Backing of a reverse glass sign question

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Olivier Gaudry
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Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Olivier Gaudry » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:08 am

Hello to all !

I'm french and brand new to sign painting world.
I've painted on different medias such as paper, wood, wall (see attached), and even glass but it's on this media that i've more trouble and questions. I read on the forum that it was a standard practice to paint in black (or maybe with another color) the back of a reverse sign on a glass to prevent seeing the brush's strokes with outside light ... Is that correct ? What if my letters are small or/and the color i choose for my sign is light ? Maybe should i know other things and tips :)

Thanks,
Olivier.
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Roderick Treece
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Roderick Treece » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:50 am

Welcome Olivier,
I would coat anything out with enough layiers of the same color to try and be solid. Dark colors 2 to 3 and light colors 3 to 4. Once I have them solid enough , in the case of your nice sign with the red background I would just keep coating it with red. If you want the back of the sign a defferent color you will need to make sure the red is opaque enough so the other color doesn't show through. I would have left it red though.Don't forget to use hardner.

Good luck !

Dan Seese
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Dan Seese » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi Olivier.
Nice sign you've posted here.

Sometimes having brush strokes show through from behind is a nice effect. In an era when so much is computer-generated, it can be desirable to have evidence of a personal touch. However, that's not always what the customer wants.

One thing you could try is backing it up with aluminum bronzing powder. Aluminum bronzing powder is fairly opaque and should help block light coming through. After you've painted your area, once the paint is fairly dry but still has some tack to it you can "brush" the powder on with a foam brush. (If you're using lettering enamels, the paint will skin-over on the surface but remain tacky for a while.) Be sure to wear a dust mask and have something below your window to catch the powder that drops. It can be a of a mess if you're not careful.

When that's done, wipe it lightly with a wet sponge to remove loose powder. If you want to, afterwards, you could back up everything with a clear varnish.

(It wouldn't hurt to test this before doing it on an actual job.)

I've only done this on a couple of occasions and it's been several years but this is essentially how I recall doing it. If anyone has any corrections on this, have at it!
Dan
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340 - 1400)

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Jerry Berg
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Jerry Berg » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:10 pm

Hi Oliver,

When I have to back up lettering with a panel like you have done with the red, I mask out the area
and use a 1/4" black poly foam roller. These rollers come in 12" length usually, so I cut them down
to about 4". When rollering on the paint I can come back and lay it off nicely so it appears an even coat
with no brush strokes. Remove the masking tape before the paint dries.

Jerry

Olivier Gaudry
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Olivier Gaudry » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:25 am

Roderick : Thanks. Your 'modus operandi' seems very long to me, according to the drying times, isn't it ?
By the way, am i forced to use hardener (1Shot Hardener costs a lot in France) on glass, even if i coat one layer only ?

Dan : Thank you, i appreciate ! I'm agree with you on the handcraft jobs but like you said sometimes customers have bad taste :) Your technique seems more complicated to me, i don't even know where to find aluminum bronzing powder but it could be a fatest solution to resolve my "problem". I'll check on Handover and Wrights of the Lymm's websites where i usually order my goods. Anyway thank you for your response !

Jerry : Thank you ! Ok, but wich color do you use with the roller ?

Dan Seese
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Dan Seese » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:52 am

Olivier,

Though you've directed your questions to 3 of us, I'll give my opinion on all 3 questions:

1.) It's really not necessary to use hardener. It's a nice product that One-Shot offered in recent years which speeds the drying and makes the paint harder, but it also (I think) makes it more brittle. And if you do use it, be sure to add no more than 5% mix in your paint.

2.) You're right - my technique is more complicated and may not be worth the hassle.

3.) I like Jerry's approach, especially if you have a you're backing up a full panel which you can mask as opposed to individual letter strokes. Red paint tends to be more transparent than black but you could use either one.* A roller applies significantly more paint than a brush so you're able, not only to get a consistent coat of paint but it will give better coverage.

Hope this helps you.

* (If you use red, you might consider adding a bit of white & black to increase opacity. Experiment to see what works best and what looks good on the back of the glass.)
Dan
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340 - 1400)

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Robare M. Novou
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Robare M. Novou » Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:46 am

Hello Frenchy,

And welcome to the hand lettering forum.

I think your original statement and question is a tad misunderstood.

If I read your original statement correctly....the photo you posted is a wall sign, is that true.?

