What Paint To Use On Glass Windows? Everything You Need To Know!

Taking a moment to appreciate your concern about choosing the right paint for using on glass windows.

Because you can’t just pick a random paint and apply it on glasses, there are facts and limitations you must know about.

So, exactly, what paint to use on glass windows?

What Paint To Use On Glass Windows?

Acrylic glass paint, acrylic enamel paint, solvent-based paint, frosted glass paint, and a whole lot more options are there for you! If you want to know more about…

  • The most suitable paints for using on glass windows
  • How to choose the best glass window paint
  • What are the best paints to use on glass windows
  • The proper way to paint on glass windows
  • How should you remove the paint
  • And, so much information you’d love to know!

…feel free to stay with us. Without further ado, let’s just dive in. Shall we?

What Kind of Paint to Use on Glass Windows?

Not all glass paints are made equal. There are numerous options and you’re here to pick one of them. If you ask what’s the best glass paint for you? It depends on what result you hope to achieve actually.

Therefore, you can’t simply apply any kind of paint on glass windows because here consistency, transparency, flexibility, and things like these matter.

It’s best if you use specific paints that are formulated to stick to glass. There are several options to choose and most of the paints are acrylic-based.

So, let’s get introduced to the common kinds of paints to use on glass windows.

Acrylic Glass Paint

Acrylic Glass Paint on Windows

If you’re looking for more permanent window paint, the glass paint should be your concern. There are a few options that create such a permanent on the glass as this paint does.

Although acrylic glass paint is completely acrylic-based, there are a few differences between this and the regular acrylic paints you’re used to applying. Conventional acrylic paints don’t adhere to smooth glass surfaces.

Moreover, glass paint doesn’t chip or fade away once it’s cured. Since it doesn’t fade, it also creates a strong sunblock. However, as it offers so many great features that it doesn’t come at affordable prices.

So, you should go for specific acrylic paints that are specifically made for tile and glass.

Because these contain some chemical additives that let the acrylic base stick to any non-porous surface.

Acrylic Enamel Paint

Initially, it may sound weird to use acrylic enamel paint on glass since enamel paint is oil-based whereas acrylic is water-based. But it’s a great combination. Let me say why.

Acrylic enamel paint creates a really hard shell that ensures that your color will stay in place for a long time. It bonds to varieties of surfaces so it’s popular for its versatility.

And, if you need light filtering or privacy, then need something solid like acrylic enamel paint. This paint is pretty well known for painting cars as it adheres to glass really well. Also, it’s long-lasting.

Both acrylic enamel paint and glass paint are expensive.

Frosted Glass Paint

Tell me if you want something that’s less filtering yet offers privacy. Yes, this paint offers this excellent feature. It’s really easy to apply frosted glass paint and looks beautiful once it’s done applying.

As frosted glass paint is semi-transparent, it offers privacy but still, lets go of natural light.

It’s spray paint so you can apply it within a few minutes and it dries quickly as well. Another great news is, it’s really cheap so you’re getting something really great without hurting your wallet.

Combination of Gesso And Acrylic Paint

Mix gesso and acrylic paint if you want a matte finish that lasts long. Gesso is already mixed with a binder that’s made with gypsum, chalk, and pigment. Still, gesso is a thin liquid of acrylic paint.

Overall, this will give a matte finish.

Glass Painting Pens and Markers

Painting windows with kids is always fun. But you have to think a bit more since you don’t want to work with any toxic paint while you’re with your kids, right?

In this case, markers and pens can be a great option since it’s a really easy medium to work with and fun also. You’ll find a lot of colors and sizes of pens to choose from.

You may doubt whether it’s possible to have permanent paint from markers and pens or not. Well, consider using oil-based paint markers since they offer longevity.

Solvent-Based paint

If you haven’t heard of solvent-based paints, you must have heard of oil-based paint, haven’t you? Both are the same. Solvent-based paint is just also known as oil-based paint.

This paint comes with high organic compound levels that stick to the glass better than any other traditional water-based counterparts. Overall, it offers a highly saturated color but it’s more toxic compared to other acrylics.

Also, it’s a bit harder to clean solvent-based paint than other options.

Tempera Paint

We’ve mostly talked about permanent window glass paints, but what if you need something temporary? Probably something for holiday window painting?

Tempera paints are the best when you need something handy for literally short-term use on glass windows. You can wash tempera paints only by washing them off with little effort but they adhere to the glass pretty reasonably.

Although tempera paints are one of the kid-friendliest options.

So, if you need a temporary paint that’s easy-to-use for young painters, there are a few to no paints that can beat tempera paint. Also, it’s one of the safest paints out there. It can withstand rain or moisture as well.

There’s no risk of having scratches on your beautiful windows if you use tempera paint. But remember one thing- if you’re going to get a washable tempera, pick a powdered version rather than picking pre-mixed school grade paints.

