Acrylic is highly versatile and works for almost any project, including glass, windows, and even stained glass. You can paint acrylics on glass, but it won’t be as easy as canvas painting.
Unfortunately, acrylic paints will stick to glass only if you’re using a special medium and prime your glass surface properly.
You can use acrylic paint on glass, wine bottles, windows and bowls and make it sticl permanently. seal it and enjoy a piece for years and I’ll show you how in this post.
I’ll share great acrylic paint for glass in this article.
Lately, the manufacturers have also introduced acrylic markers or pens that also work with glass. I will list bestselling high-quality markers below, as well as acrylic paint you can use on glass.
Table of content for Acrylic paint for Glass:
- Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Glass?
- How to choose acrylic paint for glass
- Best acrylic paint for glass
- Best acrylic markers for glass
- How to paint acrylic on glass
- Acrylic paint on glass Ideas
- Which glass is best to paint on?
- Acrylic paint for glass FAQ
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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Glass?
If you are curios if you can use acrylic paint on glass, the answer is absolutely yes! Acrylic paint will stick to glass but not permanently unless you use special paint and sealer.
Acrylic paint is safe to use only on the outside part of any glassware, as the acrylic paint is not food safe.
You can use acrylic paint on any glass surfaces:
- wine glasses and bottles,
- mason jars,
- glass and ceramic mugs,
- glass bowls and plates,
- cake stands,
- glass sheets,
- faux stained glass
- aquariums (outside)
You will also need to seal the paint on the glass with Mod Podge, in oven, or using a spray sealer to make sure it won’t wash off and will stick to the glass permanently.
Challenges of Using Acrylic Paint on Glass
When you paint acrylic on glass there are some important things to keep in mind.
First, acrylic paints are not compatible with glass surfaces by default without proper priming and using the right paint and medium, and will tend to slip down and/or stick loosely on the surface, making them difficult or impossible to clean up.
Secondly, from a painting point of view, glass is a non-porous surface that is difficult to seal and acrylic paints will not adhere well to it, leading to the acrylic paint film peeling off after a short time.
The answer is simple – glass is non-porous, so the paint doesn’t soak into the surface and only sits on top. Without sealing you can just scrape the paint off the glass.
Third, acrylic paint was not designed as food safe or 100% skin safe. As decorative medium acrylic paint and glass will work perfectly. So be careful with glass kitchenware and do not paint glass surfaces that will directly touch food.
- Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Metal?
- Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Fabric? How to Paint it Permanently: Best Guide
- Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Wood? Best Supplies for Painting Acrylic on Wood
What Type Of Glass Will Work With Acrylic Paint?
Basically, the glass used for kitchenware and windows is good for acrylic painting because it is thin and flexible.
In general, the glass itself is not the best surface for acrylic painting, but absolutely doable. There are 6 different glass types:
- Float glass.
- Toughened glass.
- Painted glass.
- Patterned glass.
- Solar control glass, and
- Laminated glass.
You can paint on any glass, but keep in mind that if you want to bake your glass piece, you need to know its coefficient of expansion (COE). This coefficient shows how flexible this glass is.
Regular glassware is suitable for acrylic paint and baking – it is flexible and quite thin.
I guess, for your home projects you will not use laminated or solar control glass – they are thicker and have industrial use.
How to choose acrylic paint for glass: Important Tips
Basically, factors you should consider buying a good acrylic paint are universal no matter what surface you’re going to paint on.
I made a big detailed article about it here: 21 Best Acrylic Paint Brands for Beginners and Professional Artists.
Still, if you’re painting acrylic on glass, keep in mind the following.
Read the label
Acrylic paint is water-based. However, acrylics may also include other ingredients such as latex, water, and preservatives.
The label will also tell you if the paint is slow-drying, opaque or transparent, and any other important details.
- Some paint manufacturers will mention if the paint is great for any specific surface. Look for “glass”.
Brand and Quality matter
The acrylic paints that contain higher quality pigments and binder are more durable than cheaper acrylic paint brands.
