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Glass Is Not Just For Looking Through...

Apr 27, 2008
It's always exciting to get a craftsman in to do something special to your house. The choice is endless but one area where craftsmen can do work to stunning effect is glass.

Of course most glass in your home needs to be clear and without pattern. Windows in particular need to let in light and give you a clear view. But sometimes privacy or even frivolity calls for something different. The simplest way to make a glass window more private is to have it frosted. This can be done with a glass frosting spray-paint. It's best to get a specialist to do it as a DIY job can end up looking patchy and uneven. A good sign maker can also incorporate a design into your frosting - either a decorative pattern or maybe the house number onto the glass panel above the front door.

Acid etching is another option. This gives glass panels a matt finish and the length of time the glass is dipped in acid determines how much the transparency is diminished. A good glass craftsman can also mask areas before dipping so that a pattern or picture appears on the glass.

A matt finish can also be achieved by sand blasting, which leaves a more textured finish than acid etching. Again, you can ask for a pattern to be included, by masking the relevant areas of glass.

If you are having toughened or heat strengthened glass produced then consider having it enamelled during the process. Enamelling involves applying a coloured ceramic layer to the glass surface, which is then baked. It can be applied by spraying or silk screen printing.

Another way to add colour is with glass paint. Find someone with some artistic flair to create a stained glass effect by applying the glass paint with a brush. Plain colour panels, numbers, patterns and pictures can be designed and executed by a craftsman with the right skills.

If you're keen to add a different touch to furniture then painted, foil backed glass can make a fantastic top to a storage chest or table. The paint used is standard emulsion paint so colour choice is limitless - the result will be a solid coloured top to your furniture, but with the shine and reflective qualities of glass. Of course it's wise to choose toughened, thick glass that will withstand everyday use as a household surface.

Stained glass is probably the ultimate in glass craftsmanship. Off-the-shelf stained glass can be bought, or ready made stained glass fitted into a new door, but there's something very special about having a custom made panel for your front door or a particular window. If you're looking for a design it's easy to find inspiration from similar properties in your area - period properties frequently have glass panels in front doors and often one street's doors have very similar designs.

If you don't find inspiration from neighbouring properties then a stained glass specialist will be able to come up with appropriate ideas for traditional or contemporary designs. And the choice of colours in stained glass is almost endless - colour matching if you are having existing stained glass renovated is a craft in itself, with the vast choice of colours available!

Glass is a vital part to any home. As a material it is more versatile and interesting than many people imagine - it can be used to let in light, block sunshine glare and simply to decorate an opening. A craftsman specialising in glass can add a very personal touch to your home.
About the Author
Expert home improver India Cooper reveals how craftsmen can do work to stunning effect employing glass. To find out more please visit http://www.ratedpeople.com/find/craftsman
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