Can you use acrylic paint on glass?

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Vibrant colors or not, a ton can be done with acrylic paint and glass.  Wine glasses (notice my first thoughts), vases, windows, jars, ornaments, the list goes on and on. When I first started applying acrylic paint on glass, I was worried about messing up! 

Can you use acrylic paint on glass?

However, with the right brushes, paint colors and pro tips on covering up your itty-bitty mess you will have an amazing finished product.

How can you use acrylic paint on glass?

Acrylic paint and glass works wonder together.  Glass is a smooth surface that can be flexible to work with.  Some benefits of using acrylic on glass: shorter drying time, lots of colors, mostly non-toxic and its water soluble.  Just wash your hands if they start looking like the rainbow. However, I think the best part of this all is that both glass and acrylic paints can be pretty inexpensive!

“Alright, Alright, Alright” let’s get down to it. This article will help you with a ton of questions you would end up naturally googling. Instead I complied, research and used my best pracices and rolled it all into one for your convenience.  Everything from choosing the right paint to the right brush to the end product is at the tip of your fingers – literally- just keep reading!

What is Right Type of Acrylic Paint for Glass?

Time to choose our paint!   Acrylic Enamel to any acrylics marked for use with tile or glass and is solvent based works well.  It works well, because glass is a smooth surface.  It’s easy to apply the paint without running into problems of painting over rough surfaces.  

The more opaque the color the better

Acrylic paint comes in a variety of colors so there are a lot to choose from.  As always, the higher the quality the better. Based on your project, make sure you buy a kit that can cover more than just a few colors.  

Some best paints to start your research on is Folk Art.

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Which type of painting brush is best for glass?

Who knew there were so many options! Brushes can be just as important as paint. Be picky if you want your end piece to stand out.  

So, let’s get down to it.  

Best hair type of the brush

Yeah seriously that’s a thing!  Should you go for the Hog Bristle, Camel hair, Ox Hair or Synthetic (nylon)? 

My answer: Synthetic nylon for sure!  And I’m not just saying that because I’m an animal lover.  Okay I am.  Anyhow, with synthetic nylon you get a better brush that can last longer. The bristles last longer, where the animal hair can be hard to manage. 

PRO TIP: Nylon brushes are much easier to clean and are versatile. Which means you can use them for oil paintings too. 

Now for paint brush numbers

What are those – right?  So many sizes and how am I going to figure it out?  Well, remember the smaller the number the lower the width and the higher the number the high width. 

NOTE: Keep in mind depending on the brand, sometimes the numbers might not match exactly across the board.

Style of the brush

It really depends on what you are using it for.  Here is a quick and simple breakdown of brush types:

  • Acrylic Wash Brush – this is a big brush and is used for larger surfaces. Think windows! Yes you can paint windows with acrylics (keep reading below).
  • Angled Brush – this brush has an angled or slanted tip and comes in handy for those curvy curves! So, think glasses and vases!
  • Flat Brush – it’s like a wash brush but not, because it’s not as thick.  It’s still for large areas but not too large.
  • Fan Brush – painting a tree on your glass?  Well, this brush will do the work for you.  It’s all in the name.
  • Round Brush – pretty self-explanatory here, but the best part of this brush is that if you can hold a pencil you can hold this.
  • Line Brush – it’s all in the detail!  Think thin lines.

When you purchase your brushes, just keep in mind that there a ton of varieties.  This set here I think is amazing partially because of the stand, but also since it has the variety of brushes for your project.  Whether you amazon it or walk down the aisle, you will be greeted with a multitude of possibilities – so just go smart.

How to prepare glass before painting it?

It’s swim time! Think of it as a swim for your glassware.  We got our brushes, we got our glass, but now we got to prep.  

  • First thing is first, clean your glass. Take your glass item for a long dip in the sink with some warm soapy water to remove any debris.
  • Let it air dry.
  • When it is done drying, wipe the entire glass off with a paper towel or a soft cloth. You can use rubbing alcohol too to wipe it down.
  • Let it air dry again from the rubbing alcohol.
PRO TIP: Wear gloves for handling for no smudges

How to paint on glass with acrylic?

Stencils, freehand or patterns? We need to release our inner creativity and come up with something fabulous. Sorry for bringing out my inner yogi, but this is the fun part.  

Once you have prepped your paint, you need to confirm your design.  You can use freehand, painters’ tape or a stencil to create your work.

I do not think you need to prime your surface as glass and acrylic paint work so well together.

PRO TIP 1: If you are using a pattern, place it inside the glass and tape it in place, so you can see the pattern thru the glass.  Also, take an old sock or cloth and place it inside a glass for your pattern to be more visible! Genius, right?!
PRO TIP 2: If the glass piece you are painting is used for foods or beverages, tape off any areas that may come in contact with your mouth. 
When Painting on glass - tape off any areas that may come in contact with your mouth.

Then start painting! If you make a mistake you can use cotton tips or balls dipped in nail polish remover to help remove it – but as always be careful! Apply additional coats if necessary. 

Please, please, please, do not remove the painter’s tape until after the glass is dried. 

How do you seal acrylic paint on glass?

Okay you have waited it out and now your glass is dried. Remove the tape and let the sealing begin!  Why seal it you ask? Because after all that work, you want to make sure nothings gets chipped or even worse fades after time.  

Can I use Mod Podge for Sealing acrylic paint on glass?

I’m not big on using Mod Podge for sealing on glass, because Mod Podge is more of a tough white glue and won’t give you that clear gloss that a glass product should. Really look for something that will give you a glossy look. 

Don’t get me wrong I love Mod Podge and they do have an acrylic sealer; I just prefer one of these 2 methods: Spray it or bake it!

Sealing Acrylic with Spray

If you spray it, find a spray on sealant, like this one. A gloss finish will have a lot of shine on your glassware. 

Shake well and stand a good distance away before you spray your product in nice even strokes, back and forth.  Wait about 15 minutes, and add another coat, then wait again. 

I can already hear the lyrics of the song as I wait and wait “Tick-Tock on the clock, but the party don’t stop.” 

Bake to Sealing Acrylic pain

If you want to bake it, then you don’t have to pay for the sealant, and you just have to turn on your oven to 350. Bake it for 30 minutes.  Let it cool before touching! You will get just as beautiful an outcome as spraying it.

Pro Tip: Don’t put a glass item into the oven when it’s pre-heating or you may hear a shatter!

You might find interesting reading also: How to seal acrylic painting?

How to Maintain or clean your Acrylic Painted Glassware?

Now that you are using your glassware, the last thing we want is it to be damaged.  You can dishwash it on the top shelf, but I prefer to handwash it but not soak or scrub it too hard. 

How to Maintain or clean your Acrylic Painted Glassware?

Always be gentle.

Not so bad right?  Just a few quick tips and easy purchases you can get painting. With the holidays always around the corner, this is a sure way to get some fun, creative projects under your belt! Any ages can really do this, and let’s be real practice makes perfect.

Now get up and start painting!

Related questions

Can you use acrylic paint on windows?

You can paint on windows. If you are painting on the outside of the glass, then yes acrylic paint is great! The best part of window painting is that windows have large surfaces, so you have a lot of room for creativity. The process is a little different from glassware but is just as simple.

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