How To Paint Wine Glasses

A great way to breathe new life into plain old wine glasses is by painting them. They make for great gifts and it’s super easy to make your own DIY painted wine glasses at home.

Painting your own gives you the freedom to get creative and make personalized pieces for you and your friends or family. Alternatively, they look great as decorative items too!

In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through the process of painting your own wine glasses. It involves three key steps; Preparation, Painting, and Curing. 

Let’s get started!

Preparation

1.Start by washing your glass, or glasses, in warm soapy water. Even if your glass is brand new, it may have still gathered dust while sitting in your cupboard.

Make sure it’s sparkling clean before you continue, as if you apply paint on top of grime and dirt, it won’t last and will slide off quickly. Be sure to rinse away all of the suds and let it dry adequately before painting, as painting on streaky glass is far more difficult. 

2.Once your glass has completely dried, take a piece of tissue paper and put a few drops of rubbing alcohol on it. Using the tissue paper, rub the glass to remove any oil, soap residue, dirt, or fingerprints that may still linger, which can end up ruining your final piece.

After this, allow the glass to dry for around 10 minutes before moving onto the next step. If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol at home, white vinegar makes for a great alternative. 

3.Next, peel and stick some masking tape around the entire rim of your glass. You should aim for a roughly 2cm rim of your glass to be paint-free.

This is because not all paint is suitable for contact with our mouths, as some contain potentially harmful and toxic ingredients. Also, the paint is more likely to rub off and fade away over time if it’s constantly coming into contact with your mouth.

Before you grab for the paintbrush, double-check that your tape around the rim is perfectly even. Even if it’s a little bit askew, it’ll be very noticeable when you peel it away later.

It only takes a couple of seconds to adjust the tape, and we recommend doing so until you get it just right. 

Painting

1. Begin by first sketching out your desired design onto a piece of paper. Sketching out your design prior to painting means that you can slide the piece of paper inside the glass, and trace the pattern as you paint- Genius!

If you’re talented enough to be able to sketch the design onto tissue paper, we recommend doing so- this is because tissue paper is far more flexible than regular copier paper, making it easier to bend into your glass.

If you don’t want to sketch your own design, you can create funky geometric shapes and patterns by using more masking tape and then painting around it. 

2.Next, it’s time to affix your stencil to your glass. The paper should be flush with the inside of the glass. If it’s not, or it’s sagging a little, you can stuff the glass with some rags or a bundle of socks- this will take up space and push the paper to the surface of the glass.

Alternatively, you can buy pre-made adhesive stencils from most good craft stores, and these make for an easy and time-efficient way to achieve this.

3.Start sketching your design onto your glass using a fine point pen or marker that won’t wipe away easily. If you make a mistake or don’t like the sketch you make, you can wipe away the marker with a q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol- this will act as a sort of eraser that you can use as you draw. 

4.Next, it’s time to choose your paints. With so many different kinds out there to choose from, it can get confusing and overwhelming. Enamels are water-based and dishwasher-safe if they are cured correctly, but they’re not suitable for use in the microwave.

Acrylic paints can also work, but some brands are more prone to fading than others. We recommend spraying a premium varnish over acrylic paints to keep them in place. 

Now it’s time to dive in and start painting. Here are some great pattern ideas for a little inspiration:

  • Stripes can be made with masking tape. Remove the tape as soon as you’ve finished painting between the stripes; removing the tape after the paint has dried risks damaging the paint. If your stripes have any irregularities, simply take your craft knife and carefully chip away until the lines are straight.
  • Do some polka-dotting. For dots, use the blunt end of your paintbrush, or a regular art sponge. With a dab of paint and a dish sponge or a sponge brush, you could create intriguing, layered designs.
  • Pour your paint over your wine glass, top to bottom, to create a marbleized effect. Then, pour a thin, equal coating while rotating the glass frequently. Colors can be mixed as desired. This method will work best with liquid fill paints.

Curing

  1. Immediately after painting, you should leave your wine glass and paint to dry for at least 24 hours before proceeding to the curing part of the process. Keep your glass stored upside down on a soft surface such as a draining mat to allow it to dry. 
  2. Next, it’s time to cure the paint to ensure it stays firmly on the glass and withstands years of washing and drinking. If your paint requires heat to cure, here’s how to do it safely:
  • Place a piece of aluminum foil onto a baking tray
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). There is no need for preheating. The goal is to place the glass in a cold oven, which will gradually build the heat, as opposed to a hot oven, which may cause the glassware to break.
  • Bake the glasses on the lined baking sheet and place them in the oven right away.
  • Set a 30-minute timer. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat but leave the glass in for another 10 minutes. Then, after 30 minutes, take the glasses out of the oven.
Christina Day
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