Painting on Glassware Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re painting on a wine glass, mug, terra cotta pot, bong, etc its good to have some painting on glassware tips and tricks. If you’re used to only painting on canvas or paper, painting on glassware can be a very different experience. This painting on glassware tips and tricks blog article will give you some vital information for any beginners on how to paint on glassware.

Clean Your Glassware

Before you can paint glass be sure to take the time to clean it thoroughly. This will help the paint to stick better and not leave any residue when you seal your paint.

Use warm to hot, soapy water in combination with a clean cotton cloth. (If you ordered one of our glassware painting kits you will receive some alcohol wipes. How Handy!) Wait for the glass to dry completely before you proceed. Also, be careful not to completely smudge the glass with your fingers, leaving behind a bunch of fingerprints.

Prepare Your Painting Supplies

If you’re looking for a glassware painting kit, we’ve got you covered! Less hassle, less stress for you get your own kit here. For a more in-depth look see below some recommend glassware painting supplies.

  • Paint Brushes

Brushes for acrylic paint or even craft brushes work best. Smaller liner brushes such as a size 0 or 1 are the perfect brushes for detail. A square brush such as a 8 is a great brush for filling in larger areas.

  • Glass Paint

The paint you use has to be for glass. If another paint is used it will not stay on and eventually chip over time. Most craft paint is labeled on the packaging if it is suggested for glassware. (Psst they also make paint markers for glassware if you’re worried about doing a fine-detailed design.)

  • Water Cup

A water cup is needed to rinse your brush off in between colors.

  • Paper Towel

When painting on glassware it is important to remember to dry your brush completely, after anytime it has been rinsed off. Using a wet brush will make your paint thinner, more translucent, and runny. The paint won’t “stick” properly. So dry that brush down!

  • Mixing Plate

If you plan on mixing colors together a paper plate or plastic palette is recommended. Paper plates are good for one-time use. If you prefer using it on multiple occasions a plastic palette is a good option so you can rinse the paint off after.

  • Q-Tips

Q-tips make the BEST erasers for glassware. Just be sure to get it damp first with some water or rubbing alcohol. Bada-bing-bada-boom, you’re happy accident never happened.

  • Do-It-Yourself Stencil

Making your own stencil or transfer can make the project easier if you have a specific design in mind. Simply trace your pattern onto a piece of paper, then hold that paper against the glass on the side opposite to the one you are painting. As you go along, the pattern will serve as a guide to know exactly where to add your paint.

You are Ready to Paint

Now that you have all our supplies ready, you are ready to paint!  You might find painting on glass different than painting on canvas, due to the different texture. We wanted to include some helpful tips and tricks to help you get started and give you an extra confidence boost!

*Please note: When you start adding paint to the glassware always paint on the outside of the glass, not the inside where liquids will be. 

Dry Brush Always

After you rinse your paintbrush off between colors make sure the brush is completely dried off before dipping into a different paint color. Glass paint has a thinner consistency so if still has water on it it will make your paint more translucent and runny when you apply it to the glass.


The most important thing to know while painting on glassware is that if the paint is still wet you can always “erase’ anything you don’t like with a q-tip, paper towel, etc. Just dip it in a little bit of water so that it’s slightly damp (not soaked) and erase whatever you don’t want. (If there is some leftover residue from the paint, just use a little rubbing alcohol or vinegar. )

Painting Detail

Anytime you are painting detail you always want to use a small liner paintbrush such as a size 0 or 1. When you are holding the brush up to the glass be sure that you are holding the brush closer to the bristles, sort of like how you would hold a pencil. This offers more stability over the brush. giving you the most control of where your paint will be placed.

Filling in Larger Areas

When you are filling in larger areas on your glassware (such as a background), a square brush size 8 or medium size 10 round brush will do the best job.

Layers on Layers

Painting on glassware is a lot like painting your nails or wall, etc. It’s all about painting in thin layers. Instead of loading the glass up with a ton of paint, which will make it clumpy, paint in thinner layers. After the first layer let it dry before adding an additional layer. Having more than one layer of paint will also help the color to appear more vibrant. I know, I know it will take more time but you will be a lot happier with the result. You can’t rush perfection.

Curing Your Project

Anytime you are painting on glassware with glass paint it is a good idea to cure your paint. This helps the paint to last and makes it dishwasher safe!

  1. Allow your painted glass project to dry at least one hour. Make sure the paint is dry to the touch before baking.
  2. Place your glasses in a cool oven.
  3. Set oven to 350° F and bake for 30 minutes. Turn oven off.
  4. Allow the glass to cool down in the oven to room temperature, then remove it.

Your glassware can be Hand washed or cleaned in the top rack of a standard, non-commercial dishwasher.

*Do not use in the dishwasher if it has pot-scrubbing features or top jets. Painted glass items are not microwave-safe.

Ready to Use and Show Off

After your glass has been cured it is ready for use. Show it off at your next party or maybe it’s your new favorite mug, wine glass, etc and you plan on using it daily! Either way, you should be proud of yourself trying something new and getting creative.

Anything you do or create takes practice. We have plenty of fun painting kits for you to choose from if you want to keep on crafting and exploring your creativity.

Let us know how our Painting on Glassware Tips and Tricks helped you. You can even tag us with your project by using our hashtag #ThePaintSesh. Is there a helpful painting tip we forgot? Please let us know in the comments below.

Follow Chelz Franzer:

Artist • Instructor • Business Owner

I'm a creative entrepreneur, who's mission in life is to make the world a more colorful, happy place.

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