Stained Glass Painting – Quick Video

Testing paint for flooding

This is David talking and demonstrating to Philip and Eugene who visited the studio from Singapore. (If it’s not showing, please check here for common problems.)

Context: David has just finished mixing paint for flooding, and now he wants to test it, to see if it is right …

This quick video and the others, they’re exactly that – quick. So they can’t say much. But they can make a point – quickly.

Why this clip is interesting: you see how glass paint has a tipping point – you see how its consistency changes dramatically just by adding a drop of water. One moment it’s too thick to flood with, the next moment it’s absolutely perfect. That’s one thing this clip shows you.

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46 thoughts on “Stained Glass Painting – Quick Video

  1. I like the “ramican” method of paint storage on the mixing plate. We are using tops from candy dishes and cut crystal orphan tops, which really add a touch of “top shelf” to the process.

    Carol is right, “hot shot” instructions are schedule-friendly for us at the studio.

    They are probably a production headache, but they are serving your “glass painting family” well.

    Thank you.

    • I’m glad this approach is useful. In fact, we can make them fairly quickly, but time is less my concern and David’s than – naturally – whether something is useful to you. I’m just generalizing from my own case, I know, where my Inbox is growing exponentially with messages from friendly-sounding people I’ve never heard of who promise me all kinds of benefits but don’t deliver. So of course, here at the studio, we’re constantly re-thinking what works best for our fellow glass painters, given that they’re probably experiencing the same bombardment ….

  2. Great example of flooding, it does take a perfect paint, one that more falls of the bristles than is applied. And just a little water goes a long ways, glad that David showed that it sure doesn’t take much to drastically change the consistency of the paint.

    My problems with flooding always seem to be the little darker speckles that show up in the large flood areas, almost like I didn’t mix my paint well enough. I spend a good deal of time mixing, and have tried to correct this on numerous occasions. Should I let the paint sit longer to absorb the water, similar to oil, or is this just an artistic quirk I must learn to appreciate?

    Thank you both so much for these videos, they make me feel less artistically isolated here in rural Virginia.

    • Can you tell me more about the darker speckles? For example, when do they show up – is it while you’re flooding or once the paint has dried? Also, how does the flooding fire, so is it smooth and as you want it, or is it crackled?

      You ask about whether you should allow the paint to sit longer to absorb the paint. My natural instinct is to say that’s not the answer. As you see in the clip, our approach is just to dilute a little at a time, to whatever consistency is needed – here: thick, dark paint for flooding. But that pool, that puddle: you can’t ever allow it to sit: you re-mix it each and every time you load your brush. Otherwise the constituents start to separate, which will cause blistering in the kiln.

      But do let me know about the speckles. And please send a photo if you can.

      • The darker speckles show up while I’m flooding, and stay almost they same once fired. The flooding fires smoothly without blistering or cracking, like I would want, but there are just these small darker dots/speckles in areas. I’ve re-read a part of the Part 1 e-Book, and it mentions dust. Could that be what ails me? I do sometimes forget to cover my lump, and my puddle is always exposed. I do remix quite often, if not every other time I’m reloading the brush. I also use paper towels to wipe my palette clean when I’m getting ready to start, as well as wrap my brush tips in toilet paper when after washing them to help retain their shape. Could the fibers from either of those be the “dust”? I will send a photo, along with this description.

        Thanks for the help!

        • Hello Daniel,

          Thanks for the extra information and also the photo you sent by email. I’m away for a few days’ holiday right now and I’ll think things over between now and next week when I get back. In the meantime, you mention paper towels. For you and anyone else who’s interested: we’ve never had a problem with our paper towels, but they are extremely tough, and don’t give off any noticeable lint. But I do know that Kathy Jordan strongly recommends against using paper towels. It’s certainly a simple test for you to make right now: start with a clean palette, mix a little glass paint and water and gum Arabic, do some flooding and fire it … all without using any paper at all. If this works without speckles, you have your answer. I’ll be in touch again next week.


          • I am here to report success! The cheap paper towels I was using to clean my palette left small fibers that would float around and cause those speckles I was seeing. I used a lint free cloth and it cleared the problem up. I also work in an old refurbished barn which is prone to being rather dusty, and by reducing the air movement around my light table I was able to further clear up the flooding/matting. Thanks for the help!

            • I’m glad that worked. Well done for being methodical and for working things through until you found the answer. As in science, so in glass painting: it’s a good idea to eliminate variables one by one, starting with the simplest/quickest.

  3. Thank You for this short-shot. It’s nice to look at them in the time between eating and working. No excuses of having lack of time; and it’s also good to remember how important it is to try out/test before using the brush on your work.

    • Yes, as you say, testing is essential. If only more glass painters realized they must in fact sometimes adopt a thoroughly scientific approach …

      I’m glad you like the “shorts”. The idea came to us partly because of the talk I had with you in the Netherlands last November: thank you – I always like to know what people think!

  4. Hello Stephen,

    Many thanks for your very useful video clip re. ‘flooding’. I’ve been away for a few weeks but slowly getting back to work.

    Best regards,


  5. A long time ago I “invested” a small amount of money in the purchase of your “electronic text”. The rewards have been beyond belief. You lead us by the hand and cause us to perform as the experts that we are not. This clip is an example of the hand-holding that arrives constantly at my computer. It is remarkably unselfish. Thank you.

