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How to Use Glass Decals

Decal Storage

It is important to loosely store all glass decals in an air tight container which protects them from humidity and in a room that is temperature controlled.  Decals tend to deteriorate in temperatures below freezing and above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 Useful Items for Working with Glass Decals

Dish Soap or Alcohol

Distilled Water

Paper Towels

Pins

Small Sharp Scissors

Small Tipped Tweezers

Prepared Kiln Shelf or Fire Paper

Small Shallow Dish

 

Prepare Glass for Decals

 

Glass decals adhere to a smooth surface much better than a slightly rough surface.  If your project calls for 2 layers of glass, pre-fuse them to a full fuse before applying the decal.  If you are using a single layer of glass that has any texture to it, pre-fuse them to a full fuse or contour fuse.  This will ensure the glass has a smooth surface to fire on.

 

 Applying Decals to Glass

 

1.       Clean the surface of glass using dish soap and water or alcohol; making sure the glass surface is completely dry.  Once clean, only touch the glass by the edges.  Fingerprints on the glass surface can cause the decal to not bond properly with the glass.

2.       Remove the decal’s protective wax paper.

3.       Use a small sharp scissors to cut out the desired area of the decal, leaving approximately 1/16 of an inch around the design.

4.       Place a small amount of room temperature water in a shallow dish.  Place the decal in the water and soak for 30 to 45 seconds or until the decal easily slides off the paper backing. Note: If the decal soaks for too long it will separate from the backing.   If this happens carefully collect the decal from the water.

5.       Slowly slide the decal off the paper backing and onto the glass surface and position as desired.  Gently rub the surface of the decal to massage away any air pockets.  If air pockets persist then you can use the tip of a pin or needle to poke a hole to release the air.  At this point the decal should be perfectly flat against the glass. Note: Decals will NOT flatten out during firing.

6.       Use a small piece of paper towel to soak up any water left on the decal covered glass.

7.       Allow the decal to dry overnight before firing.  Firing a wet decal can cause steam to lift the decal off the glass resulting in a partial decal transfer or it can distort the decal design.

 

Firing Decals in a Kiln

 

A successful decal firing is the result of a good decal to glass application combined with good firing conditions and schedules.  Take your time and carefully follow the instruction enclosed with each decal.

Low Fire Decals

1.       Place the glass on a prepared kiln shelf or on a piece of thin fire paper on a kiln shelf.

2.       Use the below firing schedule paying careful attention to the soak time.  This is very important or your low fire decal could rub off after firing. Vent kiln until kiln reaches 1000°F.

3.       Leave your kiln unopened after firing until it has reached a temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Low Fire Glass Decal Firing Schedule
Low Fire Glass Decal Firing Schedule

High Fire Decals

1.       Place the glass on a prepared kiln shelf or on a piece of thin fire paper on a kiln shelf.

2.       Use the below High Fire Decal Firing Schedule. Vent kiln until kiln reaches 1000°F.

3.       Leave your kiln unopened after firing until it has reached a temperature below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
High Fire Glass Decal Firing Schedule
High Fired Glass Decal Firing Schedule
Important Tips for Firing Decals

·         We do not recommend firing decals between layers of glass because the decal lines tend to spread and wash out.

·         Over firing decals to glass always results in poor decal quality. 

·         To keep a low fire decal from rubbing off after firing, always soak (hold kiln temperature) at 1125°F for 10 minutes.  

·         When applying decals, change distilled water frequently as impurities are released into the water during soaking.

·         Good ventilation in the kiln during decal firing is important as it allows the binding medium in the decals to burn off completely. Prop kiln open 1 – 2 inches until the temperature of the kiln reaches 1000°F.

·         Preheating glass with decals is very important to ensure the materials from the binding medium burn off gently.

·         Low Fire Glass Decals have a firing range of 1050 – 1140°F.

·         High Fire Glass Decals have a firing range of 1140 – 1350°F.

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