Acrylic Paint On Glass: How To Make It Last A Lifetime

Michael Daly
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Some Necessary Supplies To Consider When Using Acrylic Paint On Glass

Different surfaces require different supplies. Most beginners want to get their feet wet with painting on different surfaces such as glass, but are unsure of where to start. If you’re new to painting using acrylic paints on glass, it’s essential for you to gather the necessary supplies and adhere to the basic acryl paint techniques outlined below.

When painting on glass or any other surface, the following supplies are considered a necessity:

Right tools for the job:

To cut to and clean edges and to remove paint and dust from your painting surface, you will need a good sharp pair of scissors. You can also use a sharp blade, but it will need to be razor sharp. The last thing you want is a blade slipping and scratching your painting.

Regular craft glue. The kind you know from school is fine


If you have never painted before, one of these is a must. While it is possible to paint with a brush that you might have lying around the house, I suggest buying a brush specially made for painting with acrylics.

While brushes for oil paints might be suitable, they won’t have the short and stiff bristles required to paint on glass. Another thing to consider is the number of bristles vs. the size of the round.

I recommend an around 150-200 sized round brush with shorter bristles.

Clean the Glass Surface Before Painting

Before you start with the project, make sure you have clean glass surface to work on. To do that, use window cleaning solution and paper towels to lightly clean any streaks or fingerprints off the glass.

If you have a high-pore glass surface, you can either go for a professional sand and re-polish before painting (if you’re going to paint the whole glass surface) or just clean it thoroughly, using a good glass cleaner.

Pattern To Paint

You can draw whatever design you feel can represent the occasion. But make sure that it is simple enough to take well on the bottle.

Drying Time When You Completed Your Glass Painting

It is extremely important that you let your painting thoroughly dry before you put it away. Your paint will only be good for a year if you do not use a sealant to protect it. So it is important to keep a sealant on it at all times.

You want to prevent the paint from getting mixed in with air. The chemicals in the paint are naturally sensitive to UV rays, so they will begin to evaporate. Allowing the paint to dry will ensure that it dries together. It takes about an hour for a small 9×12 inch painting to dry.

After all of the paint had dried, you will need to put a sealant over it. You can use clear nail polish, varnish, or acrylic sealant. This will add extra protection to the paint and will help keep it from getting yellow over time.

How To Ensure That Your Acrylic Paint Remains On The Glass

Most times, we just need a quick answer to the "can acrylic paint be used on glass?" question. In most cases, I answer this question with a simple "yes." However, there are some key techniques that you should bear in mind so that you can ensure that your acrylic paint remains on the glass for years to come.

The first step is to make the right choice of glass. Clear glass is preferable over those with different colors in them like green and blue. Those different colors in the glass interfere with the adhesion of the acrylic paint to the surface.

The second most important thing is to achieve the optimal surface preparation by scoring and/or scratching the surface to help the acrylic paint adhere to the glass. This process can be done by the use of glass trays and/or rough side of sandpaper.

We also want to prepare the surface of the glass to allow for a strong bond between the paint and the glass. For this, we are first going to apply primer, usually black.

The preparation process should be repeated until you achieve a perfectly smooth surface … I prefer the first two coats of primer.

I also like to repeat the priming process after an hour. After which, I follow with two coat of high-quality acrylic paint with a glossy finish and a 30 minutes drying period between coat application.

Maintaining/Cleaning Your Acrylic Painted Glassware

Acrylics are the best when it comes to painting on glass. Most of the crystal glassware is made from the lower quality of glass (normal glass does not scratch easily) and even painting a little bit on a piece of glass will cause it to scratch easily. This is why it needs to be painted with acrylic paint.

Acrylic paints are actually pretty hard to remove from glass and if done improperly you will end up damaging the glass so it cannot be used ever again. There is a proper way of getting the job done though.

How To Paint Glass:

First, find a spot where you do not need any daylight coming through and where you won’t be disturbed by any possible interruptions. You will need to have the spray paint, thinnest clear coat, a glass painting tray (it is better to paint on glass trays as opposed to paper trays, and all the other materials you’ll need to make your glass look great. Open the paint spray and shake it well.

Paint it on to the glass. Use long, continuous strokes to apply the paint to the glass. Do not go in a “zig-zag” direction as it is prone to cracking later on. This creates a fertile ground for germs.

Paint All The Things!!

It is something that can be accomplished with a little know-how and a little practice. The variables that you need to consider are…. The paint itself…the liquid, the weapon (brush/roller and the surface that is to be painted.

When it comes to acrylic paint on glass, the trick is to apply just enough paint to achieve the effect that you want.

Just the right amount of paint will keep it from drying up too quickly and will keep it vibrant for long.

This takes a little practice, but will quickly be mastered.

Your inexpensive acrylic paints are going to work great on this project.

To achieve the desired effect, it is best to use a roller on larger areas and brushes will give you best results on any detailed areas, or small areas.

Zig was here (or zig-zag) beveled effect can be created simply by rolling the roller in different angles on the glass.

The next step when it comes to acrylic paint on glass is to think about protection. Think about what you want on the glass. You’ll want to protect whatever surface that you’re going to paint on.

You have some options when it comes to protecting the surface you’re going to paint on. Tint the glass with some stain or paint or cover it with a mat.

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There are a few tricks here and there to help you with the job of painting on glass.

One of them is NOT to use window cleaner to clean up your painting utensils. One of its ingredients evaporates so fast it tends to slightly blur the paint on glass and as you put it down, it muddies it as well.

Another tip: Resist the temptation to paint the windows on a hot day.

If you are having trouble, you should test your water temperature on a small portion of the glass. Don't be too concerned if the test doesn’t have the same look as the full window, you'll smooth out the differences as you go along. We didn’t let it stop us from having fun.

You will also need a scraper of some sort. We used a scrap vinyl-edged scraper, which is nothing more than a piece of metal attached to a plastic handle. This worked best for removing extra paint and making sure the paint was level.

Our third trick involved our hand-held squeegee.

While this tool will help hairline cracks, it isn’t required.