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Glass Painting Tips and Tricks

By: DecoArt
July 1, 2013

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Glass Painting Tips and Tricks
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Many beginning painters can be intimidated by glass painting. Despite how it looks, glass is actually so easy and rewarding to paint! Acrylic paint is already a very forgiving medium, and our several lines of multi-surface and glass paints make it even easier to paint on even the slickest surfaces.

A line-up of DecoArt glass paint and glass paint markers in a variety of colors.
If you don’t like how your glass project is going, simply wipe it off and begin again. If the paint has dried but not been baked, soak the painted glassware in warm water, then scrape off the paint and begin again. If you notice a spot or uneven edge after the paint has dried that you are unhappy with, use a razor blade or craft knife to trim off the excess paint.

A mason jar is in the middle of being painted with a colorful design using DecoArt glass paint.

Read on for more glass painting tips and tricks to help you paint like a pro!

  • It is important to have a clean glass surface when applying glass paints. Oils or lotions on our skin will transfer onto the glass which will affect the adhesion of the paints. Clean the glass by washing it in warm, soapy water then rinsing and drying with a lint-free towel or wipe with rubbing alcohol. Take care not to touch the areas where you will be applying paint.
A clean glass vase is laid out prepared to be painted with acrylic paint for glass.

  • You can transfer patterns onto glass by placing a pattern inside of the glass and securing it with tape. This can be done with glass frames to create some stunning works of art by tracing your favorite patterns! Stencils are another great tool for painting the outside of vases. DecoArt has a line of reusable stick-on stencils perfect for glass painting.
A flower vase has a lemon shaped stencil on it used to paint a lemon on the glass.
A flower vase has a lemon pattern painted on it using DecoArt glass paint.

  • Some paints may require more than one coat, especially on slick surfaces like glass. It is important to allow the first coat to dry before applying a second coat. When painting with lighter colors, plan for multiple coats.
  • Your food and mouth should never come in contact with the paint. So when painting on surfaces that will hold food or drink, only paint up to the point where your lips won't touch. For plates, you can always paint on the back of the plate and let the paint show through the clear surface.
A water pitcher and mason jar are given a loose, brushstroke pattern using DecoArt glass paint.

  • Use a light touch. Try not to apply too much pressure with the tip of the brush. Pushing down too hard will cause the paint to wipe off the slippery surface of the glass. Instead, use a light touch and allow the paint to flow off the brush, creating a pool of color. This allows you to create thicker, more solid coverage in one step. If you do need a second coat, make sure to let it dry completely first.
  • When painting on glass, try to keep your paint strokes going in the same direction. This will reduce the appearance of paint strokes and give you the smoothest-looking surface.
A variety of flower vases with bright florals painted on them using glass paint.
DecoArt glass paint bottles next to a flower vase painted with them.
Looking for more?

Check out the DecoArt project gallery for a variety of fun and easy glass painting projects. If you're looking to get started with glass painting, head on over to shop.decoart.com to see our variety of glass paints, paintbrushes, stencils, and more. If you need more painting tips or fun tutorials, our learning center Art For Everyone has free videos to help you on your artistic journey. Happy making!

Comments

Thanks on the tips about painting glass. But how long do you bake the glass for. And what temp do I put the oven on.

Victoria

December 3, 2015

http://www.decoart.com/glasspaint/prep-clean-finish-tips That's DecoArts tip for baking. I've done porcelain. Certain colors darken but they've turned out pretty. I've never done glassware but I'm going to try. One tip, place your painted piece inside oven THEN turn oven on. When time is up, keep your piece in there until oven is COMPLETELY cool. It's worth the wait. Good luck:)

Sarah

December 5, 2015

I want to make the glass doors cabinet so you can't see thru it......either crackle or opaque. Help !

KATHY

January 1, 2016

Victoria, I paint glasses as well. You can leave them out, untouched, for 21 days and it has the same effect as baking them at 350 for 30 minutes. (Do not allow oven time to preheat- turn on to 350 and put glasses in for 30 mins immediately)

Kristin

January 16, 2016

Thanks this was good information.

leatha

June 14, 2016

How do you clean brushes and daubers when you use enamel paint?

Nancy

August 17, 2016

I've been trying to paint a porcelain mug using a vinyl stencil. When I peel off the vinyl stencil after it dries, the gloss enamel comes right off with it. What am I missing?

Kate

September 6, 2016

Hi Kate, you will need to lift your stencil before your paint dries. The Gloss Enamels product is a multi-surface paint and sticks to everything including your stencil, so if you let it dry it's not only curing to your mug but also your stencil, that's what is causing your paint to peel right off with it. Hope this helps!

DecoArt

September 7, 2016

can these paints be used on 96 coe glass for fusing?

Shirley

November 13, 2016

I would like to know the best way to paint on wine glasses; if there is a paint that can be used that does not require baking, and if there is any additional process after the glass is painted. I so appreciate the tip on using alcohol to wipe away any oils, etc.

Therese Gleason

November 18, 2016

Therese -- There are a ton more tips, tricks, education, and techniques on the Glass Painting site: http://decoart.com/glass-paint/. Enjoy!

