Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Window Pane Painting: Everything You Need To Know

You don’t have to wait until your windows look old and worn before you think about repurposing them with acrylic painting and crafty designs. Painted glass is always attractive, and is one of the easiest projects for crafters and artists because you can easily scrape off any mistakes with a razor blade.

It takes a bit of time and patience to acquire glass-painting skills, so it is best to find some useful tools to help with the process. Whether you want a stained glass look or the basic pattern, portrait or some unique design on canvas, the windowpane-painting project will give you the most satisfaction as a beginner if you make use of stencils.

Here are some other tips to guide you with windowpane painting:

  1. Choose the paints

    You can choose any paint you like depending on the look you want to obtain. Common paint options include:

    • Transparent glass paints – these allow some of the light to filter through them
    • Acrylic paints – these are more opaque, and don’t let through much light
    • Resin-based paints – these are one of the options for transparent glass paints, and are available in glossy or frosted colours

    Considering the wide range you should ask for assistance in order to pick the right paint for your glass-painting project.

  2. Get the necessary tools ready

    You need a number of tools to prepare the windowpane for painting, and for the actual painting process itself. Some of the things you might need include:

    • Window frame with glass
    • Scrap paper and pencil
    • Ammonia and vinegar
    • Newspaper
    • Bucket
    • Liquid leading
    • Old sheets
    • Scissors
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Soft cloth
    • Paint brushes

    You will also need the glass paint in colours of your choice.

  3. Prepare a stencil for your design

    Draw and paint a range of designs and patterns on scrap paper using a pencil until you come up with something you like. You can also choose to draw the complete final design on a scrap of paper that is cut to the size of your glass, and then cut it out so you can use it as a stencil. If you are more skilled in arts and crafts and prefer to free-hand the project, you can skip this process.

  4. Clean the work surface

    When your design is ready, clean the windowpane before you start the paintwork.

    Put some water in the bucket and add a bit of vinegar and ammonia. Dip a scrub brush in the mixture and scrub the wooden window frame. Apply just enough pressure to remove the putty but not the paint. When the frame is clean, start cleaning the glass.

    To clean the glass surface, use a soft cloth to rub alcohol in order to remove dust and other dirt. Any dirt and debris on the surface will interfere with how the paint adheres to the windowpane.

  5. Apply the background colour

    When you finish cleaning both sides of the frame and glass, put down an old piece of cloth or other drop cloth to begin painting. With the back side of the window facing you, use the largest brush to paint the background scene.

    Use enough paint to get good coverage without going over the wet paint. If there are some areas you need to go over, wait until the layer of paint has dried completely and then paint with a light touch.

    Once you finish, flip the windowpane over carefully so the wet paint does not touch anything or use a hair dryer to hasten the drying process.

  6. Trace the design

    Start with the designs in the furthest back to lay the second part of your background, and finish with the foreground.

    If using a stencil, trace the stencil design using a bottle of liquid leading in order to create a distinct design or pattern on the glass. Start with the designs in the furthest back to lay the second part of your background, and finish with the foreground. Allow some time for it to dry completely before removing the stencil, and then fill in the liquid leading stencil with the paint colours you selected.

    Consider using natural bristle paintbrushes to achieve smoother coverage. Synthetic brushes tend to result in a greater number of brush strokes.

  7. Finish the design

    Depending on the type of finish you want, you can use either one coat of paint or two coats of paint for a more glossy or opaque finish, respectively.

    When the painting is complete, lay your windowpane down where it won’t be disturbed so the design can dry as it is.

  8. Additional tips
    • Sticky stencils tend to give the best results.
    • If you intend to paint the glass in one solid colour, it is recommended that you use a sponge.
    • To achieve a stained glass look, it is best that you don’t use paintbrushes. Instead, apply the paint directly from squeezable paint tubes and use a pointed stick or toothpick to pop the paint bubbles.
    • To control the tube easily, use liquid leading tubes of about 120 ml.

When you are done creating your glass paintings, you can use them to create a focal point in your home, sell them at craft fairs or give them to friends and family as gifts.

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