It seems strange to think that there’s black, blacker black and blackest black. It’s hard enough to say, let alone think about!

But which is the blackest paint for glass?

Reusche says, “The most opaque glass paint is, of course, DE458 Tracing Black Best.”

Of course. I asked Stephen Byrne, of Williams & Byrne, the glass painting gurus, what he thought. Stephen said, “I can’t really understand why black should be such a virtue since, seen against the light, the contrast will make most opaque lines (even colors such as green) seem black.

“Yes, for restoration and detailed work, it’s important. But certainly not that important for us. As you know, we mix DE401 Tracing Black with brown so that it is not so black. When the two colors start to separate, we have a visual reminder to keep mixing our paint. Fact is, it’s well-mixed paint which helps so much to get your tracing lines exactly where your want them, so pure black isn’t very helpful here.”

Albinas Elskus, in his classic book “The Art of Painting on Glass”, says of DE401 Tracing Black: “True black… superb for tracing with water or vinegar… The quality of this pigment is very impressive. In more than one way it surpasses DE458.”

We heard from a contact, Susie Clark, that Frank Reusche, who was a dear friend of hers considered Stencil Black to be the blackest.

Maybe best to decide for yourself!

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