Fused Glass Kiln Shelf Paper – Bullseye vs. Economy Brand

When I first started glass fusing, there were a lot of expenses getting set up. Initially, I bought some products because they were more economical than others. Kiln shelf paper was one of them. I reasoned that there really couldn’t be that much of a difference between them. Or could there be?

The “economy” shelf paper I first bought seemed to work fine. But I really had nothing to compare it too. When I ran out I bought some Bullseye Thinfire brand shelf paper. Guess what? There really is a difference.

First, the Bullseye shelf paper lays flatter and doesn’t fold up much when the kiln heats up. With the economy brand I had some issues with the shelf paper folding over on top of my glass. I started to weight down my corners after that. Second, clean up was easier with the Bullseye paper. The economy paper seemed to hang onto the back of my pieces. When I picked them up from the shelf the fiber paper would disintegrate floating into the air. You definitely don’t want to breathe this stuff in! The Bullseye paper was more intact after a firing and stayed on the shelf when I picked up my pieces. This made it easy to clean my small 7” shelf by gently sliding the used shelf paper into a trash bag. Then I use a spray bottle with water to dampen a sheet of paper towel. I place the paper towel down flat on the shelf covering it completely and slide the paper towel into a trash bag. This method cleans any leftover shelf paper and keeps the dust down. And last but not least, the Bullseye shelf paper leaves a smoother surface on the back of my glass pieces.

So it may cost a bit more, but it is definitely worth it to me. If you have one of the small 8” kilns and would like to try some of this paper for yourself, you can purchase a package of 10 sheets or 20 sheets sized to fit your 7” kiln shelf.

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3 thoughts on “Fused Glass Kiln Shelf Paper – Bullseye vs. Economy Brand

  1. Kirsten Smith says:

    What do you do if economy kiln shelf paper folds over the top of your glass and leaves a texture? Can you simply fire the piece again, or is it ruined?

    • Margot says:

      You would be surprised what can be saved! Remove the texture and refire to shine up the glass again. I would sand blast the piece. If you don’t have a sandblaster, try using some etching cream. Or you could use diamond hand pads. You’ll have to slow down the ramp-up on the refire. For two layers (6mm) I use 300 degrees F. per hour. I now cut my shelf paper to be no more than 1/2 inch larger than my piece, or I weigh down the corners with a small piece of scrap glass.

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