Published – December 6, 2017
By Rhonda Beckman
I am in a paint dilemma. For years, I have been using an amazing paint made by Liquitex for painting glassware. It is the cream of the crop; top notch. I love its opacity, durability and glossiness. I have had people tell me that even though they’ve put their glassware through the wringer, so to speak, 15 years later, they’re still sipping from the same coffee cup and the paint is still as good as the day they bought the glass.
I order this paint from the same online company all of the time. When I put in my last order, they told me that the paint was not being made anymore and they would send me what they have left. That ended up not being so great, as they sent me old stock that was pretty well gummy or dried out and they wouldn’t give me a refund. That wasn’t impressive but beside the point. Ok, it was time to get serious. I need this paint. I contacted Liquitex and asked what the deal was. Why were they not making that paint anymore? Was it toxic? I was very worried that I had been inadvertently harming my customers one sip of coffee at a time. (But just so you know, I never put paint anywhere near the mouth of the glass, to ensure that your smackers never get near any paint.) They ensured me that no, the paint is definitely not toxic. They were not making the paint anymore because it simply wasn’t in demand. What am I? Chopped liver? If I love this paint, there’s got to be hundreds of others that do as well! “Now what?” I asked. She told me of another brand of paint to check out.
I went to Michaels online to check out that brand of paint. Can you believe that Michaels is not set up to accept online shopping orders? In today’s day and age? Fortunately my husband was heading to the city anyway so he popped into a Michaels to buy some for me. Sure enough, that brand of glassware paint was also not in stock. What? Weird. The customer service rep couldn’t really explain why. Ok, I will try another brand once I figure out what that brand will be. Meanwhile, I was on every glass painting page on Facebook asking strangers for advice and testing whatever brand I could get my hands on. There’s lots of paint available if I want a stained glass effect, but I don’t want a stained glass effect. This was getting ridiculous! Then my friend Drew went to the city and looked for another brand of paint for me and sent me a disappointing photo of a shelf at Michaels completely void of glass paint. What the heck is going on here?!
My research continued: I found a glass painting website and lo and behold, a woman dedicates her time to just testing glass paint and blogs about it. Awesome. She’ll definitely be able to help me. She contacted the company of the second brand I was going to try asking why they removed their product from the shelves. They responded to her promptly, because after all, she IS the glass paint lady. No paint company in their right mind will mess with her! This company told the glass paint lady that about 2 months ago the Canadian Environmental Department contacted them with a listing of items they were reviewing for export into Canada. A couple of their products have raw materials in them that were on their list of items they are banning from export into Canada. So they were re-adjusting their formulas and one of those products being re-adjusted was this brand of paint. They were hoping to re-stock the shelves soon. It sounds political to me…..
So now it’s a waiting game to have this product come back into Canada simply so I can buy a sampler of said product to see if it meets my opacity and durability test. I sure hope it does and I sure hope it isn’t too long of a wait to find out. But it just goes to show that being an artist is not just about sitting around in a studio drinking coffee and painting pretty pictures. We have to do a lot of hunting and investigating; especially in a small town where access to art supplies is not that much of a top priority in the big scheme of things. We are dealing with chemistry and politics so if you have one of my hand painted coffee cups, that’s awesome. You have a hand painted, usable art piece that may truly be more of a one of a kind than you even know. Heck, I didn’t even know it until recently!
Update! Just as I was writing this, no word of a lie, Drew contacted me to tell me that the shelves ARE re-stocked and that she is going to pick up some paint for me! I will get to test out this paint before Christmas. Wish me luck on my glass painting adventure that this brand is exactly what I’m looking for.