This was my first time using glass paint, and now I’m completely hooked. It’s fairly quick and easy to do. Unfortunately I found the instructions on the glass paint (and online) to be a bit lacking and so I kind of just monkeyed my way through it. This produced a few minor failures but I’m in love with the painting method on these jars that I’m going to share with you. It looks like sea glass.
This could definitely be done on purchased glassware or mason jars, but it can just as easily be an up cycling project as I have done, using old glass jars. This is one of the great things about painting glass, old product jars can turn out just as pretty as expensive purchased glass.
For this project you will need a glass jar, some transparent glass paint (I used Martha Stewart’s Glass Fill Paint), and a sponge or spouncer. Optionally you could use enamel paint that is not transparent, but you will get a slightly different end effect. You will also need a stencil, if desired. You actually want a silhouette, since you’re painting the negative space, not the object. Don’t make your shape too big/dense or you will lose the contrast. I printed out some menorahs that I designed really quickly on my Silhoutte Cameo.
(In full disclosure, the menorah shapes shown in this tutorial are designed to match some fabric I got on sale. Since I have no plans to sell or distribute the shapes or the jars I painted, I hope nobody will be upset. I still wanted to share the tutorial, but keep in mind that the shapes are not my property. The fabric in question is Alexander Henry’s Modern Menorah fabric, if you’re interested. It’s super cute and on sale on Amazon, and you should buy it.)
First, you need to clean your glass, completely removing any labels or price tags. Seriously, I mean it, you can’t just paint over them. The obvious reason is that since the paints are transparent, you will still see the tags. The less obvious reason (as I found out the hard way) is that if you choose to dry the painted items in the oven, the leftover adhesive and paper will burn and produce terrible fumes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Using rubbing alcohol is a good way to remove most labels and tags.
Once you get the glass completely clean, wipe it down with alcohol to make sure. Then apply the silhouette stencil.
To apply the paint, you will place a small amount on the sponge and then dab it onto the glass. This will create a bubbly/textured look. If in some places you get too much paint, just move it around with the sponge and then dab over it again.
Make sure to get the paint in and around any nooks/crannies of the stencil. It’s OK if you paint right over the stencil.
After the first coat, remove the stencil quickly. If you let it sit, the paint will dry on it and make it hard to remove. Then, allow the jar to dry for 20-30 minutes.
Add a second coat. This will give the stenciled area one coat and the negative space two coats, giving a slightly etched appearance. I found that the menorah on the small square jar was too big and there was no definition, so I chose to outline it with darker paint for more contrast. This is optional if you want a more etched look.
Dry for 1 hour and then place the jar on a cookie sheet in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350, set a timer for 30 minutes. Once done, turn the oven off and let the glassware cool in the oven.
You can’t use this to drink out of unless you skip painting the top few inches. But since the paint is on the outside, you can use it as a vase or put a small votive inside.
The finished product, along with some less successful stained jars, and the Modern Menorah fabric, which I plan on making into a runner for our mantle.