How to Paint Glass Windows – Exciting Window Painting Ideas for All

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Painting and decorating glass windows can be a fun and charming way to enhance your home or business. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of privacy or create a festive atmosphere, there are countless window painting ideas to explore. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of painting glass windows and share some recommended products for this project.

Reasons to Paint Glass Windows

Why should you consider painting your glass windows? There are a variety of decorative and functional purposes. You can easily add an artistic flair to any room by using different window art ideas. Even if you’re not an artist, there are beautiful stencils and designs available to help you create stunning window art. One popular idea is to create faux stained-glass designs, which require a little more effort but are still achievable for beginners.

Frosted Glass Painting

Another reason to paint windows is to increase privacy. Frosted glass painting can provide the desired privacy while still allowing the light to shine through. Painted glass windows can also be a great way to attract customers to your business.

Decorating glass windows can also be a fun activity for kids, as long as you use non-toxic paints that are easy to clean up.

Types of Paint for Glass

When it comes to painting glass windows, not just any paint will do. You need to choose paints that are specifically formulated for glass surfaces. Two common types of paint for glass windows are acrylic enamel paints and acrylic paints.

Acrylic Enamel Paints

Acrylic enamel paints come in transparent or opaque options and offer glossy and frosted window glass colors. These paints are more durable and permanent, making them ideal for smooth surfaces like glass. Some brands require curing the paint in the oven, while others can simply air dry. You can even mix colors from the same brand and apply them with a soft brush. For more textured effects, you can sponge on the paint.

Acrylic Paints for Glass

Water-based acrylic paints are more opaque, but you can also find transparent options. These paints are specially manufactured for glass painting and adhere well to glass surfaces. They can be air dried or heat set, depending on the product instructions. To improve adhesion when using regular acrylic paints, apply a glass medium as a primer on the glass surface. This will create a more permanent bond and give a frosted effect. Alternatively, you can use tempera paints, which are water-soluble and washable, perfect for seasonal window art ideas.

Acrylic Paint for Glass Windows

Solvent-Based Paints

Solvent-based paints, such as oil-based paints, are more expensive and toxic compared to acrylic paints. They create a beautiful stained-glass effect and can be brushed on, sprayed, or applied with a dropper. Mixing colors is possible, and a rich glossy finish can be achieved. Clean up requires solvents, so these paints are not recommended for enclosed spaces or around children.

Paint Window Art Ideas

More window painting ideas include using oil-based spray paints for frosted effects and markers or pens designed for glass surfaces. Liquid leading can also be used to create realistic stained-glass appearances.

The Best Brushes for Decorating Glass Windows

The type of brush or paint applicator you use can greatly impact the finish of your painted glass windows. For a brushed-on look, synthetic brushes work well. If you prefer a smoother finish, opt for a soft, natural brush. Quality is key when choosing a brush to avoid fallen bristles in your paint. Foam brushes are great for applying paint when using stencils, while sponges add texture to the painted surface.

Brushes for Washable Window Paint

How to Purchase the Best Paint for Glass Windows

Now that you know which paints to use for glass windows, it’s important to know what to consider when purchasing them. The best paint for glass windows is specifically designed for this purpose, chemically bonding to the glass for a long-lasting finish. Acrylic enamel paints and solvent-based paints are suitable for permanent projects, while water-based paints like acrylics are more suitable for non-permanent and casual use. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best glass paint:

Type of Glass Paint

Acrylic paints are versatile and can be used on various surfaces, including glass. However, they may wear away quickly on glass. Acrylic enamels are more durable and water-based, but they are not food-safe. Solvent-based paints are the most durable and can adhere to glass, metal, and ceramics.

Decorating Glass Windows

Paint Packaging

Glass paints come in various forms and sizes. Two-ounce bottles are common and can be sold individually or in sets. Some sets offer a range of colors. Spray paints are convenient for larger areas but may require multiple coats. Pens and markers are suitable for detailed applications.

Paint Features

Consider the transparency or opacity of the paints, depending on your desired look. Some paints have a high pigment load and transparency, while others may require multiple layers for vibrant color. Enamel paints are more opaque, while specific glass paints create stained-glass effects. Pay attention to the consistency of the paint, as some are thinner and may need to be thinned further. Consider the finish options, such as matte, gloss, semi-gloss, shimmer, frosted, or metallic effects.


