How to paint on drinking glasses

Written by kristina seleshanko
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Hand-painted drinking glasses add a touch of charm to any kitchen or dining room. By taking ordinary, inexpensive, clear glasses and adding a little paint, you can make stemware to match your decor, fit in with a special celebration (like a wedding or anniversary party) or to give away as an heirloom gift. And painting glasses is easy enough even a beginner can do it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Glasses
  • Dish-washing soap
  • Sponge brush
  • Enamel surface conditioner
  • Fine brushes
  • Painter's tape (optional)
  • Glass paint
  • Oven
  • Alcohol
  • Q-tips

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  1. 1

    Choose a glass style according to your preference.

  2. 2

    Select a design that will fit well on the glasses you have chosen. It should be small enough to cover only a portion of the glass and easy enough that you're confident you can paint it over and over. At craft stores, look for books or free flyers with easy, step-by-step instructions for painting such things as flowers and geometric designs. Also consider using stencils for a super-easy painting experience.

  3. 3

    Clean the glasses well with dish soap and dry them thoroughly.

  4. 4

    Paint a thin layer of enamel surface conditioner (available at hardware stores and sold for tile, ceramic and glass surfaces) over the outside of the glasses, using a spongy brush. Allow to dry.

  5. 5

    Paint the desired image on the outside of the glasses using a fine brush and glass paint (found in craft stores). If you wish to paint lines on the glass, use painter's tape to help make the lines as straight and even as possible. Allow each colour of paint to dry before applying a different colour.

  6. 6

    Let the painted glasses dry undisturbed for 48 hours.

  7. 7

    Place the glasses in a cool oven, then turn the oven temperature to 163 degrees Celsius.

  8. 8

    "Bake" the glasses for a full 10 minutes at 325 degrees. (Allow the oven to heat up with the glasses in it, but don't begin timing the "baking" until the oven is at full temperature.)

  9. 9

    Turn off the oven. Without opening the door, allow the glasses and oven to cool.

  10. 10

    Remove the glasses once the oven is cool. Use an oven glove, just in case the glasses are still warm.

  11. 11

    Allow the glasses to sit on a cutting board until they are fully cooled.

  12. 12

    Wash the glasses in dish-washing soap and rinse with water.

Tips and warnings

  • Use long, smooth strokes to avoid making the paint bubble.
  • If you make a mistake, immediately wipe away the paint with a little alcohol applied to a Q-tip.
  • If the glasses are purely for decoration and will never be used for drinking, sprinkle glitter onto the wet paint, if you like, or apply small beads onto wet glue using tweezers.
  • Hand-painted glasses should only be hand washed; never put them in a dishwasher.

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