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How to practise glass painting on everyday glass objects in a simple manner

Updated on November 17, 2012
My glass-painted objects
My glass-painted objects | Source

About glass painting

Glass painting is now considered a popular form of art and has an edge over the other types of painting due to the fact that it can be performed on several objects besides frames and home decors such as window panes. Glass painting is one of the few types of painting that is multi-faceted and comes in a number of forms such as reverse glass, fused glass, stained glass and many more to name. Glass painting is the kind of art which gives any object a touch of artistic appeal. Glass painting is widely practised on numerous objects from tiny beads to gigantic window panes of churches. Owing to its versatility, glass painting is now taught in art classes and online tutorials. With the recent availability of glass painting kits and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, glass painting transcends the boundaries from just practising art to a fun and useful hobby.

How to become accustomed with glass painting

  • Enroll in art classes to gain complete expertise in glass painting.
  • Read step by step instructions regarding glass painting through books or online in order to acquire an insight of this art.
  • View video tutorials for better understanding of basics of glass painting.
  • Indulge yourself in Do-it-yourself (DIY) glass painting projects and kits for fun time-pass as well as mastering the art of glass painting over time.

My cousin-sister's pretty glass painting


My rendezvous with glass painting

The thought of doing glass painting had long eluded me since my childhood. One day, I saw my cousin's beautiful framed glass painting on her home walls. Her regular attendance of art classes and dedication had paid off and it is very obvious by the beauty of her work. Immediately, I was inspired by her artwork and decided to take up glass painting. One day, I visited a bookstore. I browsed through artwork books and came upon this glass painting kit tucked in a corner. This kit clearly stated that it is for beginners. I quickly grabbed it.

About my glass painting kit

This well-equipped kit was fashioned by Diana Fisher, who is an award-winning artist. This kit was published by Walter Foster Publishing, which is a reputed publishing division of Quarto Publishing, a well-known international publishing house. The craft kit is customised for beginners in glass painting. It contained a 32-page project book enclosed within it, 8 glass paints, a palette, 2 paint-brushes, a sponge, a black out-liner tube, a glue-tube and a packet of tiny decorative beads. The project book provided several step by step instructions and special tips with helpful pictures. It also included templates (they need to be photocopied as told by this author) to be used on glass objects. The project book is a good guide book which helps beginners in developing the knack of glass painting. Also, it is ideal for busy professionals like me.

This YouTube video will give you various ideas of what glass object to be chosen for glass painting

A variety of glass objects that glass painting can be practised on:

Besides window panes and glass doors, glass painting can be done on a large number of glass objects, ranging from small glass pebbles to huge glass cases.

The list of objects made of glass required for practising glass painting are mentioned below:

  • Home décor objects such as vases, figurines, frames and anything made of glass available at your home.
  • Crockery items like spice-shakers, mugs, bowls, jars, trays and many more you can find in your kitchen cabinet or shelves.
  • Jewelry accessories made of glass including earrings, bracelets, pendants, accents and several other accessories you would like to pep up your appearance.
  • Mantelpiece glass items such as prisms, plexi-balls, glass cubes, etc to give the mantelpiece an overally striking look.
  • Anything that are old and unused like aquarium tanks, beverage bottles, nail-polish containers, sprayers and anything that needs to be revamped so as to add a vibrant look to your home.
  • Many more glass objects such as table-tops, lab-flasks, chandeliers, glass chess set and the list goes on.................nothing stops you from being creative with glass objects.

Special note: The crockery items with glass painting on them should be for decorative display only.

