Acrylic paint is a wonderfully versatile medium. These paints can be used on nearly any surface or material.
But can you use acrylic paint on glass surfaces? Read on for the basics of painting over glass surfaces with acrylics.
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Will Acrylic Paint Work on Glass?
Yes, acrylic paints will work on glass surfaces. However, you’ll need to prepare the glass beforehand to ensure the acrylic doesn’t peel or chip over time. You will need to use a compatible primer to use acrylic paint on glass. Enamel-based primers typically work best.
Choosing the Right Acrylic Paint
You’ll need to select the correct type of acrylic paint for glass projects. Consider long-lasting options so they don’t peel or deteriorate over time. Enamel-based acrylic paints are a common choice for painting over the glass. Enamel-based options are more durable and have a variety of effects and finishes.
Choosing the Right Glass
You can use acrylic paint on nearly any type of glass. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before doing so.
If you want to seal your finished piece in the oven, you’ll need to understand its coefficient of expansion (COE). The COE determines how much the glass will expand and contract when placed in the oven. Glass pieces with lower ratings aren’t as flexible and are more likely to crack or break in the oven.
The glass used in standard dinnerware is typically the best choice. This style of glass is flexible, thin, and not as likely to crack under extreme heat. Be sure to read up beforehand to determine which glass is best for your project.
How to Paint Glass With Acrylics
Painting glass with acrylics is fairly straightforward. There are various methods you can use, including freehand, stencils, and more. Besides the paint and primer, you’ll need some brushes, sponges, and basic painting supplies to begin. Follow the steps below to start painting over the glass with acrylics.
Preparing the Glass
To have a successful finished piece, you’ll need to prepare the glass surface. You may want to wear gloves, set down a tarp, and have a few rags handy.
To prepare the glass, start by cleaning it with warm soapy water. Let the glass dry. Afterward, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar. Let the glass air dry once more.
Now, you can tape any areas you want to protect from paint. For example, you might cover the rim of a drinking glass. Now you can apply a layer of gesso to the areas you plan to paint. This base coat of gesso will help the paint adhere to the surface. It will also make the paint more opaque.
Prepare the Paint
Now you’ll need to prepare your acrylic paint. You can thin your acrylic paints with distilled water or special acrylic solutions. Thinning your acrylic paints will help you achieve different consistencies, colors, and textures.
Now for the part: painting! Consider using a synthetic brush, flat sable, or bristle brush for glass surfaces. These brushes are specifically designed for acrylics and work well. Be sure to choose acrylic paints that are compatible with glass. Enamel-based options are common recommendations.
You can transfer your stencil onto the glass, draw it on the surface, or paint freehand. Take your time, use even brush strokes, and paint from one edge to the other. Be sure to paint using thin layers for added depth and precision and to avoid cracking.
Ensure your acrylics are kept on a flat surface. You can use acrylic palettes with wells or disposable options. Don’t pour too much, as acrylics dry quickly.
Seal the Acrylic Paint
Now you’ll need to seal the acrylic paint after you’re finished, satisfied, and the paint has dried. You can seal acrylic paint using a special medium or by baking it in the oven. If you want a dishwasher-safe piece, consider baking it in the oven.
You can seal finished acrylic pieces with a varnish or glass protector. Acrylic paint doesn’t react negatively or chemically to these products. These topcoats will prevent chips, yellowing, and add longevity to your finished product.
Most products are simple spray-on solutions. Be sure to use them in a well-ventilated area and read all instructions before beginning. Some products need more than one coat or have different drying times.
Sealing In the Oven
You’ll need to seal your acrylic paint in the oven if you want your finished piece to be dishwasher safe. Nearly all acrylic paints are oven safe, but be sure to read the package instructions beforehand.
To seal in the oven, place your finished piece into a cold oven. Set the oven to 350°F (175°C) and let it bake for around 30 minutes. Shut off the oven after 30 minutes, and let the piece cool for 45 minutes. Your finished piece should be completely cured in 24 to 72 hours.
Clean Your Area
After you’re finished painting, you’ll want to clean up your area. Clean all your brushes and tools immediately after with warm soapy water. Soak them in the water and gently squeeze out any excess solution using your fingers. Store them away neatly, ready for next time.
Can I Paint Glass With Acrylic?
Yes, you can paint over glass surfaces with acrylics. Enamel-based paints and primers work best. You’ll first need to prepare the glass by cleaning it and applying gesso. This base coat ensures the paint will adhere properly and make the finished result more opaque.
You’ll also need to seal the finished product with a spray-on solution or in the oven. Spray-on sealants ensure the finished piece won’t crack or yellow over time. Sealing a finished piece in the oven makes it dishwasher safe. Be sure to read all instructions or guidelines and practice proper safety techniques for the best results.