I’ve used many products for raised stenciling but my new infatuation is with glass bead gel. Glass bead gel is a paste that is formed with microscopic glass beads to give you a unique texture for any type of medium. The one I use specifically is from Modern Masters Inc. The technique for applying it is much like one for any type of paste. The texture you get once the gel has dried is a smooth and durable. I love running my fingers over the surfaces where I have applied glass bead gel and it feels like braille.
The gel is translucent so if applied on by itself it will give you a sparkly, textured surface. The effect is rather stunning . I usually mix my bead gel with a bit of metallic paint so that it has color but still has the pearlescent sheen. The ratio is roughly 1 tsp to 1/2 cup. You don’t need a lot because the paste is translucent, so it picks up the color easily without diluting it as if you were using white colored paste. It will also darken as it dries so the color you see initially isn’t an accurate gauge on how it will look upon finish.
I love using stencils with the glass bead gel to get sharp and amazing patterns with a definite wow factor. I use 3M spray adhesive on the backs of my stencils first so that they will be fixed in place with no bleed through to mar the crispness of the fine details. It also doesn’t leave behind sticky residue that will ruin your surface. I apply the paste with a spatula and use a trowel to get it evenly on. When I peel off the stencil, the design that emerges is always stunning. There’s no need to topcoat the dried bead gel surface as it is impossible to scratch once fully cured.
To me, the bead gel surface looks like sea foam. It’s a luxurious product that gives any surface depth, dimension, texture, and color. If you haven’t tried raised stenciling with it, it’s a must on the check list.