Painting on Glass With Paint That Will Wash Off

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Window painting is a versatile activity that is often done for advertising purposes, festive holiday displays, school projects or plain old fun. The problem is, if you use the wrong kind of paint, this enjoyable art project can quickly become a cleanup nightmare when permanent or hard-to-remove paint just won’t wash away. Learn how to make your own washable paint for windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces when you want a temporary design that’s easy to remove later. The recipe is simple to make, easy to paint with, and will allow your creative genius come to life without worry or fear of a tough or messy cleanup later.

Things You'll Need

  • 2/3 cup colorless liquid dish soap
  • 1/3 cup tempera paint powder
  • 4 tablespoons liquid starch
  • Wooden paint stirrer
  • 12 ounce disposable bowls
  • Paintbrushes
  • Warm water
  • Washcloth
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Combine tempera paint powder, dish soap and liquid starch in a disposable bowl to make 1 cup of paint. Half, double or triple the recipe, as necessary, depending on how much paint of a given color you need.

  • Use a paint stirrer or an old, small, wooden or plastic spoon to mix the ingredients together until you achieve a thickness similar to latex paint. Add more powder to thicken up the paint or add water to thin the paint, 1 teaspoon at a time.

  • Dip a paintbrush into the mixed paint and apply it to windows, mirrors, other glass or tile to create a picture, design or sign, allowing the paint to dry between color changes and applications. Drying time will depend on how heavily you apply your coats, but usually takes between 1 and 4 hours.

  • To remove paint, dip a washcloth in warm water and wash the glass surface using a circular motion. Rinse the cloth and repeat this step two or three times, as necessary. Finish with glass cleaner and paper towels, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mix the ingredients slowly and gently for a thicker, opaque paint, or quickly and vigorously for a lightweight paint with more translucence.
  • Use adhesive stencils or masking tape to achieve neat, professional-looking painting results.
  • As an alternative to acrylic paint, use window cling paint to paint beautiful, sun-catching pictures on windows, glass and tile. The paint goes on wet and dries to a plastic consistency that peels right off for wash-free removal.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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