Using Shelf Paper

by Rut
(Barcelona, Spain)

Is there any shelf paper that will prevent the underside of glass becoming rough after being fused?

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Jun 05, 2011
Using Shelf Paper
by: Vicki

It is very hard to get a smooth finish on the underside of glass when using shelf paper.

The smoothness of the kiln shelf can also alter the finish of the glass.

If you use thinfire shelf paper it will leave a smoother finish than fiber paper.

It generally leaves a nice sheen on the glass but it will not be completely smooth.

Iridescent glass should not be fired with the iridescent coating against the paper as it will cause the glass to become pitted or stretched.

Fiber paper has a different texture on each side and the finish is not as smooth as shelf paper.

Another method that can be used is to fire your glass on a very smooth kiln washed shelf.

You first apply normal coats of kiln wash to a kiln shelf.

When the shelf is dry it can be gently rubbed with a lint free cloth. Old panty hose are ideal for this and should produce a smooth finish.

Wear a face mask when doing this to avoid breathing in any dust.

Another way to get a smooth shelf is to brush two or three coats of warm water onto a kiln washed shelf. Let the shelf dry between coats.

This should give you a very smooth finish.
Always rinse your brush before using this method.

The kiln wash may be evenly sprayed with a spray gun on the shelf and the above methods used to smooth the shelf.

It is possible to fire polish the glass to smooth the surface.

The glass must be flipped over so that the bottom surface is now the top.

It is important that the fire polishing temperature is not too hot or held too long in the glass fusing kiln as the underside will become rough again or will be dull.

If it is too hot then the overall shape may be lost.

You should first practice this method on old fused glass items until you are sure of the polishing temperature and what it does to the glass.

The fire polishing schedule will depend on the glass size and type.

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