Does Acrylic Paint Work On Glass?

When most people think of artistic painting, the first thing that comes to mind is painting on a canvas or a thick sheet of paper. However, for those willing to think outside of the box, you might consider painting on other mediums to create unique or functional works of art. A

fter all, art is about doing the most with what you have, and repurposed art has become very trendy.

That being said, does acrylic paint work on glass? Yes, acrylic paint works on glass. Although you may need to take some extra steps to prepare the glass surface for painting, you can create beautiful and functional art by painting glass with acrylic. 

In today’s post, I hope to give you a couple of great ideas for your next art project. Glass is everywhere, and most people have a couple of old bottles or something similar lying around the house. Below, I’ll explain how to prepare the glass surface for painting, how to choose the best paint for the glass, and answer some of the most commonly asked questions on the subject. It’s time to add some color to your life! 

Using Acrylic To Paint Glass: What You Need To Know

People have been turning glass into art since the days of Da Vinci and the Renaissance. Back then, glass artisans would mix potash and various metallic oxides with sand and heat them up to molten temperatures, resulting in the beautiful stained glass that you can see in ancient cathedrals and royal estates. 

Painting glass with acrylic paint is a far cry from making stained glass, but I promise you it’s a lot faster and more practical. Recently, I hand-painted a large beer glass with a giant clover for St. Patrick’s Day. I obviously did a good job with it because it’s been 3 months (and countless beer fill-ups) since then, and the bright green clover has barely faded. 

Now, it’s time to show you how to paint your own glass using simple [acrylic paint] that you can find on Amazon or at your local art supplies store! 

First Step: Clean The Glass 

You always want to start with a pristinely clean surface before you start painting. If there is any residual soap, dirt, or oils from your hand that gets trapped under the paint, then it will quickly peel or chip away. For this reason, I always recommend wearing some latex or disposable nitrile gloves while painting to prevent your finger grease from smudging the glass. 

Next, you’ll want to clean the glass thoroughly. If it’s dirty, give it a quick wash with a sponge and soap or run it through the washing machine. After you’re finished washing it, give it a quick dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. 

Finally, soak the tip of a cloth in rubbing alcohol and rub the inside and outside of the glass while wearing your disposable gloves. This will remove any leftover soap residue or smudges left by your fingers. 

For Best Results, Prime The Glass First

Paint needs something to bond to if you want to make sure that it sticks. By nature, glass is a very smooth surface. This means that if you want your acrylic paint to stick to the glass surface, you’ll usually need to prime the glass before painting it.

What About Acrylic Paint For Glass? 

I figured now would be a good time to address acrylic glass paint. This type of acrylic paint is specially designed to adhere to the smooth surface of the glass. While it certainly works better than traditional acrylic paint, I still recommend using a primer with it. Even this special glass paint will eventually chip and peel without it (especially if it’s a drinking glass you’re using and washing regularly). 

What Type of Primer Should You Use To Paint Glass? 

I recommend using an enamel-based primer for priming your glass surface. This primer contains extra compounds that create a hard, durable shell after it dries. This ensures maximum bonding and creates a thick seal that’s more water-resistant. 

Apply The Primer To Glass

Once you figure out the design that you want to paint on your glass, outline it with the primer and fill it all in with a light coat of primer. Any areas that aren’t properly primed will be susceptible to chipping. 

Choosing The Best Acrylic Paint For Your Glass

Since glass is somewhat of a difficult material, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using high-quality acrylic paint that can stand the test of time through regular washing and usage. Here are some things to keep in mind while choosing the best acrylic paint for glass. 

Enamel-Based Acrylic Paint For Glass

To complement the enamel-based primer you used earlier, I recommend using an enamel-based paint as well. The enamel will give it superior water resistance and will adhere better to the primer you painted on earlier. 

UV-Resistant Paint

If your art piece is going to be hanging in a window where light is going to be passing through, then you’ll probably want to find UV-resistant acrylic paint. This paint has added compounds designed to deflect UV rays and prevent them from fading the color. 

Final Step: Glaze Your Painted Glass

Your final step is to glaze the glass. After the paint has completely dried and cured, you’ll want to coat the painted area with a glaze so that it will be 100% waterproof. I recommend using Mod Podge transparent glaze. They have a great spray can option that makes for easy application. 

After you finish glazing the glass, pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the glass for 30 minutes. This will allow the glaze to fully cure. Just be careful to not burn yourself when you take it out of the oven! 

Can I Wash Painted Glass? 

As long as you followed all of the steps and properly glazed the glass, then you should have no problems washing your painted glass. You’ll be able to hand wash it with soap and a sponge or run it through the dishwasher without having to worry about damaging the fresh paint.