How to use enamel paint on glass

Updated April 17, 2017

Ultra gloss enamels are wonderful for painting on glass, ceramics, crystal or china. They air-dry and cure completely in seven days. The painted items can be hand washed with warm water and mild detergent after the curing process has ended. To wash the painted article in the dishwasher, cure the item in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. These enamels can be found in arts and crafts sections of stores and are non-toxic in nature.

Prepare the jar surface by wiping it with a paper towel moistened with a 50/50 solution of warm water and vinegar. Let the jar air dry completely. Try to keep fingers or hands off the surface you'll be painting. since the natural oils in your skin will keep the paint from adhering properly.

Place the design inside the glass jar and tape it in place. Pour puddles of paint the size of a dime onto the palette. Apply paint to the surface using a dry, clean, soft brush. Make sure to cover the areas completely with paint. Work in one direction only and allow the paint to dry before applying any other colours to it.

Mix colours if necessary to achieve darker or lighter values. Clean the brush with water and wipe it as dry as possible. No extra water should be left in the brush.

To add shadows to the design, apply a darker value of colour to the areas where it is needed. Lightly tap the colour onto the area moving outward until the colour disappears from the brush. Allow the paint to dry. To apply highlights where the light would normally hit the surface of the design, apply a lighter value of colour and let it dry using the same tapping motion as before.

Should you make a mistake, remove the paint with a toothpick or stylus and reapply paint as you normally would. Ultra gloss enamels shine when dry and do not need any finish applied to them.


Ultra Gloss Enamels come in a variety of colours including 5 glitter colours, 4 metallic colours and 6 pearl finishes. All tools should be washed immediately after use. Use this paint on prepared metal, wood, ceramic bisque, plaster, vinyl and jewellery. Painted items should not be soaked in water or cleaned with harsh cleansers. Do not use water to mix the paints.


Though this paint is non-toxic, it is not recommended for use where food will come into contact with painted portions.

Things You'll Need

  • Ultra Gloss enamel paint
  • #3 Round brush
  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Water container
  • Clean water
  • Glass jar
  • Design (optional)
  • Tape
  • Palette (your choice)
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About the Author

As an author and instructor in the arts, Jeanne Paglio has been writing since 2001 and has been an artist for over 25 years. Her articles have appeared in "Painting Magazine," "Quick & Easy Painting," and "The Decorative Painter." Paglio studied art and design at Rhode Island School of Design.