Texture Glass on Fish Tank

Frosted Fish Tank

Frosted Fish Tank  Rick Burris

I bought a old fish tank and the back texture glass was painted like this. Looks like it was painted and put in the freezer. Who can help me find out what it is and how to do this.It is really cool looking and looks good with a little light behind the tank. The art teacher here at school did not know but he would like to know too.

Milly’s reply: Good question Rick. It’s a bit hard to see from your photo what exactly is going on, so I’ll give you a couple of answers – you never know, one might be right!

If those lines are like lead came, it could be a product/technique called Stained Glass Overlay, which bonds lead and colored mylars to a tempered glass surface and can impart a plastic texture to the surface. Not a favorite for traditional leaded glass artists making lead glass windows, but hey, each to his/her own.

Another guess is Krinklglas – specialists in decorative fiberglass reinforced plastics. Have a look at their website and see what you think – http://www.krinklglas.com.

Looks like a good environment for fish to float around in whatever it is. Anyone with other ideas on the texture glass, let us know.

Cleaning Glass From Antique Windows


I recently had a request from a lady in PA. Her husband bought an old church years ago. What was left of the last stained glass window recently fell apart. She sent me the pieces so that I could make something new with it as a surprise for her husband. The glass, especially the side that was apparently outside, has dirt and grime that I have been unable to scrub off. Do you know of any special cleaner or solution that might help? Janet


Milly’s reply:
Wow, this makes me wonder what’s in the air to make them this dirty! A bit basic, but have you tried soaking the glass in water and detergent for a few hours before trying the scrubbing?

If that still doesn’t work, I always use isopropyl – rubbing alcohol – to clean my glass, although I have to say I haven’t been faced with dirty windows like these before! You can always mix it with vinegar – a cup of isopropyl, a cup of water and a tbsp of vinegar – but I think using it neat in this circumstance would be more effective. Use in a well ventilated space as directed by manufacturers.

I’d be interested to see what new stain glass window emerges from these fragments…

How is Stained Glass Made?

I’m doing a project on cathedrals…and stain glass windows are pretty important so I wanted to explain how they are made…and I wanted to put it in simpler terms..if you know what I mean…..how would you word it? Thanks Hayly

Milly’s answer:
Hi Hayly, thanks for your query. I’ve got lots of information this on my site, including lots of photos covering the various steps you need to take – you could check it out here: How To Make Stained Glass.

Alternatively, here’s a quick whizz through – create a full scale coloured design – called a ‘cartoon’- and make a cutline from it; choose the colours you want from sheets of coloured glass and cut all the individual pieces out from your cutline with an oil-filled glass cutter, leaving a 2mm channel for the heart of the lead in between each piece. Then start leading, using different widths of lead to suit your design. Next step soldering, heating the solder up on each joint and melting it. This is followed by the messy cementing; filling the gaps under the flanges with leaded light cement to strengthen your panel. Clean it up and wait for it to dry for three days before the final polish with graphite. Simple!


Tempering Glass

I would like to use simple glass panels when we replace our stair railing which is open. Can I fuse glass to strengthen it? Linda

Milly’s reply: Hi Linda, it’s the dreaded health and safety question! I’m not sure if the regulations are the same as in the UK, but here tempered glass is required for anything under 800mm. So your stairs would come in under that height – I’m usually sniffy about regulations, but this is obviously a sensible one! Tempering glass means that if it does break, it will break safely and not in lethal shards. It’s also 5X stronger than regular float glass, so less likely to break in the first place.

The tempering is done in a toughening kiln – the glass is heated and cooled extremely quickly, forming an outside protective skin.

With regard to fused glass – this in itself doesn’t strengthen the glass or make it safe when it breaks. What you would have to do in this case is to make your fused panel/s, and then get them laminated to a sheet of tempered glass using the pouring method. You can get a specialised glass company to do this for you. Don’t forget the holes for the fixings, and ask the company before you start fusing glass for their advice on how to go about it.

Toughening glass that has been fused is fraught with difficulty due to the uneven thicknesses that normally occur. Many glass tempering companies won’t touch this kind of work because they fear that the glass will explode in the kiln and ruin their expensive equipment.

It’s all a bit confusing, but there is a way through the minefield! Good luck with it all. I’m really interested in these structural dilemmas, so let me know how you get on.



4 thoughts on “Texture Glass on Fish Tank”

  1. Hello, I want to stain the glass squares in my face front door, I’m not sure which paint to choose, for the project…can you advise me please?…Thank you, NancyFurlong-Gordon

    • Hi Nancy, if you’re doing it in situ you’ll need a cold glass paint that doesn’t need firing (either in a kiln or heating in an oven). Pebeo do a good range. I’d practice on a vertical piece that isn’t precious first. I’m no expert on cold paints – I fire mine – so not sure how to advise further.


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