Also, be sure to check if you can get a sample or check color chart before choosing the acrylic paint that you need. For craft projects, student-grade acrylic paint may work too.
However, some even most expensive brands won’t guarantee the paint will stick to the glass, however, combined with necessary mediums and priming, they will offer better coverage and vibrant colors.
If the brand offers money-back guarantee, it will be better for your first time glass painting.
What Type of Paint to Use With Glass?
There are many water-based paints including acrylic, gouache, watercolor.
And even acrylic paints have some differences.
Enamel paints are acrylic-based, but will stick better to the glass and it is easier to seal the surface using clear varnish or glass protector spray.
Glass surface is very smooth and when I apply colors directly they may be streaky and transparent.
Also, if you paint the windows or any glass surface that some light can come through – opaque paints won’t let the light pass, while transparent colors will.
Some pigments are more transparent or opaque by nature. Check the label and my full list of the most opaque pigments.
Acrylic paint is fast-drying.
Some brands will be dry to touch in 10 minutes, but some brands, ie. Golden Open paint will take longer to dry – up to 1 hour.
Normally, all acrylic and enamel paint is completely dry in 24 hours. But when painting on glass, we will let the glass cure in the oven and let it sit aside for at least 72 hours.
There are 3 most common finishes: matte, satin, and gloss.
We can either pick the paint with a certain finish or adjust it with a top sealing coat.
The gloss finish is the regular and nicest one, and also the most durable, but many craft paints are matte.
When we painting on glass there is one more finish we can choose, especially for holiday season – frosted effect. It is done best with special spray paint and is easy to apply!
Lightfastness means how well the paint will resist UV over time, simply meaning how fast the paint will fade.
There are 4 levels of lightfastness: levels 1 and 2 are excellent.
But craft paint and student-grade paint doesn’t usually mention lightfastness, only artist-grade paint like Liquitex or Golden.
So if you need your painted glass to not fade, and if you planto expose it to direct sunlight somehow, opt for high-grade lightfastness.
Fluid acrylic paint will be easy to paint with on glass.
The thicker the paint is, the harder it will be to work with on glass. But it will also give the most opaque finish.
To thin your paint properly please follow a simple thinning guide and use special medium. I wouldn’y use water to thin acrylic for glass painting as it will not help the paint stick.
Best acrylic paint for glass
Here I used Artistro acrylic markers over gesso on a glass bottle
There are not a lot of good acrylic paint for glass on the market but I’ll list 9 acrylic paint brands and 4 acrylic paint markers for glass painting.
- Folk art Enamel acrylic paint for glass is the best acrylic paint for glass [craft and medium level]
- Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glass Paint – Best Premium acrylic paint for glass
- Krylon Paint for glass – Best spray acrylic paint for glass
- Crafty Dab Window Writers Paint – Best acrylic paint for temporary projects on glass windows
- Artistro Paint Pens – Best acrylic marker for glass
- Magicdo Stained Glass Paint – Best acrylic paint for stained glass
Materials you will need to use acrylic paint on glass
- acrylic glass paints, try Folk art Enamel acrylic paint for glass
- palette to mix colors and setup paints you will use
- glass piece you’ll work on or a glassware
- markers, you can use them for outline and fine details.
- 2 jars with clean water
- paper towels
- rubbing alcohol
- acrylic sealer
- Stencils (if you aren’t comfortable painting free-hand)
- *Liquitex Acrylic Glass Medium – if the paint feels too thick.
- latex gloves, tape and trash bag to cover your workplace and glass for skin oil
- 150-180 grit sandpaper * (optional, to create rough surface for better paint adhesion)
How to use acrylic paint on glass – Tutorial
Step 1 – Prepare the glass surface for painting
Before you start using acrylic paint on glass, you’ll want to make sure that your surface is ready. Put gloves on to make sure your skin doesn’t leave oil traces.
Clean the surface with soapy water, let it dry, then wipe it with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and let it air dry again.
