Tips for Painting on Glass


Glass painting is fun and simple if you know these useful painting tips, the kinds of paint and medium to use, preparation of surface and finishing.

Preparation of surface

1) We need to make sure that the surface is free of dirt and grease. Wash it with warm water and soap. (Some articles suggest using warm water and vinegar, and wipe with alcohol using paper towel).
2) You may require to put on latex or surgical gloves while handling glassware because of the natural oils from our hands that may smudge the surface.
3) Your glassware needs to be dry. Wipe surface with clean cloth or paper towel.

Always read manufacturers' directions for the type of cleaner you are using.


Glass is transparent and paint coverage may not be very good. For a more opaque effect, you will need to apply several coats. Let dry after first coat ( about 20 mins to 1 hour) before applying the next coats.
Place a white paper or tissue inside the glass while painting so that you can see what you are doing.



1) Acrylic enamel paints such as DecoArt Ultra Gloss. They become extremely durable after a week or two of curing time and do not have to be heat-set.

2) Acrylic paints that become glass paints by mixing with glass and tile medium. If you are using glass and tile medium, the heat setting time (baking) will be slightly longer. (15 minutes more). Always refer to the manufacturers' instructions.

3) Specialised solvent based glass paint.

Helpful Hints:
When using glass paints or any other paints, make sure that they are mix thoroughly. Shake the bottles or roll them on the table. Stir them gently when neccessary.

Never mix glass paint with water.This will weaken their strength and lessen adhesion to the surface.The paints are best used straight from the bottle. The water that is left on the brushes after washing can also affect adhesions, so dry your brushes thoroughly.

You may thinned the glass paints with clear medium to create washes and transparents effects. However, keep within the same line as different combination of the products could result in undesirable results.

Few lines of glass products :


DecoArt Glass Paints

Glass-tiques is a transparent, dimensional-effect paint for glass, plastic, and glazed ceramics.

Liquid Rainbow
Liquid Rainbow is a removable transparent paint that can be used to create suncatchers or decorative dimensional stickers that will adhere to glass, mirrors,and other smooth surfaces.

Ultra Gloss Air Dry Enamel
These are more commonly used glass paints. Air-cured enamels designed to paint on glass that are durable, scratch resistant, and hand-washable in only seven days. They are one-step process and require no surface conditioning or topcoat.Can also be used on jewelery, children's toys, leather, candles, tin, metal and holiday ornaments.

Ultra Frost
It is a transparent frosted paint for glass, tile, plastic and glazed ceremics.

Glass Stains( New)
Permanent, transparent colors with a glossy sheen ideal for filling suncatchers or staining on glass or clear plastic .


FolkArt Enamels by Plaid Enterprise
These are premium, artist quality paints; rich, smooth, creamy and are scratch resistance.
They are one-step easy which require no surface preparation, other than cleaning your surface properly. Enamels can be mixed, blended, and brushed like other FolkArt paints, so they can be used for One Stroke and other popular techniques. Colours have the same names as their FolkArt counterparts, which makes finding your favourite colors and project instructions much easier.

FolkArt Enamels are waterbased and non-toxic and dry to an opaque finish and gloss sheen. Cleanup (while wet) is easy with soap and water. Painted projects will cure naturally when air-dried, or for enhanced durability, they can be baked in the oven following the instructions on the paint bottle. Best of all, painted creations are easy to care for - they'll hold fast and maintain their glorious color, even when washed on the top rack of the dishwasher!

FolkArt Enamels Clear Medium
Making the line even more versatile is FolkArt Enamels Clear Medium. When used with FolkArt Enamels, this medium allows you to create transparent effects without losing adhesion. To make transparent paint, mix equal amounts of Clear Medium and FolkArt Enamel. Or use it like a floating medium for shading and highlighting.

Gallery Glass Liquid Leading
For detailed designs or to create stain glass look, use Liquid Leading ™. They create the look of real leading lines with their waterbased, non-toxic formula. Applicator tip allows for clean, easy leading lines. Let dry 8 hours and you're ready to paint. It comes in three convenient sizes, perfect for any size project.

Vitrea by Pebeo

Vitrea by Pebeo glass paint
They are transparent water-based colours. To make paints more opaque, many layers are needed to which require at least 20 minutes between coats. If the layers are overworked the paints will lift. Do not mix with water.

Finishing / Heat -setting

For more durability, heat set in a home oven. ( not a microwave ) You need to let your project cure for 24 hours before heat setting. Always have separate ovens for your heat setting. Do not use the same oven for cooking.
Place your project in a cold oven and set the temperatures specified on the label. When the correct temperature (usually 160-165 celsius or 325-330 fahrenheit) is reached, bake for 30 minutes (ready mixed paints ) or 45 minutes (glass and tile medium ). Let the oven cool completely before removing the item. Air the oven to remove any remaining fumes , by running the exhaust fan in your kitchen during and after heat - setting.

Alternatively, if your project is too big, you can heat - set with a hairdryer on low heat and not placed too close. You can also placed your items in the sun to harden the paint.


All handpainted glassware should be handwashed and not to be scrubbed.
Do not come into contact with food, lips or beverages..

For stained - glass projects, refer to glass- painting ideas