Creating Stained-Glass Suncatchers

Step by Step

Creating Stained-Glass Suncatchers

issues-ssw39-Dolphin-Suncatchers-Lead Use Gallery Glass® to turn fretwork into colorful art

Adding special effects to fretwork pieces can dramatically change the final appearance and produce a unique work of art. Gallery Glass by Plaid is an excellent way to add vibrant color to your fretwork. Use this technique to create beautiful suncatchers and ornaments.

Gallery Glass is a waterbased glass paint that dries to a glass-like appearance. Gallery Glass is available in more than 50 colors including shades with glitter highlights. Gallery Glass is intended to be used directly on glass, acrylic, mirrors, and similar surfaces and can be applied vertically to an existing window with good results. When used to accent fretwork, it takes your scrolled project to another level.

Gallery Glass works best on pieces where the frets to be filled are no smaller than the size of a pencil eraser and no larger than 1½” in diameter. In large frets, Gallery Glass sags if the ornament is hung in full sunlight. Air bubbles become a problem in small tight areas.

Gallery Glass soaks into unfinished wood, causing it to warp. For best results, cut your fretwork from acrylic. Baltic birch plywood or tight close-grained hardwoods finished with Danish oil and multiple coats of clear wood finish also work well. Finish the wood before filling the frets with Gallery Glass. Cover the acrylic with blue painters tape to keep the Gallery Glass from sticking to the surface of the acrylic. Open-grained wood, such as red oak, warps when it absorbs paint during drying.

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Set up your work station.

Choose a piece of wood slightly larger than your project and cover the wood with plastic wrap or a resealable plastic bag. Smooth all of the air out from between the wood and the plastic for a smooth flat surface. Clamp the fretwork to the wood. The more clamps the better. The fretwork must be held tightly against the wood to prevent the paint from flowing out of the frets. Multiple clamps also inhibit warping or twisting.