DecoArt, Inc.

November 21, 2016

How long after you paint a glass using the gloss enamel paint, do you wait before baking?

Aneka

December 3, 2016

I've painted on glass before, I used a paint that is now discontinued... looking for a paint that covers well and wears well... good durability with this paint and good coverage for the opaque?

Gwen

December 15, 2016

In your experience, what kind of brushes work best for gloss enamels? I'm having a hard time finding a fine tipped brush that can stand up to this medium for detailing.

Tiff

December 28, 2016

have you every been able to find larger sizes than 2oz for enamel (paint on glass) paints? I am a teacher and this has become a popular class but the 2 oz are so expensive. thanks

Dawn

March 28, 2017

really enjoyed looking through, i'm completely new to this type of art,but prepared to give it a go.i am not a youngster any more,as matter of fact i just past my 86 bitrhday a couple months ago,i think i would l.ike to master painting on glass, so ALL help apreciated

John

October 14, 2017

I have a window frame that has a mirror in it instead of a window. I would like to paint a picture of poppies on. What would you suggest that I treat the mirror before I paint the poppies? Do I treat it with Gesso first ? Appreciate your answer. Thank you. Leona Prive

Leona Prive

November 5, 2017

will the paint come off if you wash the glass after you drank your wine out of it?

Mary Jo

December 6, 2017

I was told that the blue color in the Frost enamels is being discontinued. Being a primary color, I don’t know how to get blue colors. What paint would be a good substitute? Is there a solution I can add to the gloss enamels that will give it a “frosted” appearance the Frosted Enamels give? Thanks

Irene

December 27, 2017

Hi Irene-- You can add drops of any color of Gloss Enamels to the White Frost Gloss Enamels to create a full range of colors with the frosty finish you are looking for. Have a great day!

DecoArt

December 27, 2017

I would like to update my two sets of mirrored closet doors. One set is in a bedroom with a wild flower theme. In the bedroom I thought I would try some decals of wild flowers. To ground the flowers I would paint horizontal landscape lines. What would be the best paint to use?

Sherri

March 13, 2018

Hi Sheri – We'd recommend out Gloss Enamels OR Americana Multi-Surface Paints. Both come in a variety of colors. Our Chalky Finish for Glass is another option for a more matte finish.

DecoArt, Inc.

March 14, 2018

I am interested in glass paint with the tips on the bottle. You have them in a picture. Do you sell the tips separately? Thank you!

Betsy Ludwig

May 28, 2018

At the link below, you can click on any of the paints listed, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and find a list of tips for each type of paint. Hope that helps! https://decoart.com/glass-paint/

DecoArt

May 29, 2018

what paint is better to use on glass...

Virginia McCarty

July 26, 2018

Hello Virginia - These paints will all work on glass: Americana Chalky Finish for Glass: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/chalky-finish-for-glass Americana Gloss Enamels: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/gloss-enamels#crystal-gloss-enamels DecoArt Glass Stain: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/glass-stain Americana Glass Chalkboard Paint: https://decoart.com/chalkboard/glass-chalkboard Americana Multi-Surface Satin Acrylics: https://decoart.com/multi-surface/

DecoArt

July 27, 2018

Hello. Where can I buy this paint? I live in Lakeland FL. My Hobby Lobby and Michael's don't carry them.

Iliana

August 11, 2018

Hello, Lliana - You should be able to find Gloss Enamels at any of these locations: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/purchase

DecoArt

August 13, 2018

A friend is etching wine glasses with our state outline. I’d like to highlight the etched line with a permanent ink....what do I use?

Kathy McClintock

September 26, 2018

Hi Kathy - Americana Gloss Enamels are perfect to highlight glass etching!

DecoArt

September 28, 2018

The tips were realy helpful. I would like to know do I need to bake a glass painting to secure it? Or is there any other way too? Please help as I have to prepare a present for my mom's birthday. Hope to get a reply soon

Annayee

November 12, 2018

Hi Annayee - The baking time depends on the type of Americana Gloss Enamels you're using. You can find the baking time and temp. on your bottle or at this link: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/gloss-enamels

DecoArt

November 13, 2018

I want to tint some white glass globes and I still need lol get to shine in . Thanks

DarG

November 15, 2018

I want to paint birds on wine glasses In the snow what pant do I need and Brushes do I need and when I'm done what about the oven what do I Do lm a disable vet please help.

Bill

December 28, 2018

Hi Bill, The best paint to use on glass is our Americana Gloss Enamels. You can find where to purchase them at this link: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/purchase There are also specific brushes for painting glass that have very very soft bristles so they don't wipe the paint off the glass as you use them. You can find tips and tricks for painting glass at this link: https://decoart.com/glass-paint/education Please let us know if you have any questions!

DecoArt

January 2, 2019

I want to have nice text on martini glasses,,,,how??? Freehand is not precise

Dave

January 5, 2019

Dave - You can use a stencil or trace lettering from the inside of the glass. Here is how you would do it: 1. Print off what you want to paint on your glass in the correct size and font you want. 2. Cut it out loosely. 3. Tape it to the inside of the glass so you can see the word or phrase from the outside. 4. Paint over the word or phrase on the outside of the glass. 5. Remove your guide paper from the inside of the glass.

