How To Sublimate On Glass | Complete Guide (2022)

how to sublimate on glass
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Have you ever wanted to turn your favorite photos and artwork into something special? Here’s your chance.

Printing your designs and images on the glass will give them a really attractive appearance.

It’s a very unique and well-liked method. You’d be surprised by seeing how beautiful the outcome looks at the end.

Well, how to sublimate on glass? It’s an easy query! Right. But the answer is trickier than you imagine.

There are a lot of factors to look at while sublimating on glass.

Little errors may lead to disappointing outcomes and a waste of time and money.

Luckily for you, I have prepared this complete article explaining how it works and an easy step-by-step guide to follow so that you can sublimate on glass with ease.

What Is Sublimation Printing & Why We Choose It

Before moving on to our step-by-step guide to sublimate on glass, it’s essential to know what sublimation printing is and why we choose it over other methods.

SUBLIMATION PRINTING is a fantastic and trendy printing technique that allows printing on a variety of materials like fabrics, metals, glass, plastics, and many more.

It’s a popular printing technique that has been around for years, but in the last few years, it has gained much popularity.

Its results are extremely vibrant, nice-looking, and attractive. Moreover, it’s very durable.

Why We Choose Sublimation Over Other Methods

There are a ton of ways to print on glass, like Screen Printing, Digital Printing, and many more.

So why choose sublimation over them? Choosing the right printing method normally depends on the quantity of the prints, Glass quality, and printing budget.

For example, Screen Printing is used for bulk printing, so its initial setup requires high costs (Thousands Of Dollars).

On the other hand, Sublimation Printing is used for low-volume printing (normally at homes), and its initial setup doesn’t require much investment.

As of today, I am just talking about low-volume printing. That’s why I choose sublimation over other methods.

Another main reason for choosing the sublimation printing method is because it’s a simple and easy process.

It’s so easy to do. Even someone without prior knowledge can do it easily by reading the instructions outlined below. So, keep reading!

How To Sublimate On Glass | Step-By-Step Guide

Let’s move on to our step-by-step guide on sublimation printing on glass.  The overall process is very straightforward.

Follow the steps below correctly, and you will get the perfect results.

Required Things

To sublimate on glass, you must have the following things available.

required things, vector
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1- Sublimation Printer

First, you must have a sublimation printer to print your image on paper.

You can’t use regular inkjet printers for sublimation. However, you can convert them to a sublimation printer.

Here is a guide to help you convert a printer to a sublimation printer.

Or, if you are looking to buy a new sublimation printer, check out these best printers for sublimation

2- Sublimation Paper

Secondly, you need a sublimation paper on which your image will be printed.

Don’t use regular plain paper for printing.

They give the lowest result. Always try to use the best sublimation paper for sublimation printing. 

3- Glass

The third thing you will need is the glass blank for sublimation. You can use two types of glasses for sublimation.

The first one is the ready-made glasses for sublimation available on the market.

Ready-made glasses mean they already have the vinyl applied.

You just need to print on them. They are of various sizes and shapes, like a heart shape glass, clock glass, and many more.

The second one is ordinary glass. It can be any glass. You cannot use this glass directly for printing.

You have to apply a vinyl layer on it first. After that, you can do sublimation on it.

4- Rapid Tac

Rapid Tac is only required if you use ordinary glass.

It avoids the rapid sticking of vinyl, giving enough time to align the vinyl properly. 

If you don’t use Rapid Tac, there is a high chance that unnecessary bubbles appear after sticking of vinyl. And it ultimately results in low output.

5- Vinyl

Vinyl is a must when you use ordinary glass. You cant directly sublimate on glass.

There are many different quality vinyls available on the market.

However, I recommend using the Oracle 651 vinyl as it gives the best results. 

6- Heat Tapes

Heat tapes are essential in getting a perfect sublimation result.

They fix the image with the glass and avoid unnecessary movements.

Movement is the enemy of sublimation, so always use heat tapes to avoid unwanted movements.

Note: Don’t use normal tapes. They may burn during sublimation. Always use heat-resistant tapes.

7- Heat Press

Lastly, you need a heat press to sublimate the image on the glass. 

Step# 1 (Image Printing)

Turn on your sublimation printer and check that it has plenty of ink because if it’s low on ink, it can’t be able to print bright images.

1- Open the desired image on your computer. Try to make it slightly bigger than the glass size and make sure it’s of high resolution. 

2- Don’t mirror the image while printing. While sublimating on the glass, you don’t need to mirror the image.

3- Put the sublimation paper inside the printer and print your image. Remember to print in high quality and turn any fast printing mode off.

4- After printing, cut the image one inch greater than the glass size. And your final image should look like this.

eagle image on paper
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Step# 2 (Vinyl Application)

If printing on ordinary glass, you must apply a vinyl layer to it. Follow the steps outlined below to apply vinyl properly on the glass. Ignore this step if you are printing on ready-made sublimation glasses.

1- Take your glass and clean it with alcohol. If you don’t have alcohol, use body sprays or perfumes. Remember to clean the glass with light hands and don’t put any scratches on the glass.

cleaning glass
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2- Take Rapid Tac and spray it on the glass.

3- Take the vinyl and separate the vinyl sticker. Stick it on the glass. Make sure to cover the whole glass.

applying vinyl to glass
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4- After sticking, take any squeegee or card and remove any bubbles that appear between the vinyl and the glass.

applying vinyl, squeegee
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5- Leave the glass for several minutes for the proper sticking of vinyl.

6- And after all, cut the excess vinyl with a cutter.

Step# 3 (Final Printing Process)

Now you have the glass ready for printing. So let’s print on it.

1- Take the glass, printed image, and heat tapes.

2- Align the image properly over the vinyl side of the glass and fix it with heat tape.

fixing image on glass, heat tapes
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3- Now turn your heat press on and set its temperature between 360 to 380 degrees. Temperature varies from material to material. So always use the temperature suitable for your glass.

4- If you don’t know the suitable temperature for the glass you are using. Go with 370 to 380 degrees.

5- Take the glass and place it inside the heat press in a way that the image side touches the base of the heat press.

putting glass inside heat press
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6- Place the butcher paper over the glass and press it for 90 seconds using medium pressure.

putting butcher paper, heat press
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7- After pressing open the heat press, don’t touch the glass. It would be hot. Instead, use any towel or something to hold it.

8- Remove the heat tapes and take off the image from the glass.

9- And congrats on finishing.

printed glass, eagle image
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can you sublimate to all types of glasses?

    Probably yes, you can sublimate on most of the glasses. However, some steps of the process might be different for some glasses, like the temperature, pressure, and vinyl quality. But almost all glasses can be sublimated by the method discussed in this article.

  • What should be the optimal temperature and pressure to sublimate on glass?

    The optimal temperature and pressure to sublimate on glass are around 360 to 370 degrees and medium pressure. However, it varies from material to material. So always ask the suitable temperature and pressure from the shopkeeper you purchased the blank.

Final Words

Phew! Now you have learned how to sublimate on glass. This process takes time, but the results you would get by sublimating on glass are absolutely mind-blowing.

You can go ahead and create amazing designs on glass. You can be as creative as you want! There are no limits.

Just maintain a few precautions, and just like everything else in life, practice makes a man perfect.

If you have any tips or tricks of your own, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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About Shoaib Saqib

Hello there! It's Shoaib, the creator of PrinterTip. I am a printing expert and have worked in the printing business for more than five years. I have completed tens of thousands of printing tasks and have an extensive understanding of secrets. And I love writing about printing, mostly Sublimation Printing.

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