Consider whether you want the paint to be easily removable or more permanent. Washable paints like tempera are non-permanent and can be easily removed. Regular acrylics can be semi-permanent, but using a glass medium and sealing the paint can increase their permanence. Acrylic enamels and solvent-based paints are permanent and durable. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding curing and drying times.


Acrylic paints are generally considered less toxic, with low odor, while solvent paints may release higher levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Tempera paints are non-toxic and safe, making them ideal for children. Safety also depends on the application method. Spraying paints may pose more health risks compared to using a brush. Refer to the table below for an overview of the main factors to consider when purchasing glass paint:

Paint TypeSafetyTransparencyPermanency
Acrylic-Enamel PaintsLow VOC levelsTransparent and opaque colorsPermanent
Acrylic Glass PaintsLow VOC levelsTransparent and opaque colorsSemi-permanent
Tempera PaintsNon-toxic and safeMostly opaqueNot permanent
Solvent-Based PaintsToxic (decorative purposes only)Vibrant transparent and opaque colorsPermanent

Paint for Glass Windows: Best Recommended Products

To help you choose the best paint for your glass windows, here are three popular options for different needs: tempera paint, acrylic enamel paint, and acrylic glass paint.

Painting Acrylic on Glass

Tempera Paint for Glass Windows: COLORATIONS Washable Tempera Paints

Colorations Tempera Paints come in eleven vibrant, creamy, and opaque colors. These paints are safe for kids and washable. They adhere well to glass surfaces, dry quickly, and are easy to work with. In addition to glass windows, they can be used for various art projects, making them a versatile choice. Cleaning up is a breeze with just soap and water.

Acrylic Enamel Paint for Glass Windows: FOLKART Gloss Acrylic Enamel Paint

FolkArt Acrylic Enamel Paints are non-toxic and specially made for glass and ceramic surfaces. The bottles come in a convenient size and include sixteen amazing colors. You can mix colors to create even more options. The paint dries to a vibrant and durable gloss finish that is also scratch-resistant. Cleaning up is as simple as using soap and water. For drinking glasses, the paints can be cured in the oven, making them dishwasher safe.

Acrylic Glass Paint: MAGICDO Stained Glass Paint

The Magicdo Stained Glass Paint Set includes 12 ml tubes of twelve colors and a palette. These paints are durable, scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, and water-resistant. They have no odor and are solvent-free, making them safe to use. The UV resistance ensures that the paints won’t fade over time. They are suitable for windows, wine glasses, glass surfaces, and ceramics. This set is perfect for artists of all skill levels.

A Tutorial on How to Paint Glass Windows

Decorating glass windows is a fantastic way to add color and excitement to your space. Whether you’re looking for a permanent or temporary design, painted windows can serve as a great conversation starter.

What Paint to Use on Glass

Cleaning and Preparing the Glass Windows

Before painting any surface, proper preparation is essential to achieve the best finish. Start by cleaning the glass surface with soap and water. If there are any greasy marks, wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol. Allow the glass to dry completely. It’s recommended to wear gloves while cleaning to avoid leaving fingerprints on the surface. Once you have a design in mind, use painter’s tape to cover areas you want to keep paint-free, such as the window frame. If you’re planning to paint a detailed artwork, consider adding a base coat or background. Apply one or two layers of gesso to create an opaque painting surface. Let the base coat dry for about an hour. Paint drying times may vary, so read the instructions on the paint labels. Alternatively, aerosol primers are available for painting on glass windows. If you’re not using a base coat, you can start outlining the design directly on the glass using a paint liner. Remember to wear gloves to prevent any accidental marks. For clear glass, you can freehand your design or attach a stencil to the other side of the glass to trace the image. Let the paint liner dry. If you’re aiming for a faux stained-glass effect, apply the lead liner before starting to paint. Allow the lead liner to dry before painting.

Applying the Paint

When applying paint to your design, start from the top left or top right side of the area to prevent smudging. If you’re using a single color to cover the entire surface, apply the paint evenly with a brush. Depending on the desired look, you may need to apply two or more coats. Try not to apply too much paint to avoid excess. Keep an old rag or paper towel nearby to wipe away any mistakes.

If you make a mistake or need to remove unwanted paint, use a paint thinner specific to the paint you’re using.

