Are you seeking the best kind of craft paint for glass? I’m with you! I’m ready to start painting again since winter began and I’ll have to put my outdoor craft fun on hiatus🎨 . Gotta roll with the punches. By the way I love to paint no matter what time of year it is – main thing I notice is it takes longer to dry.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to give my glass jar collection a new makeover but you can’t just use the same kind of paint you would use on wood. You need a different formula as…
Pin Me? ❤️️🎨
You Need Enamel Based Paint For Glass!
I remember as a kid I enjoyed painting suncatchers. You probably did too – remember those suncatcher kits that always came with the little row of paint pots and a brush? Sometimes I had to use a toothpick instead of a brush to apply it, especially in small areas. It was also translucent when dry. Chances are, it was an enamel-based paint.
To paint on glass like a real boss, you need enamel paint. You may also need to permanently cure your items in the oven after drying. Last night I brought home some of these from Hobby Lobby – I had to do diligence first so I would get the right kind to use on glass. Now let’s look at some brands that make the cut!
I picked up some enamel craft paint by DecoArt. It’s made by Plaid and that’s a great company too. Ready to see how it goes. I have some real cute little yoghurt jars I’ve kept that I wanted to experiment with first.
As the saying goes “you must crawl before you walk” so I’ll start small before I go onto the more ambitious stuff like mason jars.
Painting on glass is kind of tricky, because you can see through it and thus flaws like brush marks, air bubbles, stuff like that. It’s different from opaque nonporous objects that give you a little more leeway and a chance to correct errors.
First ..I Tried the Two Step PermEnamel…
This is a line of paints (called PermEnamel by Delta)that involve a two-step process – you also have to purchase this clear liquid product separately (the bottle on the right in the picture below) It has an odor like acetone (think nail polish remover.) You apply it to the outside or inside of the item you want to paint/stain.
Then you let it dry, for some reason you have this 4-hour window of time in which you can start painting, but according to the label, if you forget about it after four hours you have to re-apply this preliminary liquid.
I didn’t waste any time, in about a half hour I proceeded with my jar in this pretty green. I use the drip method, because I don’t want any brush marks whatsoever. It turned out nice, but I think I could do without that preliminary part…I’d rather just get a bottle of rubbing alcohol on my own, dab it on and go from there. How about you?
I’ve actually had these a long time and I think this brand may have been discontinued? Sorry about that, but just wanted to give you an idea of how basic glass painting works. Now let’s move on to some paints that are currently available, are excellent, go on well, and have a nice color range!
I would also encourage you to try this brand too! It is another time-tested brand like DecoArt. It is ready to use out of the bottle; with no thinning necessary. After application and drying, it has a semi-gloss appearance to it.
Oven setting is recommended to produce permanency. If left at a normal air drying, it could take as long as 21 days, according to the manufacturer.
Here is something I’ve been doing lately…
I wanted to permanently tint this cute glass shoe (it came from Walgreens-and held drink mixer) I used Perfect Purple as I plan to use this as a decor piece for my first bathroom which is lilac/purple. I squirted the product into it directly and swirled it around to distribute the paint.
I did have to add a little water to get it to flow around better, but an object like this, with so many contours, it took a little legwork.
I didn’t actually put it in the oven….Here’s what it looks like a few days later. The one thing is it dries opaque, so it isn’t like something you’d use for translucent tinting. I like it, nevertheless!
Plaid Gallery Glass
Love suncatchers? Then you will love using this specialized brand of glass craft paint. It has a nice skinny applicator tip so even inexperienced users can take a crack at designing beautiful glass crafts. Each bottle is 2 oz and the colors are rich and vibrant. It also includes lead strips to guide your designs.
You can also check into the liquid leading, also made by Plaid, to create the black outlines around the designs. In addition to suncatchers, this paint is also excellent for use on wine glasses, wine bottles, candleholders, Mason jars, anything glass with a smooth surface.
Only thing I do want to stress, is that this paint is able to peel off from its surface at a later date. You may want to consider the application of some Mod Podge to set it. Another good use for Gallery Glass is its suitability in making window clings (something I’ve never attempted to do, but sounds fun!)
DecoArt Gloss Enamels
This! For certain! Theses high-gloss enamels have lots of different styles to choose from, such as crystal, glitter, metallic and even chalkboard- which would be great if you are into doing the shabby chic style of painting. It has a nice consistency and takes 1-2 coats to get a nice look:
I’m not totally clear on whether or not that it is the same as the first one I mentioned (I did a little research; but couldn’t get a clear answer). For the sake of argument I think it’s a little bit glossier looking, and you are encouraged to give it four days cure time (according to the label) before setting your object in the oven.
This is the third one I got and I picked out a few in my favorite colors to try.
I used the all-over approach in which you fill the inside of the jar and swirl the color around – then turned it upside down to remove excess. I think it worked out well. I may have needed to add a teeny bit of water, though, to make it easier to move around.
FolkArt Frosted Aegean Sea Enamel Paint, 2 oz
FolkArt Frosted Glass
Now for the frosted glass paint…..As I discovered, it’s pretty thick. It’s also got a little bit of an odor to it – more so than the original types I talk about which have hardly an odor to them unless they get old. Don’t worry, it’s also non-toxic though!
I ended up adding a little water to it to thin it enough to be able to swirl it around so I could give this cute little glass jar a real color tint. Emphasis on “a little” – you don’t want the paint to be too thin or it will be easier to see flaws like bubbles, color overlaps, ridges, etc.
The Frosted Glass paint has directions on the label to “cure for at least an hour, bake in oven for 350 degrees for 30 minutes” Oven curing will prevent chips or peeling, and should be top-rack dishwasher safe if you decide to wash them.
This Glass Paint Set by Magicdo Comes in Tubes
One more to bring to your attention and that is this set I found by Magicdo. It includes 12 jewel tone colors in 0.4 oz tubes. You will need to use the built-in piercer in the cap to get to the contents. It also comes with a bonus of a cute palette so you can get started mixing your paints.
Excellent product choice if you are looking for something that can fill in larger areas. You may also want to consider the liquid leading I mentioned earlier to make sure your designs are crisp and outlined.
According to set directions, full curing in the oven at 175 degrees for two hours will keep your designs permanent.
Tips For Success
After you wash your jars out, and remove any labels if necessary, apply a little rubbing alcohol first. It helps the paint to stick better to glass.
I would use your finished objects d’ art as decorative pieces only; even though the paints above are labeled “dishwasher safe” I don’t know that i would use them with food and drink related items.
Hope you enjoy! Now you can create solid and opaque, or frosty looking, or transparent looking effects? You can. Get creative and see what you can come up with next time you are painting jars, vases, bottles, and more!