The 8 Best Paints For Glass Painting

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Painting on glass is an artistic pursuit that yields beautiful results — but only if you have the right materials. Available in acrylic, enamel, and oil formulations, the best paints for glass painting will offer the optimal finish and permanence level for your creative project.

Types Of Paint

Paints for glass typically come in three forms — here’s what to know:

  • Acrylic glass paint is ideal for beginners and crafters who are mindful of a budget, and the water-based formula is forgiving of mistakes — simply let the paint dry, then scrape it off with a putty knife to return the glass to its original form. Its semi-permanence also makes it the best paint for glass windows that are used for temporary displays.
  • Acrylic enamel paint is durable and can be air-dried or oven-baked at a low temperature to create a glossy, hard shell on nonporous surfaces. Although the finish can be permanent, it should be noted that these paints are not guaranteed to stand up to harsh conditions like dishwashing.
  • Oil-based paints are best for adding color to glass that is already etched or textured, and the waterproof paint offers highly saturated colors compared to their acrylic counterparts. However, be mindful that they may require major prep work — including sanding and priming — and long drying times between layers. Also be aware that oil-based paints and fumes can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, so apply in a ventilated area while wearing protective gear, like gloves and a painter's mask.

Application Method

The best glass paints typically come in bottles or tubes and require brushes and sponges, but for those who want to add hand-lettering or intricate designs to glass, paint markers offer more control and precision. A third option is spray paint, which is optimal for quickly covering large areas, such as entire bottles or windows. And no matter which type of glass paint you use, the best way to increase the longevity of your finished project is to apply a sealer after the final layer is dry, like a UV-resistant aerosol spray that prevents fading, or a dishwasher-safe brush-on sealer that’s perfect for painted glassware and plates.

Last, always check the labels on craft paints to confirm their approved uses, and note that the glass paints below are not food-safe. (Even if they can be applied to items like bowls and glasses, you’ll need to limit painting to areas that won't come in contact with food, beverages, or your mouth.)

With these suggestions in mind, check out the best paints for glass painting projects — all of which are available on Amazon.


A Popular Set Of Acrylic Paint Pens With 9,000 Perfect Ratings On Amazon

There’s a reason this colorful set of acrylic paint pens is a popular pick that’s earned a 4.6-star overall rating on Amazon. The water-based formula produces 2-millimeter lines, which is ideal for writing text and painting fine details on glass, and it comes in 12 bright colors. Although this paint cannot be baked for a fortified bond, it’s great for temporary decorations, and can also be used on other surfaces, including rocks, canvas, wood, and clay.

With this option, it may best to apply a sealant if you plan to wash any painted items. The paint is not listed as food-safe, but it can be used on the exteriors of drinking glasses (where it won’t come in contact with your mouth) and the undersides of glass plates to give your dishware some flair.

For more color variety, a 24-pack is available, too.

One reviewer raved: “I am in love with these paint pens. I am not too artistic but I bought these pens to decorate some glass containers that I wanted to reuse. I needed something easy to use and I got it!! They paint really good on glass and to protect the paint from water I use transparent nail polish.”


These Premium Water-Based Paints That Are Microwave- And Dishwasher-Safe

Give your dinnerware and drinkware a professional, decorative finish with this set of microwave- and dishwasher-safe glass paints. The Vitrea 160 formula is water-based — but also waterproof — and it’s designed to emulate the look of stained glass (though the paint type isn’t noted). The set includes 10 colors, and the paint cures to a glossy finish after being baked for 40 minutes in a conventional oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Results are permanent, even after exposure to dishwashers, microwaves, and UV light, making this the best paint for glassware that you actually plan to use. According to the brand website, the paints are not food-safe and should only be applied to surfaces that won’t come in direct contact with food, drinks, or your mouth.

With these considerations in mind, multiple Amazon reviewers have reported excellent results when using this paint on items like glass mugs, plates, and bowls, and you can also apply it to other surfaces, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, and earthenware.

The Pébéo paint sets are offered in glossy and frosted finishes as well, and you can also opt for single tubes in a wide variety of shades.

One reviewer raved: “The absolute BEST thing about this glass paint and the main reason I am writing this review and gave it 5 stars: I use my own painted wine glass atleast once a week and it goes right in the dishwasher. I've had it for about 2 years now, and it still looks PERFECT. The longevity of this paint when cured correctly (follow the instructions on the bottle) is simply amazing.”


A Budget-Friendly Set Of Oil-Based Paint Pens

For a vibrant alternative to acrylics, these permanent glass paint markers provide highly pigmented colors that will pop on glass, and they’re ideal for lettering and more intricate designs. The 12-pack includes a mix of oil-based glossy and metallic finishes, and each produces 2- to 2.8-millimeter lines that are both permanent and water-resistant.

Although the pens’ oil-based ink is advertised as odorless and nontoxic, keep in mind that it is not deemed food-safe. Oven-curing is not required, and one Amazon reviewer reported that the paint takes roughly three minutes to dry — super fast considering the oil base. Others reported satisfying results on various glass objects, including ornaments, bottles, and wine glasses, and you can also use the waterproof markers on materials like wood, canvas, ceramic, and fabric. Just remember that, like with all oil-based paint, it’s best to use this option in a ventilated area.