Tape areas you want to protect from paint.
Coat the glass or the area where you will paint with a layer of gesso. It will prepare the surface for the paint to stick to the glass. The layer of gesso will also make the paint more opaque.
To enhance the adhesion you can also sand the glass before applying gesso.
Step 2 – Prepare the paint – How to thin acrylic paint for glass
Thin down the acrylic colors before painting on glass or use fluid paint. Some artists use just water, some prefer using special acrylic mediums I’ve described here.
If you’re still not sure that the paint will stick to the surface, you can mix paint with Liquitex Acrylic Glass Medium. Premix this medium with the paint in ratio 10% of paint to 90% of the medium. The Liquitex medium can be also baked.
Step 3 – Painting with acrylics on glass
A good choice for acrylic painting on glass is an artist’s flat sable, synthetic, or bristle brush, all of which are designed to hold more acrylic than other types of bristles.
Use acrylic paint that is compatible with the surface you’re painting on. Acrylic can be used for glass, but it might not stick. The best acrylic paints are acrylic enamel which has been specifically designed as food safe or 100% skin-safe decoration acrylic paints for diverse surfaces.
- Paint your acrylics onto the surface using even strokes trying to avoid brushstrokes.
- Paint from one edge to another, but don’t paint too closely into corners or creases. This will produce clean lines and smooth surfaces if you’re using acrylic paints for glass painting. If you’re taped areas you want to keep clean, be careful with painting over them.
- Prepare the sketch on the paper and transfer it to the glass. You can also use markers for outlining or correcting small mistakes.
- Keep your acrylics on a flat surface such as an acrylic palette with wells. You can also use disposable palettes made of acrylic, which are great for acrylic painting on glass. Don’t pour too much paint, as acrylics are fast drying.
- Paint the acrylics onto your surface into thin layers to create depth and shadowing effects. Moreover, painting in layers helps paint dry properly and avoid cracking. Let each layer dry before applying the next color or another design element on top of it.
- Change up the color intensity by alternating between shades just as you would in acrylic paint on paper. Try adding a little bit of white acrylic paint to your blue acrylic paints for example, or use the same color but put less pigment into it. A white underlayer will always add more opacity.
- You can make dots using the back tip of the brush handle!
- If you are worried you will mess up – use tape to cover the parts you don’t want to paint.
Step 4 – Seal acrylic on glass
There are two ways to seal and protect acrylic paint on glass: sealing it with a special medium and baking it. Most decorative projects can be sealed, but if you want to make a glass piece dishwasher safe you should bake it in the oven.
How to seal acrylic paint on glass
Acrylic paint acrylics can be sealed with a varnish or glass protector spray to help maintain the acrylic’s appearance for years.
The acrylic will not react chemically with these sealants, and they are compatible with most types of acrylic paints.
Seal acrylic paint for glass with a varnish or gloss acrylic sealer to protect the acrylics from yellowing and cracking over time. Be sure to read the instructions on how long you should wait before sealing acrylic paints, as some products require more than one coat of acrylic sealant while others only need one.
Can You Seal Acrylic Paint on Glass With Mod Podge?
Mod Podge is one of the cheapest and easiest way to seal acrylic paint on glass.
You can use regular Mod Podge but I recommend getting special Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge which will allowyou not only to seal the paint but to make sure you can easily clean the wine glasses (or waterver you painting) in future.
How to bake acrylic paint on glass in the oven
Some acrylics are bakeable and I created the Bakeable Acrylic Paint Guide for painting and baking ceramics and glass.
- After you finish painting the glass, put your piece into the cold oven.
- Set it to 350 degrees F and let it bake for 30 min.
- Turn off the oven and let the piece cool for 45 min.
A piece will be fully cured in 24-72 hours.
Baked painted glass will be microwave safe and dishwasher safe. Yet, I do not recommend using it with both on regular basis.
