How to make polka dots on wine glasses

Written by annmarie keller
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How to make polka dots on wine glasses
Hand-painted polka dot wine glasses can be the rave at your next dinner or cocktail party. (wine glass image by Heather Kitchen Images from

Hand-painted wine glasses are a perfect way to personalise your table when having dinner or cocktail parties and other social get-togethers. A great table is likely to bring positive comments from guests. What could be more satisfying than being able to take the credit for making the festive and funky retro, polka dot theme wine glasses you are using to serve drinks to your guests? Painting wine glasses yourself with designs like polka dots can be done easily and inexpensively, freehand or using stencils.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dish detergent
  • Lint-free towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Surface conditioner
  • Glass stencils, thin and flexible with adhesive backing
  • Stencil adhesive
  • Glass markers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Glass paint
  • Glass paint sealer

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  1. 1

    Read the manufacturer's directions for the glass paints you have chosen to use. Some require the use of a surface conditioner while others don't. All recommend that the painted surface be on the outside of the glass where it will not come in contact with food or drinks and far enough down the glass that the lips will not likely touch it.

  2. 2

    Wash the wine glasses thoroughly in hot water and dish detergent. Dry thoroughly with a lint-free towel so you don't get pieces of the towel embedded in your painted design.

  3. 3

    Rub down the outside of the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove any oil-based contaminants that may remain in spite of washing with cotton swabs.

  4. 4

    Rub the surface of the areas of the glass you will be painting with surface conditioner. This is a microfine etchant that helps the glass surface and paint bond. Use this only if the paint manufacturer's directions tell you to use it.

  5. 5

    Remove the paper from the adhesive backing of your stencil or apply stencil adhesive and stick it to the wine glass where you want to paint. Make sure that all edges around the cutouts on the stencils are firmly adhered to the glass to prevent the paint from bleeding. If you are going to paint freehand, use the paint markers to draw your pattern onto the glass.

  6. 6

    Paint over the cutouts in the stencil with the colour of your choice. If you are painting freehand, paint all of the polka dots you have drawn onto your glass that are to be the same colour at one time before moving on to the next colour. Allow the polka dots to dry before removing the stencil. Reapply the stencils as needed to complete your design.

  7. 7

    Paint over your design with glass paint sealer. This resembles clear nail polish and should be painted only on the design and the outside edges of the design. It will give your polka dots a shiny, finished look.

Tips and warnings

  • Following the paint manufacturer's preparation instructions is your best bet for longevity with your wine glasses.
  • Your hand-painted wine glasses are only dishwasher safe on the top shelf.

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