How To Paint On Glass

How To Paint On Glass

Because of its smooth texture and transparency, glass is a fabulous surface to paint on! You can paint on all sorts of glass surfaces including windows, tumblers, vases and jars, making it a great way to customise all sorts of homewares to your liking.

At Spotlight we've got a great collection of glass paints and acrylic paints for you to choose from, in a wide range of colours that makes painting glass easy. From your shop front window to your favourite set of wine glasses, glass paint can be used to improve all sorts of glassware, both in and out of the home!

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What Kinds Of Glass Can You Paint On?

Technically you can paint on any glass you find, but there are some that are better than others!

If you want to start painting glass, you should paint on:

  • Home windows: You can paint on the windows of your home to show off your designs to everyone who passes! Kids will love decorating the windows of their bedroom, while decorating your front windows for holidays like Christmas and Easter is always a fun activity for the family to enjoy. Use chalk paints and markers if you want to be able to wipe off your designs afterwards.
  • Glass tumblers and wine glasses: Personalise your glass drinking cups with glass paint to create unique vessels perfect for use at home or even as a gift! Make sure to only decorate the outside and leave a rim of unpainted glass around the top, as you don't want the paint to touch anything that will actually be going inside your mouth.
  • Glass vases: Glass vases are quite elegant as is, but you can add your own designs using glass paint. This makes them even better for showcasing flowers, fairy lights and other home decor!
  • Mason jars: Mason jars are small but very useful for all kinds of storage, and painting them makes them look great too! Use your finished mason jar to store stationery, a small bouquet or even kitchen utensils.

You shouldn't paint on:

  • Shower screens: While they are made of glass, you won't be able to bake a shower screen to set the paint, meaning water may cause your design to degrade. Plus you don't want your bathroom smelling like paint!
  • Dinnerware and drinkware on the inside: Many glass paints are not safe to eat, so you should never use them to decorate the inside of plates, bowls and cups, as well as larger vessels like glass baking trays or jugs.

Montana Frosted Glass Effect Semi-Translucent Paint

What Paint To Use On Glass?

Can you use acrylic paint on glass? Or does it have to be a specialised craft paint? You can use both specialised glass paints or acrylic paint on glass, but when choosing what paint to use on glass, we'd always recommend glass paint as it is formulated to stay on the smooth surface, and can often be cured by baking. Glass paints come in three different forms - here's a quick breakdown of each.

Liquid paint

This paint is your traditional paint that comes from a bottle or tube. It is creamy and easy to spread using a paintbrush or paint roller, plus you can mix the colours on a paint palette beforehand to create your own shades. Many liquid glass paints will show the strokes of your brush as it dries, which can create an interesting and more rustic-looking texture on your glassware. If you don't want these marks, try applying the paint using a sponge dabber or roller instead of a bristle brush.

Spray paint

Spray paint provides a smooth, even coat of colour to your glassware, but like with all aerosols you need to ensure you're using it in a well-ventilated area. Glass spray pants are very useful if you are trying to cover a large area of glass with paint quickly, especially if you are going for a frosted look. Art stencils can also be useful in these cases, as you can quickly cover them with paint and then peel them off to reveal the clear space underneath.

Paint markers

These handy markers can be used to apply your paint with the precision of a chisel or bullet-tipped marker or pen, giving you more control than you would with a brush. Many of these are described as 'chalk markers', creating a matte, thick line on glass as well as materials like plastic or metal. They're very handy for use by businesses that like to write on their shop front windows or on a glass special board as they can be wiped off with a damp cloth when needed. This also means they're not permanent so don't use chalk paint or markers for items you will have to wash!

How To Paint On Glass

While you should always follow the specific instructions on your glass paint, here are some general steps you can follow to ensure that, when painting on glass, your artwork always looks as bright and clear as possible!

  1. Wash your glassware using soap and hot water to remove any dust, dirt or stains. Once dry, wipe over with some rubbing alcohol to remove any old watermarks or oil from your fingers.
  2. You may like to create a design for you to 'trace' - use paper to make your design, then insert it into the glass and smooth it out so it is sitting flush against the glass. You can then use it as a guide when you paint. You can also tape off areas you don't want to paint or add a stencil.
  3. Start painting! Create a thin, even layer of paint first, then let it dry. Do not try to paint over an area that already has wet paint on it, as you'll just move or even remove the paint that is already there.
  4. Once the first layer has dried, paint another and continue this layering and drying process until the colours are as smooth and bright as you desire.
  5. If you have used a stencil or tape, remove them while the paint is semi-dry. If you wait until the paint has fully dried your paint may lift as you remove the stencil!
  6. If needed, cure the glassware in the oven when finished. Be very careful if you do this, as the glass will be very hot after curing - let it cool in an open oven before removing it.

Chalk paint can be removed using a damp cloth even when dry. If you have used another paint, let it dry and realise you've made a mistake, try scraping it off using a sharp knife or razor. Do not scrape too hard, as you don't want to scratch the glass!

Decorating glass cups with acrylic paint

Start Painting On Glass With Spotlight!

Are you ready to start painting on glass? Spotlight has everything you need for painting glass online - safely pay and we'll deliver your order straight to your front door. Otherwise, visit your nearest Spotlight store and our friendly team will help you find everything you need to paint on glass in person.

For more information on our art and craft products, read our buying guides on paints and mediums, paint brushes and pens, pencils and markers. And if it's artistic inspiration you're after, make sure to check out our blogs on acrylic paint mediums, how to mix paint colours and how to paint on fabric.




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