Glass Painting Tips and Tricks

Glass Painting Tips and Tricks

Posted by DecoArt on Jun 30th 2013

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. See our top selling glass paints: DecoArt Glass Paint and our Gloss Enamels

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. 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.
  • If using DecoArt Glass Paint allow to cure for 4 days. For top rack, dishwasher-safe finish, place in a cool oven. Heat to 275°F and bake for 30 minutes. Let the piece cool completely in the oven. This is not intended for direct contact with food.
  • If glass piece is too large to bake, air cure for 21 days to allow for all moisture to evaporate.  


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 to see our variety of glass paints, 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!