Hand-painted Glassware

Make inexpensive, reusable tabletop décor with miscellaneous glassware found at the Salvation Army store and the Caritas resale shop.

Project Instructions

Materials needed:

Getting Started:

Choose several clear glasses of varying sizes and shapes. Glassware with interesting impressed pattern, cutwork, grooves or panels produce the most pleasing results. Simple glassware requires more time and adornment to look unique. Avoid glasses with hard water stains or spotting since they require additional effort to clean. Remove all price tags and markings with Goof Off prior to washing or use a scrubbing pad while washing. Wash all glasses by hand. Do NOT use the dishwasher—dishwasher washing leaves residue and spotting. Rinse washed glass in one part vinegar and 10 parts water solution and dry immediately with a lint free cloth. Allow glassware a rest period of at least one hour before painting.

Painting your designs:

Choose a paint pen color with a metallic component—it produces a lovely sheen when dry that enhances the finished project. Chalk or opaque pens produce less than desirable results. Using the design of the chosen glass as a guide, fill in various areas with the paint pen. Vary the design from glass to glass: simple dots, squiggles, zigzags, and lines used separately or collectively are more than adequate to create an interesting grouping. Although multiple colors may be used, a single color choice gives the appearance of a unified collection. Work with glass held at top and bottom, rotating glass while painting without touching previously painted sections to avoid smudging. If smudging occurs, glass may be rewashed immediately to remove all paint, or a small area may be cleaned with Goof Off and a paper towel. Freshly painted glass needs to dry thoroughly— Preferably ten to twelve hours before being handled.

Finish it off:

When paint is dry, lightly spray with a clear gloss non-yellowing sealer to protect decoration. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and dry time. This step is optional. Painted glass may be used without sealer coat, however the decoration will wear off more easily especially if exposed to water. Fill finished glassware with freshly picked bouquets, candle votives, or a mix of the two, decorate tabletop and enjoy!

Completed Project