Notes on Painting on Perspex
Perspex aka acrylic glass is a brand that produces transparent (and colored) plastic material that is used instead of glass or plastic.
It is actually considered to be stronger and more cost-efficient than glass. But we are only interested in painting on perspex, right, we won’t go into details on how it is manufactured and used.
Similar to plastic and glass our main concern while painting perspex is to make sure the paint sticks – we must clean, degrease the plastic sheet and dry it.
Perspex themselves say that the best paints for painting on perspex are acrylics and oils. Same as for wood or other surfaces, you can lightly sand the perspex with a 220-grit sandpaper if you feel like it, but degreasing should be enough.
Good-quality acrylics won’t require a primer.
The same painting tips apply to most plastic sheets and plexiglass!
After Care & Cleaning Your Acrylic Painted Glassware
To make sure your painted glass stays cute longer, there are a few easy tips to follow.
- If the paint you used was dishwasher safe, and you sealed the painted area – only place it on the top shelf in the dishwasher.
- Do not use painted glass in microwave.
- No scrubbing, harsh solvent-based cleaning products to use on painted glass.
- Avoid putting painted glass items outdoor under full sun for long time. Even good paint will fade eventually.
- Remember that most sealents and paints are not food grade so don’t let painted area contact with food.
Acrylic Paints That Will Stick To Glass
Folk art Enamel acrylic paint for glass – The best acrylic paint for glass OVERALL
Folk art acrylic paint is a versatile brand – you can use this acrylic paint on wood, glass, canvas, ceramics, or fabric. This paint was created using non-toxic formula specifically for painting glass and ceramics.
The set includes 16 – 2 oz bottles of craft paint. The colors in this kit include Wicker White, Yellow Light, Pure Orange, Parisian Pink, Lipstick Red, Perfect Purple, True Blue, Calypso Sky, Turquoise, Lime Green, Evergreen, Coffee Bean, Burnt Umber, Licorice, Silver Sterling, and Gold.
The perfect paint for beginners who will use acrylic paint with glass.
- made for glass and ceramics
- durable, scratch resistant
- gloss finish
- easy to clean
- can be cured in the oven
- dishwasher safe
- may not be good for stained glass
- may feel too thick but you can easily thin it with acrylic or glass medium.
The Arteza acrylic paint set of 20 bottles with liquid paint. Arteza is one of the biggest paint supplies brands on the market. This set is made for exterior projects and surfaces like glass, wood, and ceramics.
However, Arteza is considered student or craft grade paint and may not be the perfect fit for fine art.
- made for glass
- well-known brand
- easy-to-use and clean paint for beginners
- affordable – a paint set of 20 colors only $25.
- student grade paint, may result in poor coverage
- matte finish (not a con maybe for your case)
- only 2oz bottles
Apple Barrel paints are universal craft paints for small projects. The brand itself produces paint since 1976.
The set contains 18 bottles of 2 oz each with the following colors: White and Black, Yellow Flame, Bright Yellow, Bright Magenta, Fuchsia, Jack-o-lantern, Flag Red, Purple Iris, Parrot Blue, Bimini Blue, Bright Blue, Too Blue, New Shamrock, Holly Branch, Nutmeg Brown, Melted Chocolate, and Pewter Grey.
All vibrant colors have a matte finish.
- easy to paint and clean
- TOP-5 bestselling craft paint on Amazon
- great choice for beginneres
- matte finish* (may fit your idea)
- craft quality paint
- for interior use only
- some customers got too thinned or chalky paint.
Liquitex is one of the two most trusted paint brands. Liquitex Basics are created as high-performant student grade paint for versatile projects.
This paint has a thick creamy consistency and needs to be thinned while working. The set includes 12 basic colors with different opacity and lightfastness.
- high-quality paint and trusted brand
- great coverage
- satin finish
- vivid colors
- may be too thick for beginners. Need thining
- quite pricey for small set
- was not specifically designed for glass
I would recommend buying Liquitex on Blick as it is cheaper than Amazon.