One reviewer raved: “I work at a pet store in the aquatics section, I tried using chalk markers to write on the glass but the water always ruined what i wrote and would have to be redone the next day. These dont budge at all!!! Water gets on the glass, it gets wiped down, kids touch it, dogs slobber on it, and nothing smudges or smears. I am so happy with these!!!”


An Acrylic Enamel Glass Spray Paint That Covers Large Surface Areas

Transform clear glass into something a little more eye-catching with a spray can of acrylic enamel paint for glass that does not require baking to cure. The translucent glass paint can be applied with the aerosol push-button applicator, which makes it easy to cover large areas, and it’s dry to the touch within 30 minutes. The paints come in a handful of colors, and Amazon reviewers reported satisfying results when using them on everything from light bulbs to glass vases.

Note that this spray paint is designed for use on indoor items, and it should not be used on anything that might come into contact with food, drinks, or your mouth. It should be applied in a well-ventilated area, and you may want to wear protective gloves and a face mask.

One reviewer raved: “I had a boring glass bowl. It had bubbles and things that made it interesting but was blah. This paint was perfect. Sprayed the outside of the bowl and it looks like the glass is actually orange. Easy to apply, took something ok and made it fabulous.”


A Glossy Enamel Glass Paint Set That Resists Scratches

This set of acrylic enamel glass paints is designed for crafters who want durable, long-term results on their projects. After brushing the water-based formula onto glass and baking in an oven, objects cure to an opaque, glossy finish. Results are scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe. However, it’s worth noting that some Amazon reviewers err on the side of caution and recommended hand-washing items that are treated with this paint. And, although it’s labeled nontoxic, it’s not food-safe, so it should only be used on the exteriors of dinnerware and drinkware, in areas that won’t come into contact with food, drinks, or your mouth.

The paint is water-resistant — but not waterproof — and while it is not as versatile as some picks on the list, it can also be used on ceramic, making it a good choice for decorating mugs and bowls, too.

One reviewer raved: “The paint worked fantastically on the glass (keep in mind that if you've never painted glass before there will be a slight learning curve) ... but it went on well, they were very vibrant.... and then we cured them in the oven as stated on the bottles. Afterwards, the colors appeared to pop more and looked as though they were store bought glasses!”


The White Acrylic Paint Pens That Pop On Dark Surfaces

Add highlights or standout text to your painted glass projects with this set of white glass paint pens. The water-based acrylic formula is not only designed for use with glass, but it also works on a variety of other surfaces, including ceramic, porcelain, and metal. The pens come in a pack of five and have 0.7-millimeter tips, offering an ultra-fine point that’s great for detailed designs.

The water-resistant paint dries to an opaque, glossy finish, and according to one Amazon reviewer, mistakes can be corrected by washing with soap and water. These paints are not deemed food-safe, but they can be used on the exteriors of drinkware and dishes in areas that do not come into contact with your mouth (or anything that you put in your mouth, like food or beverages). Plus, these markers can be used on much more than glass — try them on stone, ceramic, wood, canvas, fabric and metal too.

One reviewer raved: “Super easy to set up and use. The way the white pops on the glass paintings I make is amazing and it’s not see through. I love using these.”


An Acrylic Glass Painting Kit With All The Tools You Need

For those seeking the convenience of an all-in-one set, this glass painting kit combines an assortment of paints with all of the tools you need to get started on your project. The water-based acrylic paints come in 12 vivid colors and dry to a permanent, waterproof finish, whether you air-dry them for 48 hours or cure in an oven at 176 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Results are translucent and reminiscent of stained glass, but additional layers can be applied for a more vivid, opaque finish. Three assorted paintbrushes and a plastic palette with seven compartments are also included to simplify the painting process.

These waterproof paints should not come in direct contact with food, beverages, or your mouth but can be used on the outside of glass items (like drinkware and food storage containers), as well as on other materials like stone, porcelain, and ceramic.

One reviewer raved: “This product is great and exactly what I was looking for. I bought them to paint on clear glass pieces for a "stained glass" look. One coat was plenty, it was transparent yet vibrant. [...] I would definitely buy again.”


A Set Of Acrylic Paint Pens That Draw Ultra-Fine Lines

Add intricate details to your glass painting projects with these fine-tip acrylic paint pens. The nontoxic, water-based paints come in 24 colors and produce tight, 0.7-millimeter lines that dry to a smooth, water- and weather-resistant finish without the need for baking. For crafters who work with a variety of mediums, these paint pens can also be used on rocks, wood, metal, plastic, canvas, and more. The pens should not be used on surfaces that come in direct contact with food, drinks, or your mouth, but they can be used to personalize the exteriors of drinkware, like glass tumblers and mugs.

One reviewer raved: “I used them on metal, glass, plastic, paper, wood, even rocks and shells, and it was flawless. very easy to layer but make sure the first coat is dry before you add another one, although it dries fast. it washes off skin with soap and water, but not off other surfaces unless you scratch it off. they are fine tipped, so it takes a while to fill in large shapes and areas but its possible. very nice for outlining and details, plus writing. I recommend these 100%”