Acrylic Painting on Glass

I am about to take you on a trip through a magical process, that I am still figuring out how to do decently. Each time I paint on glass I learn something new about it. It really is a trial and error kind of thing. Depending on how big your glass piece is, will determine how long it will take. I am doing my dining room table, so it has taken me about a week to get it done. My hope, is that this will turn out better than my last attempt, but this won’t be the last time I re-paint the table.


What ever size glass you paint, you want to make sure it is clean first. You can use newspaper and a basic glass cleaner to get a streak free clean. I had to remove my last picture before I could start, that took a while. This is how I figured out that not all brands of acrylic paint come off as easily as others. Some you can peel off, and others you need to spray with glass cleaner, let sit for a minute and scrub or scrape off. It can be a pain on the bigger slates of glass, like my table.

splash of life

This was the previous image I painted on the glass. It was my trial image you could say.


I gathered all my paint, brushes, paint dishes, and some paper towels before beginning. For this piece I only used a few colors and some mixing. Blue, red, yellow, white and black. I set up a playlist, lit a candle, and only poured paint for what I had to do at the moment. The prep is pretty easy on this really.

Day 1

For the start of this, I did the outline, and a few small details. I did the outline in red, and in hindsight, I should have done the center circle first and then the surrounding petals, but I didn’t. Like I said this is a learning process even for me. I will share even what I see I could’ve done better, that way if you try it, you know what not to do. 🙂


After I got the outline down, I did two lines down four of my petals. I didn’t make them thick lines, just a single stroke of red.

Day 2

Now since I work a normal day job, I do my painting in the evenings, this is why it takes me so long. Anyways, day two is all about filling in the flower. Now I started with the petals, mixing my red and blue to get a deep purple color, and dotting it around the inside edges of the petals. I also did a thick red line around the center of the flower, then dotted over the red with the deep purple. Next I mixed red and white to get a pink and mixed some white with my purple to make it lighter. I used these two colors, the pink and light purple, for the center of the flower. First I dabbed a pink circle along the inside of the red circle. Then dabbed the pink and purple all over the center of the flower. Mixing the paints slowly as I went.


Now I did screw up a little with the center. Some red from the outline was in the center of the circle so when I painted over it, you could still see the red going too far into the center. Though since I didn’t notice till after doing several layers of paint, I lost an entire evening tearing the paint off, to redo it. I also forgot to take a picture of the center after I did that. Have I ever mentioned I am a scatter brain sometimes? I am sure someone can relate to that. (lol)

Day 3

Day three is all about the petals and doing more layers on the center of the flower. Now with some input from one of my artist roommates, we decided that doing a little yellow in the center of the petals and fading that into the red would look really good. I can say it does look really good. He was nice enough to let me borrow some of his yellows for this, since I am not a big user of yellow.

I did use a couple different yellows, some burnt yellow, and bright yellow. Now I just started painting it in the center using long strokes, then brought in the red to help blend it out. I did start to run out of yellow, so the last petal I did, doesn’t have as much as the other.

As I let the petals dry, I did another coat of purple over the center of the flower. I really did not want to be able to see through the color when the table flipped, so layers, layers, layers.

Day 4

This was the most fun I had with this table, on day four I started the background. The reason I had so much fun with this, is for one, I used my favorite color combination, black and purple. Also, all of my room-mates were home and we had a little dance party in the kitchen while I worked. Having good music and company can make all the difference in any hobby you do.

At first when I started this, I did little strokes of black around the flower, going out towards the corner or the side that the flower was facing. Then I went back with the purple and starting on top of the black, I did full long stroked to the edge. This is to keep it from looking too choppy. Each stroke I did start at the black line and worked the paint out to the edges. It does take a while to do this. Now on my table, there is an inch thick slightly slanted border. On the border I used my purple and black to follow the edge with my brush to create my own boarder.

Because the surface I painted is so big, after doing the whole border, I was able to go back to where I started and work the rest of the way filling in the blank spots and be able to paint over the border without it screwing up too much. Because by the time I got back there, it was pretty much dry. I used a LOT of paint for the background. I mean I had to keep making purple and pouring black. I did have them in different dishes, and I just dunk my brush in one, do a couple strokes, and then dip the same brush into the other and go over the same strokes.

The background is a bit of an illusion. At night, or in dim lighting, the background looks black, but when in a brighter setting, you can see all the purple accents. Also, when I had to remix the purple, I never did the same shade twice, so there are all kinds of variations of purple mixed with the black.

Day 5

remember when I said layers, layers, layers. This is all of day 5. I did do more layers of red over the petals, and black over the smaller petals. I did more purple and white on the center of the flower, and one big layer of purple over the background. I spent my whole night doing the layers. I did do a layer of paint over everything, then go watch some TV, and go back later and do more layers.

Edit Image

The reason for the layers I learned after the last time I painted the table when I didn’t do any layers. If you do just one layer, or ever just two layers, you may not have a good coverage when you flip it. What I mean by that is, when there is light shining on it, you will still see through some parts of the glass. That is not something I wanted this time. I wanted it to be completely covered, and with glass it takes many layers to get that.

Edit Image


Flip and Done

Now technically this is day six, I gave the table a day to dry. The only thing left to do is flip the glass and view the finished product. In my opinion, it turned out great, and even better than I thought it would. Though that’s just me, I paint for the enjoyment of it, there for I like all of my finished product, but I want to hear what y’all think! So let me know, is this something you would want to try? Did you like seeing the progression of this piece? What is something you would like to see me do? I do love a challenge, so if you have one, even if it isn’t painting, let me know! I will try it, and give the credit of the idea to you in the post.

2 thoughts on “Acrylic Painting on Glass”

  1. Interesting post. I like the walkthrough of the glass painting. I myself have only done a mural on my bedroom wall when I was very young but this is definitely worth a try.

    This is how I used to build puzzles sometimes, upside down and then flipped. I have used acrylic paint before and I quite enjoyed them especially blending the colours.

    I used to shy away from painting and shading because I didn’t achieve the level of detail I was happy with. I have now learned that I should have done the opposite and am now trying my hand (hehe) at shading.

    I believe posts like yours showing someone creating something is very inspiring. Thank you.

    1. I did murals on my wall when I was young too! that is amazing. never shy away from something you enjoy! Even I am still learning something new everyday, and though I don’t always feel I have done my best, my hope is to at least show where I went wrong and where someone else could do better. 

      I would love to see one of these puzzles you speak of though! those sound very interesting. Specially if you have to do them up side down like I do my glass tables. It is always a bit difficult doing something upside down. 

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