Watercolor & Faux Tile on Glass Using Unicorn SPiT
I bought what turned out to be a specimen frame, so it has two pieces of glass in a single frame but with a thin piece of wood to space the two panes apart from one another. While I haven't finished this project yet, I wanted to post a tutorial about how I did the faux tile on one of the glass panes. My idea was to have a window scene, but making the piece so that it can be changed around such as reversing the panes or using them separately. To get started, you'll need a piece of glass, joint compound, Unicorn SPiT in Blue Thunder, stencil of your choice, 3M spray adhesive, and primer spray paint such as Rustoleum. This is a great alternative to using Venetian Plaster which is more costly and you may be like me with some joint compound lying around.
I gave the frame and glass a quick wash with soap and water then lightly sanding the frame to get all the funk off of it.
Spray your stencil outside(smell is strong!), then put it on the glass and spray with primer. Leave the stencil on unless you need to move yours like I did since mine did not cover the entire pane of glass. If you have to move it like me you can just line it up and place it back on for the next step. Let it dry while working on the next step.
Portion out some joint compound and add a little Unicorn SPiT for a tinted base color. This is just so the compound isn't stark white and helps layer the coloring. I used about double the amount of what you see in the picture. Joint compound says not to add anything to it, but since Unicorn SPiT is water based and I don't need to be concerned about durability I went ahead and added anyway.
Using a scraper, put some compound on your piece and then smooth it around for complete coverage. You want it more thick than thin. It needs to be thicker than the stencil is as you can see in my photo you can hardly see the stencil through the compound. Try to keep the same angle as you spread it around. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth or even, but you'll want it relatively the same thickness all over. It will get smoothed down in the next step. As soon as you are done, peel off the stencil.
This is how it looks from the back, so you can see what got outside the stencil. Just use a little brush or pat with your finger any compound that went outside the lines. It should be pliable still so you can push it into place easily. When done let it dry according to your compound's directions.
Dry brush undiluted Unicorn SPiT on a 'tile.' I paced myself at doing no more than four 'tiles' at a time. after dry brushing a few, go back to the first one and wipe it with a lightly dampened rag. I use scraps of old t-shirts, and wet them and wring them out really good. Wrap the cloth around your finger, and rub in a little circle motion with medium pressure, then wipe lightly downward away from the 'tiles' that are already done(so you don't mess them up). Wipe in the same direction for the entire piece. My tiles go vertically on the glass so that is the direction I went with.
As you can see there are some spots that were too thing and after the wiping process the primer is showing through. I decided I didn't care, but I wanted to share so you see why the thickness is so important. If this happens I don't see any reason why you couldn't do a little patch job on it or use a little color to fill it in.
After it dried for a day I used PolyAcrylic in Satin finish(glossy would be great too) to seal/coat it. I laid my stencil back down and brushed right over it. I only did one coat, but at least two coats would be best. After that dried, I rinsed it with a little water and wiped it real good in between the 'tiles' to clean off the glass. I found a couple spots where the poly got on the glass and I actually really like it so next time I want to try brushing it all over and see how that looks. At the time I wanted it to be crystal clear glass in between so that's why I put the stencil back on.
The front glass pane I did a watercolor with Unicorn SPiT. This is how it looks put together.
So hard to get a good photo sometimes! I hope this gives you an idea of how to add some unique detailing to a piece of art. This would work great on furniture too!
- Unicorn SPiT: Blue Thunder
- PolyAcrylic Satin Finish
- Rustoleum Primer Spray Paint