How to make the best outdoor paint reflector out there
A few months ago, I was walking down the sidewalk in the winter with my daughter and my husband.
As I passed the giant reflective glass that hangs from a truck’s roof, I noticed a few things: the reflector is a lot bigger than the truck’s windows, it’s a little darker, and it’s also a lot darker.
(It’s also, of course, much harder to make.)
So how do you make the perfect reflective glass?
I’d recommend using an epoxy.
But the best way is to use paint that will adhere to the glass and create a reflector.
The glass will look great in winter and summer, but it won’t hold up well to the sun.
“The best way to do it is to have an epoxied paint,” says Julie DeBruin, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Toronto.
The easiest way to get an epoxide to stick to a glass is to apply a paint thinner to the underside of the glass.
The thinner dries out, leaving a thin layer of epoxy that will stick to the reflectors surface.
If you’re using paint thinner, you can apply it right after the glass is dry.
But if you’re painting on a dry wall, DeBrugins suggests you first soak the paint in water, then add it to the epoxy before applying it.
You’ll see that it starts to stick and adhere to a coating of paint thinner that is already on the glass, but not yet applied.
“It will take time, so you want to wait until the paint is on the wall and not before you do it,” she says.
After the paint has dried, remove it from the wall using a small, light brush, and spray the surface with a thin coat of paint.
This paint can be applied over the glass or as a second coat.
“When you’re working on an epolluted glass, you have to apply it over the paint, because it doesn’t dry out,” DeBrushes says.
“And it has to be very strong to do that.
You can use a spray gun.”
As long as you don’t overdo it, this technique will work with any type of reflective glass.
“Epoxy paints are much stronger than the epoxies that are in most paint-retaining materials,” says DeBrizons co-founder and chief scientist, Ian Tregear.
“So it will hold up and not crack.
It won’t be brittle, and you can do some work on it afterwards.”
If you don’st want to use an epop, you may want to consider a paint that has a coating that absorbs water and keeps the paint from splitting or melting.
“If you’re going to use a paint, you want it to be something that’s a very thin layer that’s very light, which means that it won´t be absorbing the water,” DeBuis says.
If it’s too thin, the paint will get too wet.
“A paint that’s not very thin, and that doesn’t absorb enough water, will tend to crack and break,” she adds.
DeBuises team is developing an epo-based paint that they hope will be able to resist cracks and breakage over time.
“We are developing a paint for epoxy reflective glass, that’s supposed to last for years,” she explains.
The paint can also be used to create a thin coating that doesn´t penetrate the glass so it doesn´ t get scratched by snow and rain, and to provide a reflective surface that can be used as a base for other applications.
“You could paint a piece of paper onto the surface of a reflective glass and apply a layer of paint on top of that, or you could put it on top, but we are looking at something like a paint coating on top,” DeSoret says.
The company plans to start testing the new paint-enhanced reflective glass in summer 2019.
As of now, the only way to make a real-world version of this material is to buy it online, but DeBresos hopes to make it available in time for the fall.