Painting on glass is an enjoyable, creative project with limitless possibilities. A big plus is the fact that you don't need to purchase glass paint or other special supplies to get started. You can successfully paint glass with regular acrylic paint.
For best results, seal the finished glass artwork using one of two methods: applying a chemical glass paint sealer or baking the piece in an oven. Both result in a more hard-wearing and long-lasting painted surface, which will keep your creation looking its best for years to come.
Apply a Glass Paint Sealer
To seal acrylic paint on glass, purchase an acrylic sealant that is suitable for use on glass surfaces. Choose a glass paint sealer with a glossy finish (rather than a matte finish) for best results. These types of sealant are available in spray-on or brush-on formulas. Whichever type you use to seal paint on glass, make sure that the acrylic paint is completely dry before you begin the application.
With a spray-on sealant, spray the painted surface in a back-and-forth motion, holding the can approximately 12 inches away. Once you have applied a thorough, even coat of glass paint sealer, let it dry. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for an approximate drying time. Apply two or three more coats of sealant, letting the previous coat dry before applying the next one.
Apply a brush-on sealant with a paintbrush in a similar manner, brushing a thin, even layer of sealant over the painted glass surface. Apply two or three additional coats, letting each one dry before applying the next. A brush-on sealant will generally take longer to dry than a spray-on sealant, so allow extra time for this method.
Seal Paint on Glass in the Oven
Seal acrylic paint on glass using your home oven, which gives excellent results and doesn't require the purchase of a chemical sealant. After the paint has completely dried, place the glass item on a piece of parchment paper set on a cookie sheet or another suitable ovenproof dish. Place the item inside the cold oven and then set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Never put a glass item into a preheated oven, or it is likely to shatter or crack.
Leave the glass item in the oven for 30 minutes, inclusive of the time it takes for the oven to heat. After this time, carefully remove the item from the oven and let it cool completely before handling it. If your item is intended for food or drink use, such as a glass or plate, wait at least 72 hours before you first use it.
Tips for Successful Sealing
It is important that the paint is thoroughly dry before you apply a sealant or bake a painted glass item in the oven. To be certain, let your painted item dry for a minimum of 24 hours before sealing it.
A painted glass item that you've sealed in the oven should be safe for washing in the top rack of a dishwasher. However, it's always better to carefully hand wash painted glass items and only when necessary. Otherwise, simply dust the item with a soft cloth.
Painted Glass Safety Tips
The chemical sealant method should only be used for nonfood items. If you are painting glass items that you intend to use for food or drinks, such as plates or glasses, always opt for the oven method.
When you're using a chemical sealant, work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Closely follow the manufacturer's instructions.