Apply one color at a time and let each layer dry before applying the next to prevent colors from bleeding into each other. Tempera paints dry quickly in a few minutes, while water-based paints require at least an hour, and oil-based paints need at least 24 hours. Continue painting until your design is complete. Once the paint is dry, remove any painter’s tape.

Tempera paint is a popular choice due to its non-toxic and easily washable properties. You can purchase ready-made paints or create your own by mixing washable kids’ paint with liquid dish soap. Another easy application method is using spray cans, which are often used for creating frosted glass effects. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated space and wear protective gear like a mask and gloves. Hold the spray can a few inches away from the surface and apply in an even motion.

Curing and Sealing the Painted Glass

Curing the painted glass makes it more durable, but certain paints require a month or longer to fully cure. Before that, the paint is vulnerable to scratches and peeling. Baking the glass is an effective method, but it’s not possible for windows. Patience is key for allowing the paint to fully dry. To enhance durability, you can apply an acrylic sealant designed for glass surfaces after the paint has dried completely. The sealant can be brushed on or sprayed in a thin coat. Allow the first coat to dry before applying additional coats.

How to Remove Glass Paint

If you’re unhappy with the result or want to remove the paint, it’s possible with washable water-based paints. Simply use soap and water to wipe off the paint. Acrylic paints require a different approach. Try using white vinegar to loosen the paint. Boil three tablespoons each of water and vinegar, then dip a rag into the solution. Carefully rub the rag over the painted glass surface, using a razor blade to gently scrape off any remaining paint. Hold the blade at an angle and move in one direction to lift the paint without flaking. Keep a wet rag nearby to moisten the paint as you work. Once you’re finished, wipe the glass with window cleaner.

Window Art Ideas and Tips

When it comes to window art ideas, the possibilities are endless. Many people enjoy decorating glass windows for different seasons or holidays throughout the year. You can create a beautiful stained-glass effect that brings in a rainbow of colors when sunlight shines through. Flower painting designs, such as chrysanthemums, daisies, and sunflowers, are also popular. Geometric designs can produce amazing effects and are relatively easy to accomplish. Liquid chalk pens are a great option as they are non-toxic and work well on non-porous surfaces like glass windows. They provide a mess-free drawing experience. Kids can have hours of fun, and businesses can create eye-catching designs using these pens. If you enjoy painting on glass windows but don’t want anything permanent, consider painting a glass window panel that can be easily moved around. You can also utilize household items like sponges or crumpled newspapers to add texture to your paint finish. Here are some useful tips for your window art ideas:

  • Always clean your glass surface properly.
  • Plan out your design in advance.
  • Choose the correct glass paint for your project.
  • Have the proper tools ready, such as brushes, rags, sponges, toothpicks, newspaper, tape, and stencils.
  • Follow the paint product instructions and be patient when it comes to drying times.
  • To avoid brushstrokes, apply thin, even layers of paint and consider applying multiple coats.

If possible, paint the outside of your window to prevent glass reflections from obscuring the painted image.

  • When painting with a single solid color, consider using a sponge for application.
  • Use adhesive stencils that lay flat and adhere to the glass surface.
  • Allow the paint to dry for about 21 days for a more permanent result.

Children's Paint for Glass Windows

The most important thing when painting glass windows is to have fun. It’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy, regardless of age. With countless design options and ideas, there’s sure to be something that captures your interest.

View our Painting On Glass web story here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What paint should I use on glass?

The most popular paints for glass windows are acrylic enamel paints or paints specifically designed for glass. Regular acrylic paints can also be used, but they require a glass medium as a primer. Washable paints like tempera are safe for kids to use and easily removable.

Can I seal the paint on glass windows?

Acrylic paints can be left to air dry fully for at least a month. Baking acrylic paints is another option, but it’s not possible for windows. Once the acrylic paint has dried, you can apply a brush-on or spray acrylic sealant.

Can I remove acrylic paints from glass?

Acrylic paints are semi-permanent and not easily removable once dry. You can try using boiled vinegar and water solution to loosen and lift the paint. Gently scrape off any remaining paint with a razor blade.

What is the best window paint for children?

For children’s projects, washable paints like tempera are the best choice. They are non-toxic and easily washable. You can use ready-made washable paints or create your own by mixing washable kids’ paint with liquid dish soap.

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