By Nicole Tinkham
Glass painting is huge right now and with the holiday’s right around the corner, they make excellent personalized gifts. But painting on glass can be tricky when you haven’t done it before. There’s a certain type of paint to look for, special tools to fix mistakes, a shortcut for non-artists and many more to keep in mind when starting your next glass painting project. Read on for our best tips and tricks!
1. Read the label
Not all paint is made to be used on glass. Many types of paint are toxic and not to be used on pieces that you eat or drink out of. Be sure to choose paint specifically for glass. We recommend Pebeo Glass Paint.
2. Choose your brush wisely
You can use the brush of your choice when painting on glass but note that synthetic brushes will leave brushstrokes and natural hair brushes can pick up more paint resulting in a smoother surface.
3. Create a guide
You won’t be drawing your design right on the glass. Instead, you’ll be drawing it on paper. To get the correct size of the design, roll a piece of paper so it fits inside your glass. Trace the top edge of the glass onto the paper. Your design shouldn’t be larger than this marked line.
Next, draw your design in pen or marker so it’s easy to see and put back into the glass, using a little tape to hold it in place. This way you’ll be able to see the design through the glass without having to mark up the outside of the glass.
4. Keep it clean
Clean your glass and work area thoroughly before beginning. It may also be a good idea to wear latex gloves to prevent oily smudges from your fingers to become part of the design.
5. Don’t apply too much pressure
When you apply a lot of pressure with your brush when painting glass, the paint can easily be wiped off the slippery surface. Apply lighter pressure to avoid this.
6. Apply thickly
Glass paint tends to take awhile to dry and can crack if painted over too soon. To avoid applying layers, paint one thick coat on the glass.
7. Fix mistakes with a cotton swab and toothpick
You can dip the cotton swab in alcohol to get rid of any mistakes and use the toothpick to scrape away mistakes that have dried.
8. Use painter’s tape for clean straight lines
You don’t necessarily have to hand-draw your own design. Use painter’s tape for crisp lines or a stencil if that’s what you prefer.
9. Set the paint
Setting the paint ensures that it will last a long time. You can do this with the oven method. Place your glass in the cool oven. Heat the oven up to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and let it completely cool down before removing the glass. Note: The glass will break if not heated and cooled gradually.
Painting on glass may be something entirely new to you and could feel a little odd at first. We suggest purchasing an inexpensive glass to experiment on so you get the feel for it. Just practice until you get it! We love the idea of giving a painted glass as a gift or maybe even putting together a glass painting party with a few friends. Just have fun with it!
We want to hear from you! Share your best glass painting tip in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.