Paint & Install This Glass Guard Yourself

Annoyed by the high cost of back-painting and installing the glass behind her gas range, this adventurous renovator took on the task herself.

DIY | When Terri Brand- mueller renovated her Vancouver kitchen awhile ago, she thought a lot about how the surface materials and finishes would look when viewed together. She had dark wood and white laminate cabinets; butcher-block countertops and a solid beech island; and stainless steel appliances—everything set against a backdrop of white beadboard wallpaper. What was missing, she figured, was a serious splash of colour, and the surface behind the range seemed like the perfect place to put it. This is how she hit upon the idea of installing the light-reflecting sheet of glass pictured here, back-painted ocean blue.

Glass back-guards are not that unusual, but when Brandmueller started phoning around Vancouver and Richmond she was shocked to find glass shops were charging more than $200 for a simple 36-inch-square sheet of quarter-inch-thick flat-polished tempered glass—and the back-painting, delivery and installation was going to cost extra.

How Brandmueller Got Her Back-Guard

Not one to shy away from DIY projects, Brandmuller researched how to back-paint glass on the Internet and concluded she could do that part herself. Still, the local price for the sheet of glass irked her. Online she found www.glasstopsdirect.com, an American company that ships to Canada. The price for the standard-size piece she needed was just $65, with an extra $45 for FedEx delivery direct to her door.

When the glass arrived, Brandmueller spray-painted it with multiple coats of Krylon in a colour called blue ocean breeze and attached it to the wall with a clear Dap silicon sealant with the heaviest weight rating.

Brandmueller says that while she was unsure in the beginning about whether or not she would be able to paint and install the glass herself, she was willing to take a risk. “I knew if I wrecked the glass I’d be out $105, but if I didn’t I’d be saving a lot of money.”—Ruth Rainey

To see more on glass tops, visit www.glasstopsdirect.com

Photo:  Casey Phaisalakani

  • A.Men

    Lovely. Resoureful.

  • Lynn

    So, did paint stay on? What did she use backspash for?

    I’m thinking about doing this for back of stove, cabinets.

    • http://www.frugalbits.com carolannrule

      Hi Lynn,
      Absolutely. It did stay on. One thing she said was that the more layers of paint she added the more even the overall colour became. Also, because each layer of paint made the colour deeper, she quit spraying when she reached the exact hue she wanted. Hope this helps. —eds

  • Merryl Chantrell

    That is soo nice!

    • http://www.frugalbits.com carolannrule

      Thanks, Merryl. We think so, too. —eds

  • “Bobby G” the Glass Man

    Hello all, unfortunately the glass will fall off the wall soon to come. Glass will not bond to regular paint for long. It will soon start to pull away where it is glued to the wall leaving ugly air gaps in the paint. Finally the pint will simply pull off the glass like a sheet of paper. Why is this you ask? Well, glass is an inorganic substrate that naturally attracts atmospheric moisture unlike most anything else, causing anything that is coated on it to delaminate. I dont understand why people dis-inform others about processes they have no clue about. Falling glass from walls is very dangerous! A simple answer is to use a paint designed for permanent glass bonding (This type of glass paint uses a glass surface molecular transformation to achieve a permanent bond)The first good resource I found was when I was watching HGTV “color splash miami” with David Bromstad.HGTV fatured the leading glass paint mfg called Glassprimer™ to paint and install an entire room colored glass wall. After I researched and found their site at the top of google (organically) under the term “glass paint”, I was pretty convinced this was the paint to use. The site was called http://www.glasspaint.com . I ordered some of this paint and have painted over 30 backsplashes for customers now in NY. Ifter knowing how heavy glass is and how dangerouse, I cant believe someone would use simple spray paint on glass and glue the spray painted surface to the wall! EXTREMELY WRONG AND DANGEROUS! Do your research before going into a project like this. Dont take my word for it!

    Cheers
    Bobby G

  • Kelly A

    This look is great! But, I do have a couple of questions. Will the silicon hold in to the wall forever? Or do I need to be concerned that it will eventually have to be taken down?
    Second, Is this just regular glass like for windows? Will it hold up to a LOT cooking heat. I cook and do a fair amount of canning.

