How to Paint Glass

You could be a DIYer your entire life and never run into a situation where you felt compelled to paint some glass, but these things do happen and for those few who have found themselves in a glass-painting position – this one’s for you.

Painting Glass

If you’re painting glass, it’s probably going to fall into one of two categories: window painting and everything else. So, that’s how we’ll break it down.

Window Painting

Pick Your Paint: People usually paint windows for décor, to add privacy or both, and different kinds of paint have varying degrees of permanence. Some window paint is specifically designed to be peeled away and other types like acrylic-based paints are removable with a little elbow grease (and acetone). Others, however, are permanent. So, first decide how committed you are to the outcome.

Next, choose what kind of effect you want; more opaque or more transparent. Your local craft store will have many color and transparency options and it’s easiest to follow the advice provided in the store.

Apply Your Paint: First, clean the glass to be painted with rubbing alcohol. Next, you paint! Many people choose to use stencils and/or masking tape along with liquid leading because it’s hard for paint to get any traction on the glass when not using thicker, resin-based blends, but it’s up to you.

TIP: If you’re painting panes that can be removed or tilted down for cleaning, use it to your advantage. It will be worth the extra step.

Decorative Glass Painting

Pick Your Paint: The paint you choose for decorative glass will depend on the application of the glass once it’s painted. For example, if you’re painting the glass top of a coffee table, you’ll want to use a durable paint and/or a glass-finish spray as a sealant.

Apply Your Paint: Much like with windows, you can use stencils and tape to create the pattern you want, or just freestyle it like Jackson Pollack. Allow the paint to cure overnight before spraying it with sealant.

TIP: If you’re painting a clear tabletop, you might want to consider painting the underside. That way, you don’t have to worry so much about wear and tear, and you’ll still be able to see the pattern through the table.

BONUS: Spray Painting Glass

Oh yeah, you can definitely spray paint glass. People who are into it recommend using multiple light coats to layer on the color to achieve an even coat that matches the level of transparency or opacity you want. Just keep in mind that the paint may not be as durable as other choices.

Good luck with your next glass-painting project!

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