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5 Best Tips for Applying Glitter to Epoxy Free Tumblers

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Hey Babes!

I can't believe it's already March! March is a very special month to me because its my anniversary of making the switch to epoxy-free tumblers!

Time flies when you're having fun, and just like that I am THREE years epoxy-free! March marks year 3 of using the CrystaLac company products. I started with Bright Tone and now my go-to is Grande Finale 2.0. These products have really been my saving grace for me to continue making beautiful pieces of art safely in my home.

In honor of my THREE year anniversary I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks on how I get those amazing glitter tumblers I am known and loved for! Lets dive in...

Why Epoxy-Free Products?

Before we get into the glitter I want to remind you about why I made the switch from epoxy to the CrystaLac Company.

Safety was the first and most important reason for me to make the switch to non-toxic, water-based products... the safety of my family, myself, and YOU! But safety wasn't my only reason for making the switch. Epoxy free is non-toxic, can be used indoors, and is safe to use around kids and pets. Honestly, the safety, dry time and ease of using Epoxy-free is what sold me and I don't have any reason to go back to epoxy tumblers at this point. Almost no one can tell the difference between epoxy free and epoxy!

Some of my favorite Epoxy-Free Supplies

Ok babes. Here are a few supplies you need to get creating a glitter tumbler. I have a WHOLE LIST of supplies you need and NEEEEED on the blog post I wrote about creating your first epoxy-free tumbler, The Ultimate Guide to Creating your First Epoxy Free Tumbler

Things you definitely need:

  1. Grande Finale 2.0

  2. Tumblers

  3. Glitter

  4. Brushes

  5. Decals

  6. Glitter Glue

  7. Sanding pads (400 grit)

  8. Low grit sanding pads

Things you neeeeeed:

  1. Tumbler Prep

One of the first steps and one of the post import ones when making glitter tumblers is prepping your tumblers first. You don't want to have done all this work and the glitter doesn't even stick to your tumbler!

You can prep your tumbler by one of the following;

  • Hand sand with a higher grit sand paper. Then wash with dawn dish soap and towel dry with a lint free rag or coffee filter (be sure to use protective gear when sanding. The elements can easily be breathed in and can cause damage).

  • Spray your tumbler with 2-3 light coats of Zinsser Shellac

  • Use a product like Krud Cutter to eat away the factory coating.

Your tumbler needs to be base painted with something that will properly adhere to metal. Acrylic paint will NOT do because it doesn't have those adhesion properties and could peel off in the future. Let's do this right and start off with one of these:

  • Universal White (alone or mixed with pigments)

  • Flip N Awesome Paint & Primers (Pre-colored paints)

  • Spray Paint (Needs to off-gas 24-48hrs)

  • One of the Crystalac colored glosses

  • Grande Finale 2.0 (you can go right into glittering with Grande Finale 2.0 on a stainless tumbler BUT I personally don't recommend this)

Pro tip: I spray all my tumblers with Universal White Restoleum paint and then sand them down as soon as they arrive. This way when I'm ready to design a tumbler it is ready to go- I don't have to wait for it to gas-off after painting.

2.Applying with Britetone

I love applying my glitter with Brite tone! Brite tone is thinner and easier to work with.

I keep Brite tone stored in a condiment bottle for easy application.

  1. I apply a thin coat over my sanded and prepped tumbler with my finger while my tumbler is on the turner horizontally.

  2. I allow the tumbler to spin a few rotations to self level and even out before I start to apply my glitter.

  3. Hold your bottle of glitter up high and shake it out so that it falls flat on the tumbler.

3. Ombre

I love doing ombre glitter tumblers! They are colorful, glittery and so much fun! So over time I have come up with some tricks to creating them.

  1. While my tumbler is still on the turner after allying brite tone I set out where I want my colors to go.

  2. To get that great ombre effect I add my glitter to a tea strainer. You hold your tumbler at an angle, gentle tap the tea strainer and the glitter waterfalls out.

4. Get your glitter to lay flat

When you are creating glitter tumblers is really import for your glitter to lay flat on the tumbler. Once you have applied your glitter, let dry for one hour and then "smoosh" your glitter down flat. You can do this by rolling the tumbler parchment paper and pushing glitter flat with your palms, using a brayer or a flat object like a credit card.

5. Glitter Glue

I love using Glitter Glue to apply glitter for more detailed designs like templates, areas that I need to tape off, or even a simple one color glitter tumbler.

  1. I apply the glitter glue with a damp WetnWild blush brush. This helps the glue glide on and prevent streaks.

  2. Again you want your glitter to lay flat. Apply your glitter, let dry for one hour and then "smoosh" your glitter down flat. You can do this by rolling the tumbler parchment paper and pushing glitter flat with your palms, using a brayer or a flat object like a credit card.

  3. Wait another hour (2 hours dry time total), dry brush and then go in with another coat of glitter glue to seal or right into your first coat of Grande Finale 2.0.

If another application of glitter is needed after your first coat simply dry brush off excess glitter, apply another coat of glitter glue and glitter repeating the process above after that 2hr dry time.


Once you have your glitter as flat as possible and sealed, if needed, you can move onto your top coat of Grand Finale 2.0!

Our layers need to be thin (approximately 2 pieces of paper thin) and have 2 hours dry time in between coats.

Each coat of Grande Finale will be dry to the touch in one hour. You can easily take your tumbler off your turner and set aside upside down to dry for the next hour or so and move onto other projects. We need to keep our coats thin so that we're setting our tumbler up for success.

Apply your coats of Grande Finale until you feel your glitter is covered and you won't scratch it. For chunky glitter this will take longer, for fine glitter you should be good for your first sand after about 4 coats.

Per the CrystaLac Comapny: Properly prepping your tumbler is a critical step before using any paints or topcoats on it. Stainless tumblers have a factory waterproof coating on them that needs to be completely removed prior to painting. Plastic, glass and ceramic also need to be scuff sanded. We suggest a thorough sanding using 80 to 220 grit sandpaper to ruff up the surface and then wipe clean with Surface Conditioner or wash off with dawn dish soap to remove any traces of dust or fingerprints. Apply CrystaLac products at room temperature minimum of (68 to 75 degrees) and allow 4 hours drying time between coats of paint and/or finish. Apply thin coats. Finishes will self-level as they dry. Do Not Use heat guns to force drying. Full cure is 30 days. You can gently use before that, but it will continue to harden over a 30 day period. Hand wash only with soap and water. Dry immediately and do not submit tumblers to extreme heat. All products manufactured by The CrystaLac Company are Non-Toxic, Non-Hazardous, FDA compliant, Non-Yellowing and completely safe to use indoors. Use a mask when sanding or spraying. We are a family owned company based here in the USA that has been making environmentally safe coatings for over 30 years.


Again, I am so excited for you to take on this new adventure, my friend! 2023 is going to be filled with tons of tutorials and DIY projects, so be sure to sign up with my newsletter!

Talk soon, babes!


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