Then, use just enough water to mix the paint and get a thick consistency. For a better holding power than ever, you can add a little dishwashing soap as well.

Liquid Leading Paint

Have you ever seen or heard about faux stained glass? If you want faux stained glass as your windows, it’s easy to do so. All you need to do is to add liquid leading paint to any of the above-mentioned paints. It will result in your desired effect.

Bottles that contain liquid leading paint can be squeezed into the glass for creating leading lines. If you’re wondering what ‘leading’ means here, it’s the black frames. When you paint stained glass, these frames hold the individual paints of the glass.

Eventually, the frames create those individual shapes on the window glass. And, why the name is leading here is because the frames are made of lead.

Paint for Glass Window Choosing Method

This is I guess the most important factor to keep in mind while purchasing paint for glass windows. Why am I saying this? Let’s find out!

Paint for Glass Window Choosing Method


How many layers of paint you’re using determines how much light will pass through the window. If you want to make the window less transparent, then go for acrylic paints since they’re more opaque than others. So, it will be a great option to block a lot of bright light.

Curing Time

Tell me first, do you have an urgency to occupy your room with freshly painted windows? If yes, you need something that dries to touch within only a few hours. This means, in this case, you need to use enamel paint or water-based acrylic paint.

On the other hand, solvent-based glass paints take notably longer to completely cure.

Speaking of curing time, there’s something else we’d like to add here.

If you air-dry acrylic enamel paints, they’ll be really hard and offer a decent level of resistance to wear. And, durability will dramatically increase. However, air-drying takes somewhere between 24-72 hours to cure.

Here’s a brief about the air-drying process.

It’s about using a brush-on or spray-on sealer. After applying two-three coats, you have to leave the paint for 24 hours to let it cure. Remember, it’s always the best practice to experiment with a single item before you proceed with a batch.


When you want permanent designs using paint that lasts for decades on the glass windows, solvent-based glass paint is a go-to option. Because the limitation of its performance level is the sky.

Another way is to use acrylic paint because it’s somewhat permanent after drying. You can’t easily rub it off by washing it so it stays put for years. Still, there are chances acrylic paint can chip or you can easily remove it by peeling/scraping using a sharp blade.

So, it’s best to use quality acrylic paint for semi-permanent glass paint.


Every painting offers a unique finish after they’re dry. For this, get some ideas about different finishes of different paints.

Paint NameFinish
Glossy enamel acrylic paintA thick coat/an opaque finish
Water-based acrylic/glass linerStained glass
Frosted paintsA thinner and lighter coat
Crystal gloss enamel paintA combination of frosted and glossy finishes
Gesso and acrylic combinedMatte and opaque


As we said earlier, water-based paints are little to zero toxic because they release a small amount of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound). Therefore, if you’re a health and environment-concerned person, you know which one to pick.
Other Features
There are some other behaviors or glass paints that you should take into consideration while making a choice.

  • If the paint comes in a set with a dozen bottles that are mixable paints, you can create a lot of exciting and different colors.
  • Choosing water-based acrylic paint is recommended if you want a completely non-toxic option.
  • Both transparency and pigment strength are important factors to consider. Some paints you’ll see offering bright and strong colors as well as high transparency. In contrast, some paints are like watercolors but after applying a single coat, you’ll see how richer and translucent the coat looks.
  • Set your mind about which surface finish you want to have. There are finishes like gloss (most common), shimmer, frosted, metallic, and others. And, if you would like to have a mimic texture such as sea glass, go for spray paints.

5 Best Paint for Glass Windows Reviews

It may seem a bit challenging for you to pick one product from the numerous options on the market. For this, we recommend the 3 best, non-toxic paints for glass windows.

1. Colorations Washable Tempera Paints

Colorations Washable Tempera Paints

We were fanboying about tempera paints a lot and there are thousands of reasons for doing so.

Even if you’re not an artist, or you’re just going to do some paintings with your kids, coloring washable tempera paints will serve your purposes pretty amazingly. It sticks very well to glass and, guess what? It takes only a couple of minutes to dry which makes it one of the easiest mediums to work with.

You’ll get 11 vibrant colors in one set which includes all you need in order to create any temporary design on your glass windows. And, it gives a matte finish.

Not only do they offer great quality at a great price, but the paints come packaged in a recycled box. Also, the paint is washable from clothes but still, be careful because some users claim that it stains their kids’ skin.

2. Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glossy Paint

Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glossy Paint

If a quality, water-based acrylic paint is what you need, Pebeo Vitrea 160 glass paint should be your concern. This paint is famous in the market for its versatility. You’ll find both individual colors having different finishes (e.g glossy, frosted, shimmer, and light colors) and sets.

Vitrea is a mixable paint so you can create thousands of new colors by mixing one with another.

And, for being a water-based paint, you don’t have to face strong fumes during painting. Therefore, it’s a great option for kids as well. Overall, you’ll get a translucent stained glass effect which is rare.

