Acrylic Paint For Glass: An Easy Guide for DIY Lovers

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on glass. But, do you need to seal, prime or cure? We’ll tell you when it matters and when it doesn’t.

First thing you should know: There is an important difference between regular acrylic paint and acrylic paint that was specifically formulated for glass.

That is: when using regular acrylic paint you must prime and seal your surface if you want long lasting results. If you are using acrylic paint formulated for glass, this step will NOT be necessary.

Paint to painting mirrors
Types of acrylic paint for glass

The reason behind this is, glass is an incredibly smooth surface, which makes it very difficult for regular paint to stick to it. Hence, paint will easily peel off once is dry if you do not provide some type of grip to the surface.

How do you get regular acrylic paint to stick to glass?

Priming and sealing is the way to go. Because glass is a very smooth surface, regular acrylic paint will have a hard time staying on once it’s dry and it will peel off very easily.

If you are using regular acrylic paint, prime your surface using spray primers for a super quick way to do it. Recommended brands like Zinsser or Krylon are quite popular. Watch the video below to see how to do it.

 

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Once you are finished painting, you can add a layer of the same primer as sealer. Again, Zinsser and Krylon are top recommended brands.

What kind of paint will stick to glass?

If you want really long lasting results, choose a type of paint that was specifically formulated for glass. The two most known kind of acrylic for glass are acrylic and enamel acrylic.

Acrylic Paint for Glass Deco Art Brand

Acrylic for Glass

This is the number one go to option for painting glass. The most common brands of acrylic paint for glass are Folk Art by Plaid and Glass Paint by DecoArt and they may come in different finishes such as Satin, Matte and Glossy.
 
Paint that is ideal for glass surfaces usually state so in their labels. Sometimes you will see it clearly on the front of the bottle but for others, you’ll have to squint your eyes and find it on the label on the back: “Premium, durable acrylic paint for glass, ceramics, wood, metal, rigid plastic, canvas, fabric, and terra cota”. That’s what you are looking for.
Acrylic Paint for Glass Folk Art Brand

Note that this type of paint will be safe to cure in the oven, which will cause your paint to become a bit shiny. Neither finish is safe to use on microwaves or to become in direct contact with food.

Enamels for glass

Enamels are a type of paint formulated to ensure even more permanent results than acrylic for glass.

Glass Enamel Acrylic Paint for Glass Brand Decoart

Because they are partially made out of oil, they are naturally more shiny. Also, enamels will take longer to dry than acrylic for glass. The main difference between enamels and acrylics is enamels will be more shiny and difficult to scratch.

Americana Gloss Enamels by DecoArt is one of the most known brand of enamels.

Both, acrylic for glass and enamels can be safely cured in the oven but they are not safe to use on the microwave nor to enter in direct contact with food.

Also note this paint is safe to use in any glass surface, including mirrors.

How to cure acrylic paint on glass?

Place your painted piece of glass (wait for the paint to be dry) inside of a cool oven. Set temperature to 325˚F and leave it for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and allow it to cool completely before taking it out.

Curing will allow you to wash your piece in the top rack of the dishwasher. Although, it will not be safe for using in the microwave or to enter direct contact with food.

When painting glass, curing is an optional but recommended step, specially when you want to wash your glass and long lasting results. 

You can bake regular acrylic paint in the oven as well. But don’t forget to let it dry completely before doing so.

How do you make acrylic paint permanent on glass?

If you are using regular acrylic paint, make sure you prime and seal your surface using any spray primer.

Recommended brands like Zinsser or Krylon are quite popular. 

If you are using paint that was specifically made for glass the best way to make your paint permanent is curing it in the oven.

How to paint glass with acrylic paint?

Prep surface

Wash your surface with warm water and soap. Then wipe away any dirt or fingerprints on your glass surface using vinegar or alcohol. Allow your surface to dry properly before the next step.

If you are using regular acrylic paint, prime your surface before continuing. Using spray primers is the simplest way.

Recommended brands like Zinsser or Krylon are quite popular.  Watch the video below to see how to do it.

If you are using acrylic paint specifically formulated for glass, you don’t have to prime.

Shake well and apply

Shake your paint and apply it using a soft brush or a sponge, depending on the texture of your preference.

You can also use a stylus to create dots patterns, painters tape to create geometric shapes or stencils

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Allow to dry

You may apply 1 or 2 coats of paint for optimal results. Allow for it to dry in between layers. Follow the instructions on the label before moving to the next steps. Some brands call to allow 4 days of drying before being able to safely bake your work in the oven.

Bake in the oven

Curing is an optional but recommended step, specially when you want to wash your glass and long lasting results. 

Place your work inside of a cool oven. Set temperature to 325˚F and leave it for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and allow it to cool completely before taking it out.

Curing will allow you to wash your piece in the top rack of the dishwasher. Although, it will not be safe for using in the microwave or to enter direct contact with food.

You can bake regular acrylic paint in the oven as well.

And there you have it!

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