And your question is about backing up gold leaf, not backing up the red wall sign, is that correct.?


My answer to that backup question assumption is yes, you can back up the gold leaf with black lettering enamel paint, or black japan paint.

You can also back up the gilding with imitation gold lettering enamel, or imitation gold japan paint.

Back in the day, lettering enamel paint was oil based (slow drying).
And japan paint was varnish based (fast drying).

I believe this to still be true, except I'm not so sure what one shot has done to it's current lettering enamel formula. I'm still for the most part surviving on the old oil/lead based formula.

It was the wisdom of those old time gilders that have gone on before us to use japan paint to back up the gilding. This was done to supposedly prevent the back up paint from effecting the gild.

Oil based lettering enamels were believed to soak through the gold and ruin the brightness and luster of the gild.

Whereas the varnish based japan paint did not soak through the gold.

In this day and age it seems to not matter what you back up your gold with.

Some gilders use screen inks.

You are also suppose to use turpentine to thin your backup paint, not mineral spirits, or it's lesser cousin "paint thinner".

Some gilders want their backup paint to dry slow, and other want it to dry fast...so they can get out of there in one day, and not have to come back the next day to put on the clear varnish over coat.

If you are trying to make your paint more opaque, trying adding some bronze powder to the paint, and trying mixing in a pinch of darker or lighter colored paint of the same type to get better coverage and opacity.

You can get bronze powder at you local art supply stores...they come in a lot of different colors and container sizes.

I hope this helps, if not, let me know I made the wrong assumption.

RMN
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Dan Seese
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Dan Seese » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:27 pm

Thanks for your perception & response, Robare.
I learned a few things here!
Dan
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."
Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340 - 1400)

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Anthony Bennett
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Anthony Bennett » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:55 am

Hi and welcome.

BruceJackson
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by BruceJackson » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi Olivier,

When lettering on glass such as a shop window, painting it black on the back can make the appearance from inside the shop look more consistent. It does look more finished and I feel that it is warranted in many cases.

I feel that an acceptable exception is very small lettering, especially light colors. It's really tedious to repaint small lettering neatly with a black backing. Fortunately this doesn't seem to be a common situation these days (for me anyway). If I'm doing small lettering it will probably be gold leaf and will have black backing paint. If it's not gold leaf work, for example business hours, then it's likely the client will be happy with vinyl for that sort of thing anyway.

If the sign is very large or has a background panel then a big patch of black can look a bit ugly. In this case, I think allowing the background color to appear on the inside is often preferable. Traditionally, we would stipple these areas. Stippling is done to remove brush strokes. You can get a very similar effect using a roller, as has been previous suggested by Jerry.

Olivier Gaudry
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Olivier Gaudry » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:52 am

Thanks Dan :)


Hi Robare !
Thanks for the cordial welcome and your precious knowledge.
You're right, my request was a bit different, maybe because of my bad english ... yes the picture i posted is a wall sign i made and my question was not about that sign in particular but about backing in a general way. I especially wanted to know of all of yours were backing up your glass's signs. It's rather complicated to find sign painter's materials, i had to order almost all the goods in the Us and the UK. I'll have a look if i can catch some bronze powder here.
Unfortunately, i do not realize gold leaf signs yet ... maybe in a near future. I've seen that David Smith was giving workshops in UK. I'll find out newt year. Thank you again Robare for your valuable response !


Anthony, hi and "merci" !


Hi Bruce.
Thank you, i see more clearly now :) Concerning the rollers, i saw them on the Mack Brushes's website (http://www.mackbrush.com/rollers2.htm) and they seems to be in foam, isn't it ? I did not check out but i've never seen things like this in here ... Thanks again !!!

Robare M. Novou
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Robare M. Novou » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:27 pm

Bonjour Oliver,

Pour certains rouleaux de mousse que vous pourriez vouloir essayer un magasin local maison peinture.

http://www.maisonpeinture.com/

Ils peuvent même avoir poudre de bronze.

Quand je suis à Paris, je m'arrête parfois à Rougier-Ple.

http://www.rougier-ple.fr/VAD/search.ht ... +en+mousse

Bonne chasse.

RMN
What's On Your Book Shelf ?

http://www.milwaukeesignworks.com

Olivier Gaudry
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Re: Backing of a reverse glass sign question

Post by Olivier Gaudry » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:26 am

Hey Robare !
I do not think i could find those rollers at child department :)
Thanks for the french partition !
O.

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