DecoArt

January 7, 2019

I'm having some problems with unevenness of gloss enamels on glass... esp with lighter colors and, problem posting question...too many words then would not post... does temperature of the glass make a difference? glass was well cleaned, I've been painting glass for years and looking for a brand to replace my older favorite using red, light green and yellow... could not get an even coverage help... thanks

Wednesday

January 9, 2019

Hi Wednesday - When you're painting the glass, the glass should be at room temperature. You should only bake the glass piece once your work is completed in order to make it dishwasher safe. Another reason it may not be even is that you may not be using the correct brush. A paintbrush with extremely soft bristles that is meant for glass painting would be best and normal brushes with hard bristles will push the paint around.

DecoArt

January 9, 2019

Bonjour , Pr la porcelaine,j'utilise des pinceaux en martre, - Au début du post,vs dites ne pas peindre aux endroits portés en bouche! je pense alors que votre peinture verre, non émail, est alors équivalente à celle porcelaine cuisson à froid et non alimentaire ! - Les peintures restent-elles transparentes, et faut-il 2 couches pour les opacifier? - Et, à quelle température les cuit-on! Merci - Ode

ode

January 18, 2019

Bonjour - J'espère que cela répond à vos questions: 1. Nos peintures sont non toxiques, mais ne sont pas considérées comme salubres. Vous pouvez les utiliser sur des tasses et des plats, mais pas là où votre bouche entre en contact avec la peinture. 2. Il faut généralement plusieurs couches pour une bonne couverture. 3. La température de cuisson dépend du type de Gloss Enamel que vous utilisez, mais elle est généralement de 325 degrés F.

DecoArt

January 21, 2019

I painted on a glass dome cake dish and had to use more than 3 coats to get the shading I wanted. If I bake this dome will the paint crack? Also I painted over a previous leave twice, Will it also crack if I paint it. Afraid. Would it be best to let it air dry? Sandy

Sandy

March 19, 2019

Hi Sandy - If you're using Americana Gloss Enamels on your glass cake dome, you can bake it to achieve a dishwasher safe finish. The paint will not crack if you follow the instructions on the bottle.

DecoArt

March 20, 2019

Can any of these glass paints be used for outdoor project? I have a piece of glass I want to use as insert in deck railing and want stained glass effect.

Brenda

July 18, 2019

Hi Brenda - Americana Gloss Enamels cannot be used on outdoor projects; however, our Americana Multi-Surface Satin Acrylics work well on glass and are rated for outdoor use.

DecoArt

July 19, 2019

Are the Americana Glass enamels good to use on old windows that will be hung in inside walls?

Charlene Curry

September 3, 2019

Hi Charlene - Yes, Americana Gloss Enamels would be perfect for this.

DecoArt

September 4, 2019

I used this paint on mugs after I placed permanent adhesive vinyl, I am worried now that the vinyl can not be baked. Is there any way the paint can be handwash safe without baking?

Robin

January 8, 2020

Hi Robin - You can let the Gloss Enamels air cure for 4 days and they should be hand-wash safe. The baking is to make them dishwasher safe. So just be gentle. :) 

DecoArt

January 9, 2020

How long do I have to wait before I can apply a second coat of Gloss Enamels? I have read when "dry" but not sure if that is after 15 minutes or if I ought to wait longer. Thanks.

Jane

March 20, 2020

Hi Jane - "Dry time" will change depending on the surface, the thickness of the coat of paint, and climate. Once it is dry to the touch, you should be okay to add your second coat. That could be 15 minutes or an hour. 

DecoArt

March 23, 2020

Thank you for the information

Urvashi Mota

May 17, 2020

I want to paint some antique windows. I see where it says it has to be baked. There’s no way for me to bake it so is there any paint that will work without having to be baked?

Dusty

July 6, 2020

Why are my deco art enamels bubbling when I bake them? I am a mandala dotter and I just ruined four beautiful plates When I baked them.

Lynda

July 10, 2020

Hello Dusty, The object needs to be baked only if you wish to make it dishwasher safe. For decorative glass painting, make sure to let the paint cure for 4 days.

DecoArt

July 17, 2020

Hello, We are sorry this has happened! Can you please email us directly here with your issue. https://decoart.com/contact

DecoArt

July 17, 2020

I have a mosaic mirrored outdoor ball. After one season the sun has faded off the color. It's just a mirror. Will your product produce a permanent transparent color?

Cindy

March 5, 2021

Pls help me, I like to do one pair or wedding champagne glass for my daughter. W permanent name initial on it, what paint should I choose Is there place where I ca. Learn more

Cynthia

March 15, 2021

Hey Cynthia! We have several paints that can be used on glass. We have our Glass Paint which is now available at Micahel's, and our Glass Paint Markers, Gloss Enamels, and Americana Multi-Surface which are available on our website shop.decoart.com You can learn more about each product on our website and we have some glass painting videos up on our YouTube page.

DecoArt

March 17, 2021

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