Craft smart acrylic paint is a universal craft paint that was not actually made for glass or for professional artists. It is cheap and great for beginners and small projects.
The set includes 16 colors in 2 oz bottles.
- 16 fast-drying colors
- may peel off
- low quality of the paint
- matte finish
Magicfly Acrylic Paint Set is designed for diverse painting surfaces including glass. The set includes 20 colors, all paint is liquid. It also contains 3 small brushes.
Be careful with this paint – it dries too fast! Never let the bottles open or the paint will dry in the bottles.
- trusted bestselling set for glass painting
- very affordable: great value for money
- water resistant when fully cured
- still craft paint quality
- may occur drying too fast
- some batches were chalky
- paint chart is not accurate
- paint is too water-based, the coverage is not as great as it should be.
Magicdo Stained Glass Paint – Best acrylic paint for stained glass
Magicdo paint is acrylic paint made for painting stained glass, windows, and glassware. The set includes 12 colors: Violet, Crimson, Deep Blue, Orange Yellow, Light Green, Cerulean Blue, Black, Rose, Viridian, Burn Umber, Mid Yellow,
For best color lightfastness it is recommended to cure the painted glass in the oven at 176℉ for two hours.
- made for glass painting
- oven safe
- great sheerness
- value for money
- not waterproof
- hard to buy, very few in stock
- may occur too transparent
Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glass Paint – acrylic paint for glass bottles and one of the best window paints
Pebeo offers high-quality paint for professional artists. Pebeo Vitrea 160 is glass paint created for painting on glassware, vases, lamps, and windows. The paint is fluid, easy to use, transparent, non-toxic, and thermo-hardening.
The colors available in a set of 10 tubes are Sun Yellow, Paprika, Pepper Red, Lazuli, Turquoise, Sandalwood Green, Emerald, Earth Brown, Veil White, and Ink Black.
Vitrea product line also offers a Frosted medium to create frosted or etched effects and an Iridescent Medium that can make colors change under light.
- permanent high quality paint designed for glass
- can be baked in oven
- dishwasher safe
- whole product line with Frosted, Iridescent mediums, and thinner.
- pricey ($55.85 for set of 10)
- not food-safe
Crafty Dab Window Writers Paint – Best cheap window paint for temporary projects on glass
Crafty Dab Window Writers Paint is a temporary paint for glass with great coverage. It works great for large areas and will be easy to remove after. You can paint your windows for Christmas with this paint or car windows for weddings.
- good quite transparent coverage
- pricey ($55.85 for set of 10)
- not very good for small details (use the brush)
Krylon Paint for glass is spray paint for painting on glass. 14 colors all can be purchased only individually. Every bottle contains 12 oz. Krylon paint is semi-transparent and has a powdery finish.
With Krylon paint, you can make window frost spray style painting that you can remove. But if you are looking to make a PERMANENT window frost spray that won’t come off, you should use Rust-Oleum window frost, people say it doesn’t want to come off whatever they do!
- durable with strong adhesion
- it will be expensive to buy a whole set, as every bottle costs around $10.
- only sold individually
- hard to buy
Best acrylic paint markers for glass
Acrylic markers for glass can be used for finely detailed work and craft projects.
Arteza Acrylic markers set of 40 pens was created for painting on rocks, glass, plastic, wood, fabric, and more.
Pens are great for fine work (tip is 0.8-1.2mm), are fast-drying and UV-resistant, and have better ink flow. The colors include 37 vivid and 3 metallic pigments.
- high-quality brand
- fast-drying, UV resistant
- great sheerness
- Long lasting
- rarely can dry up quickly
- may not be great to cover large areas
- may seem pricey – $45
Acrylic Paint Marker Pens by Emooqi are waterproof pens for glass, ceramics, wood, clay, metal, fabric, and even eggs. 12 colors are permanent including silver and gold pigment.
Tips are not for fine work, they have medium tips – 2-3 mm.
