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How to Paint on Wine Glasses Without Leaving Brush Strokes

Updated July 20, 2017

The vast majority of wine glasses are sold without decorations. Though wine glasses often have as much surface area as an average coffee mug, they usually lack the same diversity of artwork present on mugs. Some hobbyists like to paint wine glasses in a variety of shapes and colours, giving them distinctive decoration. Though creating artwork on a glass may seem intimidating, the truth is that with the right equipment and instruction, virtually anyone is capable of painting a wine glass without leaving streaks or brush strokes.

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  1. Wash the wine glass with dish soap and water. Rinse it in hot water, and immerse the glass in soapy water and rub it all over with your fingers. Rinse again with hot water to remove any soap film, and turn it upside down on a towel or dryer rack to let it air dry for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Immerse the swab in the alcohol, and rub the swab all over the glass until every bit has been rubbed with alcohol. Turn the glass upside down on the towel and allow it to air dry for at least 30 minutes.

  3. Bring one end of the stencil sheet over to the other to form a roll, putting the stencil on the outside of the roll. Place the wine glass right side up and put the stencil roll into the bowl. Adust the pattern on the stencil before securing it onto the glass with masking tape.

  4. Mix the paint well with the blunt end of the paintbrush to ensure its maximum thickness. Well-mixed, thick paint will adhere better to the glass and will help you avoid brush strokes and drips.

  5. Paint the wine glass with the fine-tipped paintbrush and thermohardening paint. Load plenty of paint onto the brush's tip, but drop excess paint back into the paint's jar. Paint the edges of the stencil first, and use the sponge to carefully dab away mistakes. Re-load the brush with paint often to avoid streaks and brush strokes.

  6. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for the paint to thicken on the glass before painting another layer. Some paints are too thin and will require several layers of paint to properly cover brush strokes, but depending upon the paint you're using, one layer may be enough.

  7. Remove the stencil from the wine glass, being careful not to disturb the paint. Let the paint settle on the glass for at least 30 minutes, and remove the stencil. Place the glass into the oven for the temperature and time listed in the paint's instructions.

  8. Tip

    Thoroughly wash the glass before and after this project. The paint will not adhere properly if the glass is dirty, and washing the glass after finishing ensures you remove any loose residue and chemicals from the paint. Use light brush strokes with plenty of paint on the brush. Use a high-quality swab when applying rubbing alcohol so the cotton does not disintegrate as you are using it.


    Be patient when painting a wine glass: going too fast will make it easier to make mistakes and leave brush strokes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Wine glass stencil
  • Masking tape
  • Thermohardening glass paint
  • Fine-tipped paintbrush
  • Sponge

About the Author

C. Paul Martin began writing in 2003 while studying at Christendom College, Va. He specializes in theological/ideological history and socio-historical topics such as the Reformation, the Crusades and the ideology of revolutions. Martin holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in history and theology, and is pursuing his Master of Arts in history at National University in California.

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