Painting Glass – Ideas

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Stained Glass 'Bird Study'

Image by spitfirelas via Flickr

Painting glass is not for the faint of heart. It takes patience and a bit of practice… but the results are so versatile and gorgeous.

And not something you can do with just any ol’ paint.  It takes special paints to work on glass.

I’ve used the “expensive” Pepeo glass paints – which give stunning results – but are best used for glass painting projects on “objects”.   Pepeo requires that you “bake” the finished project so that the glass is dishwasher safe.  Baking also brings out the vibrancy of the colors.

Save the Pepeo glass paint for painting on stemware or to dress up that plain (cheap) cake stand into something one of a kind for your kitchen.

Delta brand glass paint is easy to use – and inexpensive - but the results are not realistic at all.  No matter how I tried the results were more kindergarten craft class – then something to be proud of.

My favorite glass paint (which doesn’t mean it’s the “best”) is in the middle price range and has a huge variety of colors and textures to choose from. Plus – it doesn’t stink like solvent!

Gallery Glass brand comes in kits and single tubes.  I purchased a kit first and then filled in with colors/textures the kit didn’t have.

A Few Tips And Hint’s For Glass Painting

If you want the look of stained glass – don’t use a brush.  Use the tube paints (like Gallery Glass brand) and keep a few sewing pins or needles on hand to “pop the bubbles” which will show up as your layer on the glass paint.

No matter how steady your hand or how careful you are – liquid leading takes practice and more patience. It’s worth learning to do this correctly:

This gal seems like she is teaching a kindergarten class… but some of the tips are important:

Once you get the hang of working with glass paints – you will start to see the artistic possibilities:

What to paint on your glass window? You’re only limited by your imagination.

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I recently got this question from a newsletter subscriber – Bridget:

“Help! I’ve been painting landscapes and doing decorative painting on anything that will hold still (thankfully the kids move fast) for years.

Now my brother and sis-in-law, who inherited a house with lovely nursery room with a view of the add-on storage room.

I’m trying to come up with an idea of how to artfully disguise this eyesore. We could just throw up a curtain, but that’s no fun!

Thinking of using a small light (like goes over the kitchen sink) to highlight whatever I paint on the panes. Suggestions???”

My first thought was how fun! Painting a window that looks out on a storage room…from a nursery.

Most people would jump to a nursery scene…and I did suggest that…but last and not how you think.

My FIRST suggestion was to paint the window to look like an enhanced view of what is already outside.  Trees, flowers, blue skies…but let’s not forget the storage room out there!

I suggested painting a “castle” over the space that the storage room occupies. Boys and girls both love castles.

  • Boys – add a dragon and a knight and maybe a “Merlin” figure, too!
  • Girls – add pretty flowers and vines and a princess to the castle.

But what if that just isn’t “right” for your family?  Well, what about painting a farm scene?  And over the space where the “eye sore” is how about painting a barn with some cows and horses and cute sheep and pink pigs?  You’d have to make sure you painted a tree with a tire swing, too!

My last suggestion ~ creating a stained glass window to hang in front of the regular window. You can find old windows in architectural salvage and antique stores – cheap!

My last suggestion is the standard nursery theme – “Cow Jumped Over the Moon”.  It’s a soothing scene with colors that would be soothing and encourage sleep.

Still can’t come up with an idea? Look at bedspreads, or paintings.  The ideas are limitless.  Floral designs, geometric designs, stylized still life designs, landscapes, whatever you want to do.   Look at “real” stained glass to get ideas or at coloring books if you’re doing a child’s room.

If you haven’t painted on glass before you’ll want to do some test runs first.   Grab some frames at a 2nd hand store and use the glass  for your practice runs.  Buy a glass painting kit at your craft store and follow the directions.  I think once you try this fun project you will be a bit addicted. :)

Pebeo Vitrea 160 Workbox- Painting on Glass

Remarkably transparent shades to decorate glass at its finest! Particularly brilliant the water based Vitrea 160 colors are of professional quality. The kit includes ten 45ml Vitrea 160 colors one 20ml Relief Outliner Tube one sponge one brush one mixing tray and instructions. Comes in a handy double tiered carrying case with snap on lid!

Gallery Glass 17030 Window Color Value Set

The original simulated leading and stained glass paint, gallery glass is always as easy as outline and paint. The perfect way to explore the beauty of gallery glass, the value pack set offers an updated, color-coordinated palette of popular favorites and new home décor accent colors. Set includes 6 large paint pot colors, 24 small paint pot colors (2 -ounce), 2 -ounce crystal clear window color, classic black liquid leading and a multi-purpose tool. Multi-tool can be used for scooping or blending. Paint is removable and non-toxic.

I found some books you might like, too! Check it out!!

<– The Complete Guide to Glass Painting

This book has over 80 techniques in it with 25 original projects AND 400 motifs!!  “Whether you are an enthusiastic beginner or a devoted fan of glass painting, this is the only book you’ll ever need.”

A complete introduction to glass painting, it contains a complete guide to materials and techniques, a host of projects to try, a library of patterns, motifs and an invaluable trouble shooting section.

Decorate plates, glasses, bottles, trinket boxes, mirrors, picture frames, vases, cabinet doors, storage jars and many other items with the ideas presented here.

Detailed step-by-step instructions are accompanied by specially commissioned color photographs of the projects to ensure success every time. Once you have started painting on glass, you will find it hard to stop, and will never look at a plain glass surface in the same way again!

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