How to Add Colour to Your Sepia Decals

While the sepia decals look fantastic on their own, you may wish to at least highlight a particular element in your design with some colour.

There are a couple of methods I will suggest here, and they each have pros and cons, but more importantly I am giving you just some starting points. With a little imagination and testing these methods can be expanded to produce some incredible results.

Let’s assume you have a rich sepia image that includes a single red rose. Maybe a garden scene with a close-up on that single rose. But you want that rose to be red.

Incorporate Full Colour Decals

There’s a huge range of fusible full colour decals, and plain colour decal paper, available on the market. You can use these in combination with your sepia decals.

You can actually apply these in layers, over each other, or just side by side.

If you are not layering decals over each other then it is very simple. Just apply the decal where ever required.

But if you want to layer decals I find it best to allow each layer to dry before applying the next. It is possible to apply them all at the same time, but I had a little issue with lining up the decals and removing the bubbles.

Layered decals may take longer to dry so be sure they are fully dry before firing.

So your red rose could be a full colour red rose decal layered over your garden scene.

You could also consider using coloured decal paper and cut out fill-in pieces for your design. For example, you could cut out a piece of red decal paper and position it under the rose in your sepia decal.

With a little thought you can see that incorporating full colour decals, or part of a decal, and plain coloured decal paper, offers a hug range of creative opportunities.

Just be sure to fire to the lowest possible temperature. The brand of coloured decal you use will determine this.

Colour in with Enamel Glass Paints or Frit

This method is the application and firing of enamel glass paint or fine frit to selected areas.Generally, you would determine where on the glass you need the colour and then apply and fire the enamel or frit in place.

Then you would apply the sepia decal over that.

Having said this. You could have two decals exactly the same and consider firing one decal on first as a guide. Fill in the relevant areas with enamel or frit and fire. Then apply the second decal, line it up with the first and fire that on.

Doing this will strengthen the sepia image, as long as you line it up well. It is possible that you may not need the second if the first didn’t substantially fade with the second firing.

In Summary

There are so many combinations of these methods that you could use. I colour is your thing I suggest you give these a go and experiment on small pieces. I would love to see how you go so please let us know.

  • Use two decals but deliberately misalign them.
  • Apply enamel in broad strokes, not trying to align exactly with image outlines.
  • Use colours unexpectedly. A polka dot rose!
  • Use transparent enamel or frit when applying over decals.
  • Use coarse transparent frit. As it melts into the surface it gives depth.