading is ideal for you.
Liquid leading is also available for faux stained glass. It is a dimensional paint product with an applicator tip and is helpful for more personalized forms of work, as it is more able to mold to any desired shape. However, unlike the pre-made leading, it needs to dry completely before the sheer colors can be applied. This is better for the more experienced in crafting faux stained glass.
Leading can also be applied to a glass surface by using black or dark-colored hot glue sticks with a glue gun. Hot glue designs offer an advantage in ease with application of the lead and customization, but it is highly recommended that the paint be applied only when the glue has cooled. Exercise care in handling the glue to avoid burns. Avoid using them on plastic surfaces.
Paints for faux stained glass can be used straight from the bottle with an applicator tip or paintbrush. Stained glass paints may take several hours to dry, so the paint can be reworked and changes in the design made until one is satisfied with the effect. Take into consideration that the paint colors will fade to a slightly lighter shade after they have dried. Mistakes can be wiped away with a soft cloth while the paint is wet, or even sliced away with a razor blade after the paint has dried.
How do I make faux stained glass?
First off, you need to gather the necessary supplies. Consider enough contact paper to cover the window you wish to decorate. Other things you will need are a pair of scissors, a black permanent marker, acrylic craft paint, clear acrylic varnish, a paintbrush (preferably narrow, for the details), and a pencil.
An ammonia solution can be used to ensure that the surface is clean and free of any dirt. Ideally, there should be no uneven bumps in the surface, as this will interfere with the overall effect of the paint. Draw your design on a piece of paper and tape it to the other side of the window pane, so that it serves as a guide to the actual design on the glass. If you're a little short on creativity, kids' coloring books are good sources for possible stencil designs, or an online search could give you ideas for potential graphics as well. Paint the design on the leading, and then wait for it to dry. You can make adjustments while the paint is still wet, so it's important to work quickly.
How much does it cost to create faux stained glass?
It's difficult to approximate the cost for any one standard piece because a wide array of possible materials exists for making faux stained glass, and the prices depend largely on what materials you decide to use. Some online suppliers may even charge you for glass designs. Although what you spend is considerably less than what you'd end up spending if you decided to buy real stained glass, considerable effort is involved in the actual crafting. However, faux stained glass adds a touch of creative personality to your home without going over the top on your budget, and is definitely worth it on this note.