How to Cure Enamel Paint

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Things You'll Need

  • Painted glassware

  • Baking sheet

  • Oven

Tip

The best way to cure enamel paints quickly is to spray or apply it in very thin layers, allowing each layer to cure thoroughly before applying the next.

Enamel paint dries best when there is light air circulation in the room and low levels of humidity.

Warning

Applying a second layer of enamel paint over a layer that has not fully cured will keep the initial layer from the oxygen it needs in order to cure. This will keep the first layer from ever curing.

Image Credit: Paints. Isolation on white image by mashe from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Enamel paints do not simply dry like other paints, they cure. The curing occurs when the enamel is exposed to oxygen and begins a chemical process that hardens the binder. Heat has a limited effect on speeding up the process, although is handy for certain enamels that are painted upon glass. Most oil-based enamels harden within eight to 24 hours and are cured once they feel dry to the touch. Latex enamels cure from the outside in, so may feel initially dry but can take as long as a month before they are fully cured.

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Speed-curing Enamel on Glass

Step 1

Allow the enamel paint to cure for a full 24 hours on the glass before applying any heat. If you prefer to slow-cure your enamel on the glassware, it can take up to 21 days.

Step 2

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Step 3

Lay your painted glassware carefully on a large baking sheet and place it in the middle of your preheated oven. Do not allow any of the enamel paint to touch the surface of the baking sheet, and do not allow glass pieces to touch each other on the pan.

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Step 4

Time it so the glassware is in the oven for exactly 30 minutes at 350 degrees before turning the oven completely off. Do not remove the pan from the oven and keep the oven door tightly closed.

Step 5

Leave the pan in the oven for a minimum of five hours before removing the glassware from the oven--it should be fully cooled to the touch. Carefully remove the glassware from the baking sheet.

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references & resources

Abaigeal Quinn

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.