However, the paint takes a lot of time (around 24 hours) and many users don’t love its thickness.

3. FolkArt Enamel Glass & Ceramic Paint

FolkArt Enamel Glass & Ceramic Paint

Another product that is packed with a lot of great features- FolkArt Enamel Glass & Ceramic paint. Like the previous ones, it’s water-based, non-toxic acrylic paint so you can paint with your kids without worrying about the harmful fumes.
It comes in a wide range of colors and offers vibrant designs as well. If you want something with outstanding coverage, pick this one without thinking much. Also, the pigment is rich so you’ll love the outcome.

About drying time, it dries super fast. Moreover, it resists scratches and increases durability. Overall, your glass window will look refined even after years, just like the first day you painted it.

Still, some users aren’t happy with the washability of this paint.

What Paint Brush to Use

Before you get to know the proper ways of painting glass windows, let’s see what paintbrush to use to paint the windows. Why it’s important because the brush you’re going to use will determine what kind of finish you’ll get.

So, here are some points that’ll help you make the right choice.

● Use a synthetic brush if you want the window to have a brushed look.
● If you like a smooth finished painting, picking a natural brush will be better.
● But if you’re planning to have a frosted look and using resin-based paint, then a foam brush should be your pick. Moreover, foam brush works great for stencils as well.

No matter what you’re choosing, make sure you purchase a high-quality brush. Because you never want your paintbrush hairs to come off the brush or stick to your project.

If you’re handling a work of art, you may need different sizes of artistic brushes.

● Smaller artistic brushes are a great choice for fine details.
● Using a broad and flat brush is perfect if you want a more even coat.

How to Paint Glass Windows

So, how do you paint glass windows perfectly? Follow the steps below!

Step 1: Clean the Glass Window

Start with a preparatory step. Not only the windows but also the brushes (you’ll use for painting) should be cleaned. It’s because the paint will stick to a clean surface better than a dirty one.

So, use warm, soapy water, and a clean cotton cloth to clean the surface. If you notice any stubborn dirt or grease on the glass, use rubbing alcohol to remove it completely.

Worth mentioning- make sure you wear latex gloves while cleaning the glass to avoid smudging it with your fingers.

Finally, let the surface dry.

Step 2: Tape the Surface

The next step is to use painter’s masking tape to the parts of your windows where you don’t want to paint. Taping will seal off the parts pretty well.

After that, use a temporary marker to trace your desired design’s outline on the window. By setting the boundaries, all the details will be accurate when you paint over the surface.

Alternatively, you can draw the design on tracing paper (try to pick a paper that’s a similar size as the window). This tracing paper will work as a template.

Step 3: Apply the Paint

Now, it’s time to apply the very first coat of paint. We already discussed which paintbrush you should use to paint a glass window. So, use a paintbrush according to your preference.

And, if you wanted to use spray paint, this is the time.

Once you’re done applying the first coat, let it dry properly. See if the color looks vibrant enough or not. Then, go through a second application and let the same paint stand out.

Another thing to remember, know whether the glass you’re painting needs to be baked or not. If the glass is the one that lasts without baking, then that’s okay. Otherwise, you may need to cure the painted glass.

What it means is, you need to set your oven at 350℉ temperature and let the glass bake for 30 minutes. After that, you need to allow the glass to cool down properly and then remove it from the oven.

You can wash the cured glass after around 72 hours of baking.

How to Properly Remove Paint From Glass Windows

As long as you’re not using permanent glass paint, you can remove the paint for reasons like you may not love the result or perhaps the season has just come to an end.

If you’re dealing with washable paint, you can remove it pretty quickly with warm, soapy water. But if it’s acrylic paint, you need to use white vinegar to remove it. Hence, white vinegar will firstly loosen and soften the paint bond and then remove it.

If still, the paint coat seems stubborn, use a sharp-edged tool such as a putty knife or razor and scrape it off. Always try to place the knife at a 45-degree angle to the glass. Also, use long strokes and work in one direction.

After you’re done lifting long paint coats from the glass, use a spray glass cleaner and wipe it back to get a sparkling clarity.

How Not to Do Window Painting

We’re almost done covering the entire ‘painting on glass windows’ class but some necessary factors are still not included here. Let’s see what I’m talking about.

  • Avoid using old paint because old paints tend to flake off.
  • Try not to use pre-mixed tempera paints unless you have powdered tempera in order to thicken it.
  • Don’t paint the inside of your window as the reflection on the outer side may hide the painting. However, if you live in a very rainy climate, then painting inside can be an option.


How could you possibly manage to come to the very end of the article?! That’s interesting.

Hopefully, we delivered a satisfactory piece on ‘what paint to use on glass windows’ and it somehow helped you make the right decision before making a purchase.

Before we wrap up, a soft reminder for you- make sure you wear gloves and even safety masks while dealing with any toxic paints. Happy painting.

Leave a Comment