Monday, May 21, 2012

No-Streak Dark Tint for Jars

Streak-free / dark tint

This was my very first attempt at tinting jars, and it was easy and fun!

Here's what I wanted to achieve:
- No streaks
- Easy
- Inexpensive
- Dark tint

From what I'd been reading, to get a really dark tint you might have to go with a glass paint, but it can be expensive and complicated.  Not for my first try, thank you.  I also read that if you use a food coloring method, the darker you go, the streakier it gets.  Not pretty.  So I tweaked what I found and came up with this.

Step 1: Protect your work surface.  I found these disposable changing pads in my son's room while I was cleaning it out over the weekend.  Since he's five now, I think I'm safe using them for crafting now.

Step 2:  Gather supplies.
- A dry, clean, clear jar (this is a spaghetti jar with label removed.)
ModPodge Gloss
- Food coloring (I used the least expensive food coloring I could find since it was for crafting and not consuming.)  You could probably use gel or liquid coloring.  I used liquid.
- Plastic cup or bowl
- Spoon
- Ignore the paint brush in this photo.  Didn't need it; didn't use it.

Step 3:  Mix it up.  I DID NOT add any water to the mixture.  This was one way my version differed from others I'd seen.  I just poured about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of Mod Podge into a plastic cup and added a lot of food coloring.  For this project I used green with a little blue.  Stir and and add coloring until you get the desired depth and hue.

Here's the color I got.  Remember it will get quite a bit darker after it's heated.

Step 4: Pour the mixture into the glass.  Don't use a paintbrush.  That could cause streaks.  I just dumped it into the jar, but next time I'd kind of drizzle it down the sides and use a spoon to cover the entire inside.

Step 5:  Swirl the jar around until it's all covered, allowing excess to fall back into the cup.

Step 6:  Set the jar upside-down on paper towels or waxed paper to dry.

This part is key. Everything I read just suggested putting it into the oven at this point.  Don't do it.  Let it dry for 24 hours.  I know it seems like a long time, but I think this is part of the key to avoiding streaks.  Know why?  LOTS of the mixture will drain out, even if you think you have a thin layer inside.  You don't want that running around in there while you're trying to set it.

Step 7:  Heat oven to 175 degrees.  Place jar in the oven for 20 minutes.

This is when it will start to become transparent and dark.

Check on it after 20 minutes.  Mine looked good at this point except for a couple of still light opaque spots near the bottom.  So I flipped it over and let it go about five more minutes, which cleared it right up.  Don't worry about the green on the rack in this photo.  It's just a reflection from the glass, not a stain from the process.

Step 8:  Remove jar from oven.  USE POTHOLDERS, because it will be hot at this point!
Now you're all done.  Not too bad for my first try, I think.  I got the dark color and streak-free finish I hoped for, and it was super-cheap to do!

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