  6. It was a surrealism hands-on experience at the Studio especially with David & Stephen throughout our lessons from them: a wonderful and unforgettable ‘boot-camp’ we had in glass painting. We hope we will be there again to experience ‘never ending in glass painting’.

    ‘Yam Seng’ , ‘Cheers’ to David & Stephen

    Happy Easter!
    Eugene Oen / Philip Tiew

    • Thanks, Eugene. Yes, you learned a lot during that time you spent with us, and we were thrilled to meet you. There are several more clips – coming soon – from your time here with us.

      Happy Easter to you, Eugene – and to Philip also.

  7. I appreciate the short videos, as I can watch them inbetween doing other things in the studio. They are a very nice break from standing all day. I feel very productive in learning something educational while resting during a busy work day. Thanks.

  8. Hello! My name is Andrew. I’m from Romania. I’m a beginner in painting glass. (I work like 2-3 years in lead lights.) My question is: with what do you mix your paint? With water or vinegar or what? Thanks!

      • Thanks David, what’s the name of the oil? I use an oil from FAP – it’s good but not good enough. For the lines I use vinegar, which is good. Please if you want to tell me the name of oil, because in Romania I don’t find anything – I must to order from France or another country. Thank you!

        • Often, we use Oil of Tar, which is wonderful to work with, but carcinogenic, so one must be careful. Otherwise oil of Lavender is also very good. Both these oils we mix with glass paint.

          • Thank you very much David, never heard of Tar oil but I will document and I will buy. I will try and Lavender oil. Thanks again, a good day! by the way I well tell you how i work with Tar oil and Lavender oil.

          • In the Netherlands it is called Carboleum and not for sale anymore because it is carcinogenic and so bad for your health.

  9. A belated Happy Easter to you both and thanks so much for posting the clip. Having regularly missed out on courses offered, it was really helpful to be able to see the comparison showing the fine balance between too dry and just right for the flooded paint. Helpful and generous as ever I always look forward to the clips and updates and they always move me on a little bit more.



  10. Thank you for caring about those of us who can’t get to your studio. These videos often anwer frustrating questions that seem small but make a big difference in execution of a piece. I appreciate all your efforts–every one of them.

    • Hi Virginia,

      I’m glad to know the videos are helpful. And yes we do care. Even now we are gradually re-organizing the articles and videos so it will be far quicker for you to find information and posts about specific topics: all coming to you soon.


  11. I am always amazed at the difference of seeing these demos as well as reading the written words.

    “Just” to see something like how one extra drop of water can make the consistency of paint perfect for flooding … – well, I just don’t know if you could describe that in words alone.

    Thank you so very much for these videos.

    • Paula,

      Thanks for your message: it’s our pleasure. You, our readers and viewers, keep us “on our toes” – you make sure we always do the best we can. So I’m thrilled to bits you saw something which will make a real difference.

      And yes (as you say) it’s true that I or David could repeat a point with words “until the cows came home”; but it’s really only when you see it that it becomes absolutely real.

      Which isn’t surprising since (as glass painters) we’re all kind of “imbalanced” towards the visual side of things. It’s why we make the videos.


  12. Hi, bonjour!

    I like this idea of short videos newsletters. I do learn better seeing the technique, and this is very helpful for me as a beginner glass painter. You are awesome people! Thank you very much!


  13. Thank you so much Stephen; your books, videos and the always welcome newsletter have instructed and inspired me to greater things and has opened a whole new direction and possibilities in my art. The short videos are a brilliant learning tool; concise, highly informative and easily assimilated. A picture says a thousand words, I just hope they will be easy to find on your website (for us non computer geeks). Thanks again.

    Per Ardua


    • Hi Nick, I’m glad you find the videos and other information useful. As for finding where things are, there’s usually a list somewhere on the right-hand side where you’ll see things like ‘stained glass videos’. Best – Stephen

  14. Hi there

    I have tried to view both videos – but get this error message.
    The embed code for this video is not valid.”
    Is this fixable?

  15. I am fascinated with glass and glass painting. Despite being 80 yrs young, I have started fusing, and (trying cut glass) painting on glass. I have a Skutt 14 Firebox kiln and I use Bullseye clear or Spring Green to paint on, using Glassline Paints.

    I taught Ceramics for 35 yrs, gave up, new hips and knee, and was used to painting on Porcelain before firing, and ‘greenware’ clay before firing.

    My question is this: can I use your paints for glassfuse firing? I can’t get the colours true after fusing with Glassline. So I am disappointed: will this prove the same for the paints you use too?

    ‘Scuze the ramble!!

    • You say our paints, so I believe it will me right for me to assume this is ‘the brand of paints we use’ i.e. made by Reusche.

      Now the general answer is Yes. But it will all depend. And that means testing and seeing how the colours stay. As I know you know, we ourselves don’t work very much with ‘coloured’ glass paint. Our style is: the colour is (mainly) in the glass. So we then use black or brown or dark red paint to trace lines and depict shadows: against the passing light, these colours all come out dark, if not black.

      And you mention that you specifically want colours to come out ‘true’. Which suggests to me your thinking of lighter coloured paints than the ones we use. And indeed Reusche has a whole load of wonderful colours. But here I just don’t have the experience to say how these will react to the higher temperature which may be involved with fusing.

      So please excuse my ramble, but I hope there is something there which is helpful to you.