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Painting with acrylics is fun and there is no doubt that artists love working with acrylic paints. Honestly, how else do you get to try your hands on different surfaces? Canvas, glass, fabric, and wood, you name it and acrylics would do the job! There is no substitute for acrylic paints when it comes to the versatility they offer. Hence artists have tried working with different surfaces. Acrylic painting on glass has turned out to be one of great ways to create finest of art pieces. 

Using acrylic paints on different surfaces, especially glass, is a skill that every artist should acquire. Glass may seem to be a difficult surface to paint on. However with right guidance you can learn to paint on glass. We can help you in this regard. In this guide, we would lay it all out for you about how you can paint on glass with acrylic paint. We will cover every detail from the right materials to use to the ways you can preserve your artwork.

Finding the right materials for acrylic painting on glass

It is essential that you assemble suitable supplies before you start painting on glass. First and foremost is determining the type of acrylic paint you should use. It depends upon couple of factors, which may differ from person to person.

OPACITY: It is important to know that opaque paints are more vibrant and dark, whereas translucent paints would be lighter and dull. Knowing the right opacity to work with depends on how you want your end product to look like. Using opaque paints would give your artwork more sharp and delicate look. We would recommend using them if you are painting on mason jars or wine glasses. However, if you are painting windows, then translucent paints would work better. 

GRADE: You may be able to work finely with student quality paints on other materials but you cannot be complacent with glass. We would advise use of High-grade paints. They give better results due to their superior quality. They offer wide range of colors. Moreover they last long, creating permanent artwork.

FINISH: The type of finish would define the texture of your paint. Paints usually are categorized as frosty, matte and glossy. Each of them provides a different look to your artwork. You can choose to work with what fits your style or idea.

Other materials you would need:

  1. Paint brushes, syringe or sponges
  2. Glass to work on; Mason Jars, Wine bottles or glasses, Windows etc
  3. Glass medium
  4. Rubbing alcohol or Vinegar
  5. Clean paper towels
  6. Palette
  7. Permanent Marker
  8. Stencil tape
  9. Clean water in a container

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Preparing your glass surface for painting

Preparing your painting surface properly is significant in creating impeccable artwork. You prepare canvas by priming it. Similarly there is a specific way to prepare your glass surface. Follow the given steps carefully to prepare your glass surface:

  1. Use warm water and soap to clean the glass and remove dust or oil from its surface.


  2. Let the glass rest until it dries completely.


  3. Apply rubbing alcohol or vinegar across the surface by using dampened paper towel.


  4. Let the glass dry thoroughly.

Creating a rough sketch of your design

As an artist, it is always useful to sketch your ideas. Sketch your idea on the glass surface using a permanent marker. If your glass is transparent, you can also sketch your idea on paper, and tape it behind your glass. If you are a beginner, it is highly advisable to sketch out your design before you paint it. This sketch would help you visualize your painting. It will allow you to focus on minor details, which can be difficult to execute on a glass surface.

Start painting on glass

Now that you have taken care of all pre-requisites, you can start painting. Every person’s style is different and creativity is all about showcasing your own style. It is no different for acrylic painting on glass. However, here are few tips that you can keep in mind while painting;

  1. Apply borders first as they would make painting simpler. This would create a strong outline of your design and it would make painting easier.

  2. To paint borders, use stencil tapes to cover areas around the borders and apply paint. Remove tape before paint dries.

  3. Syringes can come in clutch when it comes to applying tiny details. You can use them to pour small amount of paint to the desired area.

  4. Working on large sheets of glass can be exhausting. Sponges are effective when working on large surfaces with a single color. They can save you time and help you apply paint evenly.

  5. You might make mistakes along the way. Use nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to remove mistakes and redo them.

Sealing your paint on glass through baking

After you are finished painting, let the paint dry. To seal the paint, you have to bake it. Before baking, it is crucial that the paint has dried for atleast 24 hours. You can bake it, by placing your glassware inside the oven. The oven shouldn’t be preheated, it should be cold. Now heat your artwork for 30 minutes at 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also look up on your paint labels to know what suitable conditions to heat them are. After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and let the glassware cool on its own inside the oven. Once it has cooled down, carefully take it out. There you go; you have got yourself wonderful art piece!

Preserving your artwork

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” (John Keats)

An exceptional artwork would give you joy and satisfaction, every time you would look at it. It is necessary to be cautious with your painted glassware. They are fragile, and it’s crucial to store them in a safe place, possibly away from reach of children or pets. For instance, you can display them on racks that are high enough. You can even place them on furniture by applying some sort of sticking element at their bottom. 

Do not wash them or use scrubbers/other abrasive materials to clean them. Dust them gently with soft cloth often to avoid getting them dirty. 

We hope that you would find this guide handy when you begin painting with acrylics on glass. 

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