Do you want to know the ins and outs of painting glass items? Glass paint is a great way to transform glass objects or make glass art. I have done several glass painting projects over the years and I’m going to share things you will want to know to be successful.
What is the best way to paint glass?
HOW DO YOU PREPARE GLASS FOR PAINTING?
Start by cleaning the glass you will be painting.
- Wash with soapy water
- Wipe clean with rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol) to free the glass of all dirt, oil, dust, and debris If you like you can clean it with white vinegar as well. This will help with the best adhesion.
Painting Glass Video
SHOULD I PRIME GLASS BEFORE PAINTING?
You need to have a clean surface, but you do not have to prime glass if you buy paint that is safe for glass
WHAT IS THE BEST PAINT FOR GLASS?
Picking paint for your project is a very important step. There are a lot of choices that can be found at your local craft store. The type of paint you choose really depends on where the project will go. Here are some questions to answer to help you pick the right paint for the project.
- Will your painted glass be a decoration?
- Will it get heavy traffic, or used heavily?
- Will the paint be on the inside or the outside of the glass?
Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to select your paint.
WHAT IS THE BEST PAINT TO USE ON MASON JARS OR GLASS JARS?
HERE ARE SOME TYPES OF PAINT FOR PAINTING GLASS:
- Glass Paint
- Acrylic Paint
- Spray Paint
- Chalk Paint
- Water-Based Paints
- Acrylic Enamel Paint or different types of paint that are safe for glass
- Oil-Based paints
Check the label on the back of the paint to see if the glass is on the list.
Once you’ve selected your paint and you’ve cleaned the glass you can begin painting. It’s always a good idea to follow the instructions on the back of the paint. These instructions include how long to wait between coats, as well as cure times to help the paint stick to the glass. Some paints require days of air drying time and others require baking. Failure to read the instructions and follow them may result in the paint peeling or scratching off.
These mason jars were painted to look like fruit for summer drinking glasses – How To Make Fruit Mason Jar Glasses with Video
HOW DO YOU PAINT GLASS WITHOUT BRUSH STROKES?
The best method to avoid brush strokes is to use a fine bristle brush. You can also sand lightly between coats to eliminate those unwanted lines. Paint pouring is another technique and you will not have any brush stroke marks. You do this by pouring the paint over the glass and letting it dry naturally. You can see my paint pouring instructions in this tutorial – DIY Hand Soap Dispenser
CAN YOU PAINT GLASS WITH CHALK PAINT?
Some chalk paints are safe for glass and others are not. Check the label on the back to pick a chalk paint that is safe for glass.
CAN YOU SEAL CHALK PAINT WITH MODGE PODGE?
Chalk paint and acrylic paint that are safe for painting glass don’t need to be sealed. If you are worried, or if it is glass that will be heavily used, you can coat it with a thin coat of Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge following the instruction on the bottle. Using this will allow it to be top-rack dishwasher safe.
Do you want to see how to chalk paint and distress bottles? Check out this post – How To Paint Mason Jars and Distress Them
HOW DO YOU REVERSE PAINT ON GLASS?
Reverse painting is a technique where you paint on the backside of the glass so there is a layer of clear glass in front, then the paint. These were recycled bottles and I reverse painted them by pouring the paint into the bottle and twisting the bottle to coat the entire surface inside. I then poured out the excess and let the bottles air dry completely. This gave the bottles a nice smooth finish. You can find this full tutorial here – DIY Pumpkin Decor Using A Glass Bottle
HOW DO YOU CURE PAINT ON GLASS?
Make sure to check the back of your paint bottle and follow the directions for the specific cure times. A cure time can range from several hours to several days.
If you want to see how to paint on glass bottles check out this post – Easy and Beautiful Bottle Painting
WHAT KIND OF PAINT DO YOU USE FOR A FAUX STAINED GLASS EFFECT?
I’m a big fan of Gallery Glass. There are many ways to work with it from traditional to more fun and unique. I had fun finger painting with it in this post – Faux Stain Glass Sun Catcher where I dipped my fingers in the different colors and smeared them on the back of the picture frame glass (also another example of reverse painting on glass).
You can mix food coloring and glue together for a glass painting project. This technique is not permanent and can be washed off, which makes it a great option for small seasonal changes in your home. It will also sun fade so cannot be used outdoors. You can see the tutorial for this technique here – Easy Way To Color Glass
DOES FROSTED GLASS SPRAY PAINT WORK?
Yes, frosted glass spray paint does work, and I’ve used it to create a couple of fun projects. I will tell you that it will wash off the glass and isn’t good for bathroom privacy. If you’re looking for a frosted look that is permanent, I would recommend painting the glass with etching cream which is really easy and permanent. You can find an example of this here – Easy Glass Etching DIY with Video
CAN YOU USE SPRAY PAINT ON GLASS?
You can spray paint glass. One of my favorites is mirror glass spray paint. Look at the label to make sure the brand is good for glass surfaces. You can see my mirror glass spray paint project here – $5 Inspirational Wall Art
Want more information on how to paint glass? Check out my friend Andrea from Design Morsels post, How To Paint Glass
Find out “What Exactly Does It Mean To Repurpose Or Upcycle“, save money, and create the most amazing things.
Painting Glass Supplies
Shop any of these stores and I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Painting Glass Tips
Where to find inspiration for your DIY – If you struggle with ideas for painting glass, then it is important to find inspiration before starting. You won’t want to get halfway through your design and run out of ideas. Therefore, looking for painting ideas for people just starting their acrylic painting journeys will help you find inspiration if you want to be creative yourself. Look online or in books to find something that inspires you and begin once you know exactly what you want to do.
What are some other craft projects you can paint
- glass windows
- wine bottle
- picture frames
- thrift store vases and candle holders
- candle holder
- Mugs, glasses, and drinkware
Glass painting tips
- Make sure to clean glass surface
- You can remove paint with a razor blade
- Cover areas with masking tape or painter’s tape where you don’t want paint.
- Glasses are non-porous surfaces, you’ll want to pick a paint-safe for glass so it bonds to the smooth surface.
- For durability, consider a top coat like a dishwasher-safe Mod Podge, acrylic sealer, etc.
Other painting glass supplies to consider:
- paper towel
- warm water to rinse brushes
- latex gloves
- spray-on sealant
- fine tipped paint brushes
Types of best options for glass paint recommendations:
- acrylic glass paint – Folk Art and Apple Barrel Multi-surface Paint
- glass paint markers or paint pens
Painting glass is a wonderful project to do with kids, and update the glasses you drink your beverages out of. Whether you have a large area or a small one, this is a great way to display that beautiful artwork. So instead of creating another canvas (and you only have so much wall space), why not consider painting glass?
I hope this inspires you to try some glass painting of your own. I’d love it if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel and my blog. Thanks for watching and reading, and I’ll see you in my next post and video, and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.