- bestselling markers with 4,000+ positive reviews
- UV resistant
- glossy finish
- great value for money – only $13
- they are not really waterproof but slightly water resistant
- coverage was not as customers expected
Niutop Colors Acrylic Paint Set includes 24 colors for glass, stone, wood, fabric, metal painting. 8,000+ reviews prove this set is one of the bestsellers.
An extra thin tip is created for detailed painting.
- nylon tip 0.7 mm for fine and detailed work
- smooth flow paint
- weather resistant
- comfortable to hold
- sometimes not so easy to use: either stay dry or leak.
Artistro Paint Pens – The best acrylic marker for glass
The absolute leader among customers is this brand – Artistro. They offer premium quality, opaque vivid colors, glossy finish, and extra-fine line – 0.7 mm.
- premium quality
- versatile: from paper to glass and clay
- fine lines and detailed work
- great gift for beginners
- maybe more expensive than alternatives but they are worth it
- rarely the finished product is ruined in the dishwasher or oven
Acrylic paint for glass Ideas
Acrylic paint for glass bottles
Wine or water bottles can be a great creative surface.
Acrylic paint for glass jars
Glass window painting ideas
We can do the painting for Halloween or Christmas or just make it a fun day for kids when they actually paint on windows and well, maybe, walls…
Some paint just animals, trees and leaves, deer and snowflakes, flowers and birds, but if you feel confident you can paint even a landscape or create a painting with glowing in the dark paint!
However, please test the paint on the windows (how it adheres and most importantly cleans out) that are probably looking over the backyard.
If you want something permanent – vitrays and flowers are one of the most popular glass window painting ideas then!
Painting windows or writing on them is super easy with paint markers, just grab paint makers nearby in store or order online – ARTIQO pens for glass (and other surfaces) are one of my favorites, they are universal, smooth, have nice colors and are water and weather-resistant.
I made some windows drawings for my friend’s bakery last Christmas using Artiqo markers:
Acrylic paint for glass vase
Acrylic paint for glass FAQ
Will Regular Acrylic Paint Work On Glass?
Regular acrylic paint will stick to glass, but not permanently. It can work on glass well if it is a temporary decorative project. For durable and long-lasting finish, use special acrylic paint for glass or acrylic enamel paints.
What kind of acrylic paint do you use on glass?
Enamel acrylic and acrylic paint that has a clear sign on the label that it is suitable for glass. You can also mix any acrylic paint with a special Acrylic glass medium and use it onto the glass. I recommend using Folk Art paint for glass.
Does acrylic paint wash off the glass?
Acrylic paint is water-based and it’s not too difficult to get acrylic paint off the glass. If you use acrylic paint on glass without primer and searer it will easy to peel or wash off.
Acrylic paint cured on glass in the oven or sealed with a protective coat will be water-resistant.
Is acrylic paint for glass dishwashers safe?
Acrylic paint on glass is usually not safe to wash in a dishwasher, nor to soak or scrub it as you can scrape the paint off.
But some special glass paint can specify it on the label if they are so durable that you can use dishwasher, only on top shelf.
Can acrylic paint be removed from glass?
To remove acrylic paint from your work, try using turpentine mixed with mineral spirits and cotton swabs. Rubbing alcohol can also be used as a cleaning solvent for acrylic paint.
Would like to paint on different surfaces? Check my guides!
- How to Paint Fabric with Acrylic Paint Permanently: Full Guide
- Painting Leather with Acrylics: How to Paint and Seal Leather
- Can You Put Acrylic Paint On Your Face & Body? 5 Safest Body Paint Included
- Best Paint for Rocks & Pens for Rock Painting
- Painting Acrylic on Wood: Best Supplies & How-to Guide
- 101 Easy Acrylic Painting Ideas for Beginners on Canvas
Masha Eretnova is a certified teacher. She started painting and drawing 20+ years ago and now is an international abstract artist and educator passionate about acrylic painting, gouache and crafts.
More about me.
Last update on 2023-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API