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How to paint window glass

Updated November 21, 2016

Painting windows is a fun family activity during the holidays, or a great way to advertise for a business. Paintings done on glass windows are typically meant to be temporary and easily removed, but they can be done permanently with water-based and solvent-based glass paint. Window paint is transparent, like stained glass, but is much easier to accomplish than creating a stained glass window.

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  1. Pick a type of window paint. Window paints are temporary, some of which can be peeled off when dry. Others are window cling decorations drawn on vinyl and will stick to any glass surface, while others can just be washed away. Acrylic based window paints are easy to remove with acetone or nail polish remover. Enamel is more permanent but may be possible to scrape off with a razor, and glass paint will be fixed permanently to the surface.

  2. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber towel and clean the window. Cover any areas that should be protected from paint splatter, such as the floor, window sill, and window frame, with plastic fastened by painter's tape.

  3. Find an image or pattern to use for the painting design. Some kits, like the Pebeo Arti' Stick Window Color, come with patterns included. Print a pattern from a craft website, outline a photograph sized to fit the window or be creative and draw an image freehand.

  4. Tape the image to the opposite side of the window that will be painted. If using a vinyl kit, place the pattern under the vinyl sheet included in the kit.

  5. Choose an outline paint colour and sketch the pattern onto the glass. Pebeo explains that outline paint is thick and is used to create a raised surface that will keep the fluid glass paint in place while it is wet.

  6. Put some window paint on a sable brush and apply the paint to the glass, inside the outline. Use a variety of brush sizes and shapes, such as small flat, large round, and medium fan for different effects.

  7. Cut the painted image out from the excess vinyl with scissors, then apply it to the window. Skip this step if using paints applied directly to the window glass.

  8. Remove the paint from the window with soap and water, acetone, alcohol, or scrape or peel off, depending on the type of paint being used. Check the product label for cleaning instructions.

  9. Tip

    Use water and soap to clean the paint out of the brushes. Paint colour can be mixed, but try to always use a clean brush when reaching for a new colour. This will keep the colours vibrant, and keep them from looking muddy or dirty.

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Things You'll Need

  • Window or glass paint
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microfiber towel
  • Painter's Tape
  • Pattern or image
  • Window paint outliner
  • Synthetic or natural hair sable brush (minimum 1)
  • Scissors

About the Author

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