Will Watercolor Paint Stay on Glass?

Will Watercolor Paint Stay on Glass? 4 Things to Know

Painted glass looks beautiful, and to achieve the desired look, an artist has to put in a lot of effort.

Although using watercolor paint on glass can yield amazing results, there are some complications as well. The main question is; Will Watercolor Paint Stay on Glass? Yes, they will, but only when you do it the proper way.

Here, we will be going into answering the question in detail. Not only that, but we will also be giving you a guide of all the things you should know about using watercolor paints on glass.

Will Watercolor Paint Stay on Glass?

In all honesty, watercolor doesn’t stick very well. And, if you just pick up your watercolor brushes and start painting on glass, you will most likely end up with a mess. Since it isn’t the best for painting glass, it is easy to make the quality of your watercolor painting very poorOpens in a new tab..

However, there are some things you can do to make watercolors suitable to paint glass. As implied by its name, watercolor is water-based, and since the glass surface is a nonporous surface, the paints can run very easily.

Additionally, the pigment of watercolors isn’t that bright and vivid, so you will often have to layer several different colors.

Because watercolors are thin, it is especially difficult to paint on the surfaces of glass jars compared to thicker paint materials such as acrylic medium and oil paintings.

How to Use Watercolor to Paint Glass?

Let’s go through the process here.

Clean Your Glass Object Before Applying Paint

As we have mentioned before, there are some steps and techniques you will have to follow to use watercolor paints on glassOpens in a new tab.. The first thing you have to do is wash and clean the glass object properly, whether it be a tile or jars.

This will ensure that there are no oils or dirt on the glass. If you don’t wash it properly, then the oil may cause difficulties for the watercolor to stick to the glass.

Sketch out Your Vision Using a Pencil and a Paper Before Continuing

Next, take a watercolor paper, you can also use cold-pressed paper or hot-pressed paper, or even a watercolor canvasOpens in a new tab.. On the watercolor paper, draw out the artwork you want on your glass object.

Also, feel free to print out a photo reference as an example instead of creating your idea as digital art.

Then, place the watercolor paper or canvas under your subject. But if you are painting a jar roll, then roll the paper into a cylindrical shape and place it inside. 

Fill in the Mid Tones with the Watercolour Paint

After that, look for the light and white areas on the reflection of your art glass. With your watercolor, brushes take a bit of masking fluid and paint those bright spots first. After you are done painting the masking fluid, you will have to move to the mid-tones.

Take all the several different colors that you want into your palette and mix them. You may also have to mix watercolors using a bit more water to make different light, pastels, and darker colors.

If you are an artist, then you must know that it is essential to let each layer on your watercolor paintings become dry and matte before you start glass painting with your brushes and pigment.

Continue painting all the mid tones of the reflection till all of them are filled in and your art looks closer to completion. A great tip would be to see and work on the art a small area at a time, so you don’t get confused by the reflection.

Outline the Shapes with a Very Thin Brush On the Glass

You can then move on to working on the edge of the shapes with a very thin brush. Be very steady and careful when you are outlining the shapes, or else the paint can smudge and thus ruin your watercolor art.

Draw the dark lines at the very end, and you can actually use acrylic paints instead to create sharper and better quality lines for your painting.

After you are done with painting the mid tones and drawing the lines peel off the masking fluid layer. This can be easily done if you start pinching the sides of the fluid layer with your fingertips.

You can leave the background as it is, or you can paint it a different dark color. Before that, remove the paper and erase any pencil linesOpens in a new tab. you may have around your object. Also, don’t throw away the paper in case you might need it in the future as a reference.

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What Is the Best Paint for Glass Painting?

There are many great paint materials for painting on glass besides watercolor. Paints such as acrylic paint and oil paint are very popular because they stick to the glass surface very well. Oil and acrylics also look very vibrant when they are painted on glass since they are opaquer than watercolor.

One of the best paints you can get for this purpose is acrylic enamel paintOpens in a new tab.. Acrylic enamel paints bond very well with several surfaces, including glass. It is acid free just like regular acrylic paint, but it forms a hard shell which gives it a glossy finish instead of a matte one.

The quality of this paint looks fantastic, but since it is very opaque, it won’t let much light pass through. This means if you want a stained glass look, then this won’t do the job for you.

Regular acrylic paints, acrylic enamel paints, and oil paints — all of them are better at retaining vibrance than watercolors.

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How to Maintain Watercolor Paintings on Glass?

If you don’t take proper care of your glass painted with watercolors, it will quickly fade within a few years. The easiest thing you could do to increase the lifetime of the art is to frame the glass if it’s a tile or a glass sheet. Framing your art will also keep them away from dust and dirt, which cause colors to fade.

However, if you have painted on water glasses, mugs, or jars, then you can only use them for decoration. This is because even slight contact with water may wash away the paint. When you’re cleaning these objects, please make sure to use only a dry cloth, and don’t rub them with too much force either.

Final Words

Glass painting with watercolors might be a bit difficult task, but it is also very fun once you practice enough and get the hang of all the techniques. So, will watercolor paint stay on glass? You probably know the answer, and it is a yes. However, you have to follow all the tips and tricks that we have mentioned in this article or else the paint won’t stick properly.

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Caraca's self-taught artist based in the UK, Ines explores unconventional materials and sustainability.

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