12.07.2007 at 00:30 |  

How to do glass-painting and prepare a unique gift to commemorate a special occasion in a special person's life? Hand-made gifts are always treasured.

There are a wide variety of paints manufactured especially for painting on glass. These can be water-based or oil-based. While the oil-based paints are more glossy and iridescent, a beginner would do well to start off with a water-based paint as they are easier to handle.

The paints may be opaque or translucent. While the former is better suited for conventional patterns like figures and still-life, the later gives an enchanting, shimmering quality to the paintings, particularly used for making sun-catchers. Any one might be chosen, but it is advisable not to use both varieties in the same painting. Each has its own texture and these do not gel.

Glass liners are available, conveniently packaged into tubes. These are again of myriad hues, but a black liner is recommended. It gives a clear definition to the outlines making the paintings stand out.


  • A clean piece of glass, of the desired size. For a first-timer, a square piece of size 8X8”
  • Glass liners
  • Glass paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Nail-polish remover
  • A soft piece of cloth


1. Choose a pattern. For a glass painting, a pattern must be clean lined, with minimum intricate curving and pointed corners. Here is a website that offers excellent patterns for free.

2. Once a pattern is selected, copy it on to a piece of paper of the same size as the piece of glass. The pattern must be drawn exactly on the center of the sheet. A margin of at least one-and-a-half inches must be left out on every side of the page.

3. Place the sheet on a flat surface and the glass on top of it, in perfect alignment with the piece of paper.

4. Trace out the outline carefully on the glass with the glass-liner, squeezing the tube from the bottom.

5. Take care not to smudge any part of the the traced pattern while working upon another part of the drawing. If this happens accidentally, swab the smudged portion with cotton-wool dipped in a little nail polish remover, then wipe out the surface with a clean dry piece of cloth.

6. Once the whole pattern has been traced, leave it to dry for about 3-4 hours. It may also be blow-dried with hot air to hasten up the drying process.

7. After the glass painting pattern has dried completely, start filling it in with glass colors of your choice. Use one-directional strokes to fill in the paint. Avoid spilling, do not take two much paint.

8. Use fine-tipped brushes to fill out the corners and areas near the outlines. From time to time, lift up the glass and look at the painting from underneath, any unfilled portion will be visible and can be filled out.

9. Pierce with a fine needle any bubbles that may appear, or gently brush them on to the glass painting outlines and out of the painting. Then wipe off the extra color outside the outlines with nail-polish remover.

10. Never put two coats of paint on any one portion. It will stand out and give a very shabby appearance to the finished painting. If you have to apply two coats, go over the entire area to blend the coats properly.

11. Take care not to lift the painting up vertically while paints are still wet, in order to prevent the glass paints from dripping.

Voila! A delicate, gorgeous glass painting is created, a perfect gift for that special occasion, or for adding charm to one's own residence.

Sebanti Ghosh

Posted by jt


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