Extra tools and materials for extra attractions

  • Stickers and glow-in-the-dark decals required for sticking on glass objects
  • Glass markers
  • Colored sketch pens suitable for creating various designs on glass objects
  • Glitter-glue pens
  • Glass beads for decorative purposes
  • Colored glass objects (Though the author of the project kit suggested the use of crystal clear glass objects, I decided to be adventurous and painted on coloured glass objects)
  • Glass objects with uneven surfaces and indentations (Again the author suggested the use of ultra smooth surfaced glass objects. However, I experimented on several glass objects with indentations and it worked well)

List of important things to do while doing glass painting

  • Wear paint-and-glue-proof gloves.
  • Use sturdy glass objects only.
  • Avoid the use of extremely sharp glass edges and cracked or broken glass objects.
  • Start practising with small glass objects and then proceed to bigger glass objects.
  • Perform glass painting in a separate place where work can be done neatly and prudently.
  • Use different types of paint-brushes besides the paint-brushes of the kit
  • Use cotton swabs and tissue papers to carefully remove the smudges.
  • Use transparent sheets and black marker pen in case you want to create your own designs.
  • Use optional tools such as stencils, scissors and anything that is handy.
  • In case of glass painting kits, kids need to be under the complete supervision of adults.

My glass painting kit
My glass painting kit | Source

How to do glass painting on glass objects

1. After thoroughly reading the project book, make sure that you know the details and techniques of glass painting explained by the author. You can create pretty and intricate designs on glass objects or transform plain-looking glass items into colorful and vivid display items. Practising this craft requires a lot of patience and there is no shortcut to success.

A template of God Ganesha
A template of God Ganesha | Source

2. For a particular design or picture, use a template which can be taken as a photocopy or self-created on gateway sheet (transparent sheet). If you prefer to create your own designs, you can make them without the use of templates.

I used a template of God Ganesha, one of the most important Hindu gods of India to be used as a glass painting on a glass photograph-frame. This template is taken as a print-out from the website titled which is an Indian creative website for kids and this website have plenty of free printable coloring sheets.

The template is inserted inside the photograph-frame to be used as the base for outlining.
The template is inserted inside the photograph-frame to be used as the base for outlining. | Source

3. Place the template behind the glass object so that you can outline carefully with the black out-liner tube. Before outlining, practise it on a paper so as to get the right results. If you want to draw thin lines, squeeze the tube gently and slowly draw thin lines. In case there are smudges, use cotton swabs to remove the mess.

Note: Adjust your template according to the size of your glass-object.

The outline of God Ganesh on the photograph-frame, using a black out-liner tube.
The outline of God Ganesh on the photograph-frame, using a black out-liner tube. | Source

4. After the outline of the template-picture is done, let it dry for a considerable amount of time. I placed the black outline of the picture under the fan for some time to dry completely before painting different colors within the outlined parts. Avoid touching the outline with paint colors and in case you make this mistake, again outline on the colored outline. Then let it to dry once again before resuming painting in the remaining outlined parts.

My glass painting of God Ganesha
My glass painting of God Ganesha | Source

5. Choose suitable colors for your outlined designs or pictures. Mix the glass color paints with little water and ensure that they are neither thick or runny. After completing the glass painting, place it under the fan to dry for some more time. You can decorate the glass painting with tiny decorative beads, stickers, glitter-glue pens and anything to make your glass painting attractive.

I colored the ornaments of God Ganesha, using golden glitter-glue pen and embellished them with tiny beads to brighten up the whole picture. Finally, this glass painting frame was all ready to be on display.

Before they were regular plain-looking glass objects


And now they are attractive display glass objects!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The mug has cut indentations and the bowl with fish design has raised indentations.
The mug has cut indentations and the bowl with fish design has raised indentations.
The mug has cut indentations and the bowl with fish design has raised indentations. | Source

Practising on glass objects with indentations

The indentations on glass objects can be both raised and cut. It requires a lot of patience to achieve the desired results. You have to paint smoothly on these indentations and use suitable paint-brushes according to the dimensions of the indentations. You can create your designs carefully on the glass objects with indentations. Actually, the glass objects with indentations are easy for glass painting.

My fun time with glass painting

I admit that I had a wonderful time, indulging in glass painting. My crockery-case was full of plain-looking glass objects, sitting idle on the shelves for years. I decided to give them a colorful make-over. I chose a considerable number of glass objects and in a few weeks, I turned them into attractive display items. Though I may be not be an advanced professional in glass-painting, my amateurish efforts gave me a rewarding experience.

Go, practise glass painting and have fun!

Copyrights © 2012 By Ishwaryaa Dhandapani

I have done glass painting on a large number of glass objects
I have done glass painting on a large number of glass objects | Source

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