  • Robert Hedden

    I tried back painting glass for a back splash and it looks great so far. I used regular enamel spray paint from a can and it looks great. Having read some of the blogs on back painting, I was very concerned about using silicone of mirror adhesive on the back since it would rely on the paint adhering to glass to make it stay on the wall. I used an aluminum j-molding along the bottom which I screwed the studs to support the glass. I used the molding at the top also and used small clips into the bottom of the cabinets above to hold the molding to the wall. Since this arrangement does not rely on the paint adhering to the glass, it seems very safe. If there are no cabinets above, the molding could be held in place with foam tape attached to the back of the molding–not the glass–for a clean look.

    The installation looks great and has received many compliments. We will see how long the paint stays attached but it was a cheap experiment.

    I would like to try the Glassprimer product if it came in smaller, less expensive, quantity.

  • Cass

    For those super concerned with the weight of this this particular project I see no reason why she could not now or in the future attach a rail or something to the bottom of the glass for more support. It would be out of sight and below the
    the gas range.

    • A. Rose

      Idea…how about plain glass in front of venetian plaster as a range backsplash… does anyone have advise?

      After reading about painted glass and some big concerns about shattered glass, I wondered if painted walls with plain glass placed in front of them gives a similar effect without the risk of paint coming off. I have applied venetian plaster to my living and dining room walls and it is so beautiful! So, I wondered if I could paint the dry wall with the venetian plaster and then place clear glass over it to protect it the wall behind a new range.

      I do have concerns about how to get the glass to stay in position, but my thinking was my husband and I (and maybe helpers, if it’s heavy and cumbersome) could hang it like a mirror and bolt it to studs and place it below the above and below the oven so bolts are unseen, anyone have advise about how to hang it? As for the holes for bolts and possible other holes needed I wondered if glass supplier could drill those holes. Anyone know if glass supplier can drill holes and how expensive the price?

      The reason I’d be interested in using glass is because my husband and I were given a Viking Professional Range, by my mother-in-law, a very wonderful blessing! But we can’t afford to remodel the entire kitchen to fit the range in with existing cabinets. So, I thought we could add the range at the end of the existing cabinets. It’s a exterior wall and easier to install a blower and hood and I’m looking into installing gas line there.

      A Viking gas range does get extremely hot so, I do have questions about how thick the glass should be and if, I should be selecting some type of safety glass. I don’t apply the venetian plaster very thick so the plaster is almost smooth. Venetian plaster not recommended with greasy kitchens because of the potential for stains. My kids have stained my living room walls; but honestly, the beauty with venetian plaster is that it has different colors and little hand prints are cherished memories for me!

      If we were able to use glass over the venetian plaster than it wouldn’t require new tile work and it would match the living room (the range at this new location would be seen when entering the front door of our small house). The thought of putting glass in front of venetian plaster seems like a great solution for using a new range without having to remodel the kitchen, but if you have some wisdom that I should think about before starting this project I would very much appreciate your advise. I’m a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) kind of person, very practical but I don’t want to try an idea that would put my children at risk of shattered glass.

      Thanks for reading my idea and suppling me with your wisdom!

  • Eva

    How is this attached to the wall ?

  • caroleen

    Instead of glass how about light weight acrylic sheeting. From Lowes or Home Depot? You can attach to the walls with flower thingies they use for real mirrors. I think they call them rosettes.Drill holes in sheeting and all done.

  • Cacadogg

    I read that you can use tempered glass shelving for these projects. IKEA has some sizes for a good price or search other companies to find the right size and price.

  • Tricia

    It has been some time since Brandmueller did this diy project, and I’m interested in knowing how it’s stood the test of time. Bobby G’s concerns sound valid and informed to me. Did the glue/paint/glass separate? Has the heat of the stove/oven affected it? Also, the type of glass she used isn’t clear to me. It doesn’t appear that she used tempered, but I’d like to know that too. Any chance I can get feedback on these questions?

    • Terri Brandmueller

      After doing extensive research online and by phoning local glass companies, I used a 36-inch-square sheet of quarter-inch-thick flat-polished tempered glass (as stated in the article). To Bobby G’s concern about the paint separating: I used Krylon paint especially formulated for glass (similar to the one he recommends). The glass was attached to the wall with silicone sealant (as recommended by a local glass company that had installed a backsplash in my basement suite) and I also screwed a rail to the wall to support the glass at the bottom. Tempered glass is processed at a very high temperature (that’s what oven doors are made of) and is designed to break into small oval-shaped pebbles…it’s also called “safety” glass because of that feature. I’m not sure how Bobby G got the impression that I used “simple spray paint on glass and glue(d)” it to the wall.
      I have since sold the house but as far as I know the backsplash held up beautifully.

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