Preparing glass for a glass paint project

Preparing glass for a glass paint project

Preparing glass for a glass paint project

Preparing glass for a glass paint project is a critical step that will ensure your paint project goes smoothly. Glass paint is easy to work with and easy to clean up. The surface preparation isn’t complicated, but spending a few minutes preparing glass will allow you to get the most out of your glass paint endeavors.

How to prepare the glass surface for paint

Before you start painting, you’ll need to assemble a few common items to help you prepare the glass before painting it. You’ll need latex gloves, paper towels, rubbing alcohol and fine grit (#000 or #0000) steel wool. That’s it!

You can find disposable latex or latex-free gloves in the paint aisle of your favorite hardware store. You can also use the kind of gloves you’d use when cleaning the dishes or doing housework. (You’ll just want something to protect your hands and fingers from the alcohol and the steel wool.)

Don’t use expensive paper towels! The cheap kind is ideally suited for this project. You’ll want to avoid lint-free paper towels. That seems odd, but you’ll get a much better result with the cheapies.

Steel wool comes in a number of grades, but you’ll want fine grit to prepare the surface – the finer the better. If you use a coarser steel wool, you risk putting visible scratches onto the glass surface.
Regular rubbing alcohol can be purchased in the health and beauty section of your local grocery store or pharmacy.

When you have your materials together, you’re ready to start preparing the glass for painting. Put your gloves on and wet the glass surface with the rubbing alcohol. Using the steel wool, remove all dust, dirt and surface contaminants, using a gentle circular motion. Use as much alcohol as needed to remove all of the surface dirt and dust.

Using the paper towels, wipe the surface of the glass until it squeaks. Make sure the entire surface to be painted is “squeaky clean.” Once the glass starts squeaking, don’t handle it with your bare hands. Use only gloved hands to handle the glass, and do your surface preparation immediately before painting.

That’s it! You’re ready to paint with Glassprimer™ glass paint. Once your first coat is applied and dried, you do not need to perform the surface preparation again, but you will want to wait until the top coat is completely dry before applying additional coats of Glassprimer™ glass paint.

Glassprimer™ glass paint dries under ideal humidity conditions in about 2-3 hours, and can be safely handled after about 4 hours. If the humidity is much greater than 50% when you apply the paint, it may take much longer to dry.

If you’d like more information about glass paint, or would like to purchase glass paint online, please visit our online store.

Photo Credit: Tony Buser, via