Painting glass – To Bake or Not to Bake? And More Amazing Questions

The great thing about glass is that it’s so inexpensive. Pair glass with paint and you have the perfect marriage of one of kind, thrifty and an easy project.

I’m going to answer all of your questions about painting glass. I’ll also test out painting methods and curing options and pass on helpful tips and easy instructions. I’m taking you along for the ride. Grab your own bottle, plate or jar and see what you can make. Or better yet, have some friends over and make it a party. This is the perfect craft to do with a glass of wine.

I experimented with painting these glass water bottles. They are fun to use as a vase, but I also like to use them with chilled water for guests. For me, this means they have to be washable. You can really paint any glass items including glass jars, mason jars or wine glasses. You can get more glass painting tips from Chas at Chas’ Crazy Creations.

painting glass water bottles

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What Kind of Paint Will Stick To Glass?

The type of glass paint you use should SAY that it’s suitable for glass objects. I found the best paint was Plaid Folk Art paint. Be sure to get the kind labeled “multi-surface variety”. This kind has a picture of a wine glass on the lid.

paint suitable for glass

I searched for an alternate brand, but strangely this is the ONLY PAINT I found that said it was for glass that wasn’t stained glass paint. I read lots of reviews for paints that said they were made for glass, but customers didn’t agree. If you want to paint glass you must use the right paint. A great option is Plaid Paint (this is not sponsored). You can get it on Amazon or at a craft store like Michael’s, but it’s much less expensive at Michaels.

Even the paints that are made for glass are not dishwasher safe unless they are cured, more on that later.

Be sure to pay close attention to the labels and read the reviews carefully. There are many types of paint for STAINED GLASS which are translucent. Before you begin your project, decide if you want paint that is opaque like the Plaid paints or translucent, like stained glass.

How To Paint In An Ombre Style

I wanted to try out an Ombre finish on my glass bottles. Here are the supplies I used:

Here are the basic steps to paint an ombre jar (with a video):

  1. Use painter’s tape to set a clear top boundary. I didn’t want mine to go all the way to the top.
  2. Squirt some white paint and the solid color you are using onto a paper plate. I used Indigo.
  3. First thing, decide whether the whiter color will be at the top or bottom. I used white at the top.
  4. Paint a stripe of white at the top. The beauty of ombre is that it doesn’t require hard lines.
  5. Dip your brush into the blue and mix it with the white to get the next hue and paint a stripe of that. Continue this process down the bottle blending as you go.
  6. After the first layer, you can always go back and touch up or add a second layer. If you apply a second coat, use a fresh brush.
  7. Take the tape off WHILE the paint is still wet.
  8. Cure the jar if you plan to wash it. This process is described below.

How Do You Permanently Paint Glass?

In order for paint to remain on glass, it must be cured in some way. There are a two ways to cure painted glass. The first is to bake it and the second is to use a sealant.

You might be wondering, as I was, can you put glass into any oven to cure it? The short answer is YES, but you have to follow a few basic guidelines.

  • Be sure to let the paint air dry for 24 hours before you try to cure it.
  • Put the item into a COLD oven
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • As soon as the temperature reaches 350, set a timer for 30 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, turn the oven off, but DON’T get in a rush. Leave the glass in the oven until it’s completely cool.
  • Wait 3 days before you wash your art. It’s still safer not to wash the item in a dishwasher, it’s safer to wash it by hand. If you don’t want to hand wash make sure you use the top-rack dishwasher.

Does Acrylic Paint Wash Off Glass?

Acrylic enamel paint won’t wash off glass IF you’ve cured it properly. If you don’t cure your art it will wash off easily. The beauty of glass painting is that if you paint your jar/bottle and you hate it, you can rinse it off and start over.

Acrylic paint should be cured and only washed in the top shelf of the dishwasher. I prefer to only wash mine by hand with warm water or wipe it with a damp cloth.

Ideas For What To Paint On Glass

There are so many ideas for painting glass. For your glass painting project you can paint glass jars, mason jars, wine glasses. wine bottles, clear glass vases, glass bowls and canisters. Chas with Chas’ Crazy Creations has all kinds of ideas for how to paint glassware around the house.

You can also use a stencil on any glass surface. Here are some seasonal options:

A Cautionary Tale About Stripes

I tried to paint stripes onto my glass bottles, but because they are round and they taper at the top my attempt was a failure. Remember how I said the beauty is you can rinse and repeat? That’s what I did.

glass painting tips

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  1. This is fantastic information, Andrea, I love painting glass and am so excited to share this with my readers. Thank you!

  2. Andrea, I love this. I have etched on glass but I do like being able to paint on it. Aren’t those IKEA bottles the best? So hope your dog is doing better. What a scary episode for you! Sending big hugs.

  3. Andrea, These bottles you painted are beautiful! I have never painted on glass before, but I think I might have to paint a couple of bottles like this. I am not sure I can get the ombre look as pretty as you did, but I could always impress you into service the next time you are here!!

  4. What a great tutorial, Andrea. I will be referencing this information whenever I do a project with glass. Thanks for putting this together.
    Lynne,Thrifting Wonderland

  5. Emma Blakey says:

    I am helping my daughter, who is quite the budding history reenactor, to make Viking Era bead chains to wear with her hand sewed, hand-embroidered apron dress that we have finally finished having worked on it throughout Covid. Period reproduction lampwork beads are just gorgeous but are too pricey for our budget. Instead, we’ve decided to get plain glass beads in various shapes and colors to paint, cure, and bake to resemble the ones that she particularly likes from archaeological finds. Thanks so much for this article! We now have a much better idea about how to make her vision come alive without breaking the budget. It is going to be fabulous!

  6. I would like to glue a glass table top on to the base so it can’t move when being pushed on. Ie one person sitting at table with elbows on it and tipping the top. I will need a way to decorate the top so the glue doesn’t show. Like you see the felt pieces between the glass and base. It’s obviously to big to cure in the oven. Any thoughts

  7. Teri Phillips says:

    I work with quite a few kinds of vintage glass , like carnival glass, depression glass, and crystal.
    Can that really be baked in the oven at 350 for a 1/2 hour? I’m a little nervous that it would break

    1. Teri,
      I haven’t baked LOTS of glass. My suggestion would be to try it with a piece that you don’t value first. It worked for me with glass bottle, but it wasn’t valuable.


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