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Painting Glassware 101: How to Prepare and Paint Glass for DIY Craft Projects

How to Prepare and Paint on Glass

Not only is glass painting fun, it's super-easy for beginners. This guide will provide instructions on how to prepare a glass surface for painting, tips and techniques for painting on glass using FolkArt Enamel paint, as well as important curing and care instructions.

Supplies Needed for Painting Glass

  • Clean glassware
  • Rubbing alcohol or white vinegar
  • Mild soap and water
  • FolkArt Enamels
  • Foam plate or palette
  • Brush basin
  • Soft bristle brushes, foam daubers, and/or spouncers
  • Paper towels

How to Prepare a Glass Surface for Painting

  1. First, wash the glass thoroughly in warm, soapy water to remove dirt, dust, and grease film.
  2. Next, rinse the glass in warm water and let dry completely.
  3. Dampen a paper towel with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and wipe the stemware to ensure it is clean of any remaining soap film. Set aside for 15 minutes to air-dry.
  4. The glass surface is now ready for paint.

Tips and Techniques for Painting Glass

  • If using a pattern, place it inside the glass and tape in place—that way, you can see the pattern through the glass. Alternatively, you can place a bit of soft fabric (a old sock or quilt batting, for example) inside the glass to keep your pattern visible.
  • To paint stripes on a glass, employ a flat brush or use stencil tape to mask certain areas of the glass. Make sure to remove stencil tape carefully while the paint is still wet, as the tape may remove the paint once it has dried.
  • Clean up a striped edge after the paint has dried by carefully scraping it off with a craft knife.
  • To paint large polka dots, use a dauber or spouncer. To paint small polka dots on your glass, use the brush handle or a stylus.
  • When painting dots, carefully set the tool straight down straight and lift straight up. If lifted at an angle, painted dots will smear. Try loading the tool, touching the surface, carefully twisting in a circular motion, then lifting to remove. The extra twist will ensure a full, even circle.
  • Food and beverages should not come in contact with the paint. When painting glasses, it is best to leave 3/4" around the rim free of paint. When painting plates only paint the rim; leave the center free of paint. An alternative is to paint on the underside of a clear plate if artwork is desired in the center of the plate.

How to Care for a Painted Glass Project

  1. Once the glass has been painted, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before curing.
  2. Make sure to cure the painted glass project properly once it has dried. For glass that will be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher, cure the item in the oven; glassware cured using the air-dry method is not safe for use in the top rack of the dishwasher.
  3. After the glass has cured, wash it by hand in mild dish soap or, for items that have been oven-cured, on the top rack of the dishwasher. Do not soak painted items.
  4. Painted glass items are not microwave-safe.

Painting Glassware 101: How to Prepare and Paint Glass for DIY Craft Projects