How to Paint a Glass-Top Table

Written by michelle raphael
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How to Paint a Glass-Top Table
Pain a glass top table to transform it into a work of art. (White glass table image by Oleg Kulakov from

You can transform a plain, clear-glass table top into a work of art by painting it. You can paint on glass with either water-based or oil-based paints. Choose from a wide range of colours in both types of paint, to blend or contrast with your existing room decor. Create a shimmering effect with transparent glass paints or paint a more conventional picture with opaque glass paints.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Glass spray cleaner
  • Newspaper
  • 2 saw horses
  • Picture or stencil
  • Masking tape
  • Glass paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Glass finish spray

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  1. 1

    Spray glass cleaner onto the glass top. Wipe the surface with crumpled newspaper to remove dust, dirt and fingerprints. Then buff the glass to a clear, dry shine.

  2. 2

    Ask a friend to help you lift the glass table top off the table frame or legs if they will interfere with your painting. Set up two saw horses a short distance apart to support the glass top while you paint. Carefully lift the glass and place it on the saw horses.

  3. 3

    Choose a pattern or picture to paint. Create an original design with your freehand drawing or find a picture that you can trace. You can also use a stencil or template as a model for painting your table top.

  4. 4

    Place your sketch or picture on the underside of the glass table top with the drawing side facing up through the glass. Secure it in place underneath the glass with masking tape. If you are using a stencil, secure it on the top side of the glass with masking tape.

  5. 5

    Fill in the design with the type and colour of glass paints of your choice. Glass paints and the paintbrushes you'll use for this project are available in art-supplies stores and craft stores. Use thin paint brushes for lines and small areas. Use thicker paint brushes for painting bigger areas. Allow the paints to dry overnight.

  6. 6

    Peel off the masking tape very carefully and then remove your picture from the glass top.

  7. 7

    Spray the top of the glass with a glass-finish spray to seal the paints. Let the finished glass painting dry overnight.

  8. 8

    Place the table top carefully back on the table frame or legs. Wait another day before placing objects on the painted glass table top.

Tips and warnings

  • Sometimes glass-top tables have tints. You should consider this when choosing colours to use to paint your glass top table.
  • Clean up painting mistakes by rubbing with a soft cloth dampened with nail-polish remover.
  • Transparent and opaque glass paints each have their own distinct texture and don't mix well, so choose one or the other to paint your glass top table.

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