Kiln washing the floor of
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Kiln washing the floor of the kiln protects it in case glass “somehow” gets on the kiln floor — a high fire mishap, piece of glass that breaks and lands on the floor, etc. If you coat it well, that kiln wash will last a very long time.
The shelf that you fire on needs to have some sort of separator — kiln wash, fiber paper, Thinfire/Papyros, or boron nitride. Molds need to be kiln-washed or BN’d, too. I know some people recommend kiln-washing a shelf even when using another separator (paper), but I don’t. Maybe I’m tempting fate .
When a surface you have kilnwashed gets a chip or starts flaking, it’s time to remove the kiln wash and recoat (for the kiln floor, just recoat — no need to have a smooth surface since you aren’t firing on it — it’s just there for mishaps). Kilnwash on a slumping mold will last a fairly long time if you handle the molds with care, since you are firing to typically around 1225 deg F. Surfaces used during full fusing will need KW more often since it will eventually break down at higher temps.
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