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Adventures In Glass Painting

What you envision happening may not always be what you end with.

With so many different glass paints to choose from, I really wanted to venture off into my inner artistic side to make something. Painting free hand wasn’t really my strong suit so the stencils seemed like the next logical choice.

My go to bottle as of late has been the Finlandia Vodka bottle. It’s thick and it has these really cool ridges on the side. By simply cutting of the top I was left with a 1 and 3/4″ flat surface to paint on. A nice even break left me with a minimal amount of sanding and I now had my glass vase ready to decorate.

Flower Vase Decals

Using the “Happy Words” stencil set, I set out to place the decals all the way around bottle. Random at first but made coherent by running some of them vertically to keep other words separated. So far so good. Now all I had to do was paint it.

Glass Vase Paint Project

Narrowing down the right colors. Sticking with glitter glues, I used the Fiery Red for the “Love” stencil and green for the “Home” one. Once again, I had envisioned that each word would have it’s own unique color and then just use a fourth color to offset the vertical words.

Painting with the Detail Painter

Applying the paints with the detail painter. I had never used these brushes before but now that I have they make perfect sense. By applying the paint in a dabbing type motion your guaranteed to get the paint into the smaller areas of the stencil without getting paint underneath it. Using the smallest one from the detail set I was able to fill in all of the little nooks and crannies that were there. As per the instructions, once you’re done painting, remove the stencil while the paint is still wet. When I finished with a color I simply went over to the sink to clean up the stencils and brush with mild soapy water. They cleaned up very nicely and placed evenly back onto the stencil sheet so that they could be re-used later.

Stenciled Glass Vase

The detail on the stencils was really impressive. The little detail brushes had worked out perfectly. My only complaint would be that the words were really hard to see. I was hoping that they would have stood out more. I had a plan to fix this. Of course this is the point where everything went wrong.

Interior Painting

I thought that if I painted the back side of the glass, the stenciled words would stand out more. Using a flat nylon brush I began to paint the inside of the vase. My brush strokes were standing out but I still wasn’t discouraged. I would simply apply a second or third coat to remedy this.

Finished Project

The end result – Epic Fail! Not only did the painting look like a hack job but the words on the outside were still hard to read. By the way, I painted three coats on the interior wall. The weird part is that I really don’t know at this point what I could have done differently to get a better result. Maybe a different color or different type of paint.

There is a final step that you take to seal the deal on this. The bake to cure method used for curing the paints would help make sure that they would stick around for awhile. As ugly as this thing was I went through the process of curing it anyway just so I could see how it was done.

Bake-to-Cure Method Allow painted glass project to dry at least one hour. Make sure the paint is dry to the touch before baking. Place project in a cool oven. Set oven to 350° F and bake for 30 minutes. Turn oven off. Allow glass project to cool down in the oven to room temperature, then remove.

At this point, if the painting had gone a whole lot better, this would have been a really cool art piece that we actually would have used. From here it will eventually migrate to a shelf out in the garage and then maybe some day when I’m grumbling to myself about the excessive amount of things that I’ve collected it will finally make it to the dumpster. It’s just so hard to let go.

The Good – The paint did it’s job exactly as planned. The stencils were perfect and it’s mentioned that they can be re-used up to twenty times! The special little brushes were truly amazing.

The Bad – I can’t paint. Quitting my day job is not an option. If there ever was a starving artist then I’m it.

The Ugly – O.k. maybe I won’t wait so long to throw that thing away.

Let us know about your painting experiences in the comments below. I’m open to criticism. Please, be gentle.

2 Responses to Adventures In Glass Painting

  • I think it looked good with the stencils on the glass. Maybe try using a darker color instead of trying to paint the inside of the bottle.

    • Katie,
      Good idea. Because the words wrap all the way around the glass, I thought that because you were able to see through, the other words would become distracting.

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