A year or so ago, I found a cute little bar cart at an estate sale. I cleaned it up and gave it a coat of hammered copper spray paint. Getting the layers of paint off of the wheels almost killed my finger tips. I liked the way it turned out, but after a while it began to feel a bit insubstantial for the space.
My dining room is small (like the rest of the house) so it was a good thing that the cart was small. Since it is very delicate in its design with glass shelves and thin wire supports, it sometimes appeared to be too weak to hold all of the bottles and glasses.
I have been thinking about back painting glass for a while now, though mostly as a way to make my coffee table look a little nicer. I thought I could back paint the glass shelves black to make them a little "glammier"-a little bit of black never hurt a room.
Since I can't choose the easy route for any project around the house, I also decided to add some copper and faux malachite details to give it a little "oomph." I am loving the malachite trend that is happening right now and wanted to work it into the house somehow without committing too much since it might be totally "out" in a couple years. I looked up some faux malachite painting tutorials and they all seemed to have a similar technique. I used this one, but apparently didn't read the directions closely enough- we'll get to that in a minute.
Now since I am painting on the back of glass you have to do everything backwards so that it shows up right. This means that the first step is to paint the copper edges. I taped off two concentric squares about an 1/8" wide and used scrap paper to mask off the rest of the glass. I used the same spray paint that I used to paint the cart but you can certainly use regular paint. In fact, none of the paint I used is really designed for glass (see: hasty crafter above) so I don't really know how long this will last, but I am hoping that it being on the underside of the glass and not on the side that gets used will help. While that paint was still slightly wet I peeled off the tape in the space where the malachite would go. A bit of paint got under the tape (don't ask me how) so I cleaned that up with an exacto knife.
Once it finished drying, I started with the malachite. I started with the last step which is the dark green swirls. If I had ready the directions more closely, I would have seen that it said to cover the whole area with the glaze and then scrape it off with the torn cardboard to create the swirls. My method was to use the torn cardboard as a brush and use it to spread the glaze onto the glass. I'd recommend the original method since mine came out with significant areas without any glaze on them.
After the glaze dried, I covered over the glaze with opaque light green acrylic paint. The colors I used were phthalocyanine green, black and acrylic gloss medium for the glaze and phthalo green and white for the base (which goes on top in this backwards method). While the paint was still a bit wet I peeled off the tape and paper for the parts that are going to be painted black. You may need to use an exacto to score the paint so that it doesn't come up with the tape. Once it was fully dry, I took both shelves outside and spray painted the rest black. FYI, don't try to do this when it is beginning to snow like I did. These are not remotely ideal conditions for painting. I brought them inside to finish drying, but I would recommend waiting for a warmer, dryer day and doing it all outside.