Painting on glass: everything you need to know

Do you like to do crafts? In this article we will talk about glass painting, a technique that allows you to create impressive works.

Last update: October 24, 2021

Glass is a very versatile material for artistic work because its transparency can generate beautiful effects with light. In addition, with it you can create thousands of objects with different shapes and multiple uses. In this article we will teach you how to paint on glass for home decoration.

Art has a major impact on personal well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), performing artistic tasks helps prevent the appearance of mental illnesses and physical deterioration. Likewise, as a therapy it is useful for the management of neurological diseases.

On the other hand, it is also essential in motor, mental and emotional development in children. So if you have a couple of bottles, fish bowls, plates or any glass object at home, you will need a good disposition, time and the correct materials. If you want to paint on glass with children it is important that you have the necessary precautions so that there are no accidents.

Materials for painting on glass

Although creativity is the most important thing when making arts and crafts, the good choice of materials is also essential. The quality of them will depend on your budget and the level of professionalism you want to achieve.

As for the object to be painted, there are almost infinite options: fish bowls, flower pots, bottles, jars, vases, lamps, windows, boxes, plates, paintings, jewelry. There are also several options of paints and materials to apply on glass:

  • Acrylic paintings: Traditional acrylics that are often used on canvas can also be used to paint on glass. However, it is important to note that they can be removed by water.
  • Enamel painting: It is a type of paint that has a long duration and comes with different finishes, such as matte or glossy. They can be oil-based or water-based. In some cases it is required to put the glass in the oven for this type of paint to adhere completely.
  • Markers for glass and mirrors: There are markers or markers that are specialized for drawing on mirrors or glass. They can be purchased permanent or erasable.
  • Stained glass paint or varnish: It is a type of paint that can be applied with a brush, airbrush or dropper. They give color, but at the same time offer a transparent finish that allows light to pass through.
  • Edger or embossing paste: It is a type of liquid plastic material widely used when you want to obtain stained glass style results. They are usually black in color and work like an eyeliner.
  • Lead for stained glass: it is a more professional and specialized material. They are lead bars that are molded and joined to the glass to form the stained glass windows.
  • Chalk paint: This type of material gives a dull, chalk-like appearance.
  • Gesso: It is a white material that is applied as a base on the glass so that other materials can adhere better and not become transparent.
  • Brushes or tools to apply paint: the choice will depend on the type of paint selected. You can opt for droppers, sponges, hard or soft brushes, and airbrushes. A soft, natural bristle brush will be a good choice if you’re just starting out. However, if you want more texture, it is better to opt for a brush with harder bristles or a sponge.
  • Nail polish: nail varnish can be used to paint glass.
There is a very wide variety of paints to apply on glass. You must choose the one that suits your objective.


Tips for painting on glass

When it comes to painting it is always convenient to prepare the workspace so that it does not get stained with paint, especially if you are going to work with children. This recommendation is also very valuable when using oil-based paints, which are not so easy to wash off.

Prepare the surface

Before you start painting on the glass it is essential to ensure that the surface is clean, so that materials can be easily adhered. You can use soap and water to remove grease, dirt, or fingerprints from the surface.

However, it is important that you dry it very well afterwards. Also, you can use a cloth that does not shed.

Follow the product application instructions

After you have bought the paints you want to use for your craft, according to your preferences and budget, you need to read the application instructions. In this way, you will know if baking is required or not.

Use masking tape or stencils

For clean finishes it is possible to use stencils that are glued on the glass to delimit the areas that are going to be painted. Also, keep masking tape on hand.

Allow the paint to dry

One of the most common mistakes when painting on glass is not allowing the colors to dry completely. Then there are spots or the texture is damaged. This is annoying on glass, because by its transparency makes imperfections much more noticeable.

In this regard, it is best to be patient and wait for the materials to dry completely. Likewise, if baking is required to fix the paint, it must be done to the letter, as indicated in the instructions.

Ideas for painting on glass

When creating decorative objects for the home, the most important thing is that they are consistent with the decoration of your house. For the rest, the imagination and creativity that you print at work depends on your personal taste. Here are some ideas for painting on glass and creating wonderful objects.

Decorate the kitchen jars

The use of glass jars in the pantry is becoming more popular because they allow for a warm, modern, and organized look in the kitchen. In addition, they are very hygienic and easy to find.

You can write the name of the condiment or food inside them with markers or chalk paint. You can also make drawings or decorations that match the style of your home.



Make an artistic marbled vase

One of the funniest ways to paint on glass is to do it with a marbling effect. To do this, you must have a deep container and of a sufficient size so that you can submerge the vase or jar. After, you must fill this container with water and drop a few drops of nail polish on top.

Due to its composition, the enamel will not dissolve in the water and will remain floating on the surface. Once you have drops of various colors, you can mix them with a toothpick to get the marbling effect. Afterwards, you must submerge the vase in the water so that the glaze adheres to it.

Decorate your glasses

Why have boring glasses when you can have fun, colorful ones? If you don’t want to risk a lot, you can take the glasses and paint their base in a single shade.

Thus, you will have some colorful glasses and it will be easier to differentiate them. On the other hand, you can use the wine glasses and draw pictures around them. A delicate floral motif can look elegant and understated.

Decorate your wine glasses with elegant motifs to renew your tableware.

Make a drawing on your window or mirror

This is a fun exercise to do with the little ones at home. The best and easiest thing to do is to use erasable glass markers.

Then they can simply let their imagination run wild to draw pictures on the mirrors or windows. A good idea is to paint a garden full of beautiful flowers.

Decorate a plate or tray with a mandala

Glass plates and trays are essential items in the home. Decorating them will allow you to have something beautiful and practical to put on the table. You can take an edger to form the shape of a mandala and then fill each section with color.

Be careful of the toxicity of the products when painting on glass

There are some stained glass products that can be irritating to the skin, so it is advisable to wear gloves. Also, you should keep in mind that if you are going to paint trays, jars or plates for food, it is best to use paints that are not toxic. Check the labeling to be sure.

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