There are a few things you need to know before you paint glass such as glassware, windows, vases, jars, plates, cups, and mirrors. Will the piece be for decorative purposes? Will it be exposed to heat or wear and tear? Here are a few different methods for you to choose what will work best for you.
Enamel Paint– There are many brands to choose from when it comes to enamel paint (Folk Art, Americana, etc). You can buy enamel paint at your local hardware store. It can also be sprayed from a spray can. “Enamel paint” once meant oil based paint that dries to a hard finish, but some latex paints have also adopted the term when they dry to a solid hardness and have a glossy, strong finish.
To Bake or Not to Bake– The important thing about the durability of enamel paint is that if you are using the piece for decorative purposes only, then enamel paint, just dried, should be fine. However, if you are painting wine glasses or something that will need to be washed in the dishwasher and needs increased durability and hardness, then you will want to bake the glassware after it’s painted.
All glass can be baked. Baking enamel paint on glass will provide it with a tough, hard, durable shell.
To bake glass after painting:
Set your oven to 350 degrees, no preheating required. Start with a cold oven to prevent glass from breaking. Just set your glass object(s) on tin foil on a cookie sheet or equivalent and bake for 20 minutes. Then, let them cool off for a few minutes before taking your item(s) out.
You can also try using a resin based glass paints.
Resin paint must be baked, especially for durability. I would use this type of paint through markers, and easy to apply methods.
Enamel paint from craft stores is usually water based for easy clean up. Also, if you don’t like your design, you can wash it off with soap and water as long as it hasn’t been baked on yet.
You can also paint glass with glazing mediums and/or mixtures of glaze and paint. Glaze is also okay to bake for extra hardness. You can pick up a glazing medium at any craft store.
Before you begin make sure you clean the glass thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any oil or grease. To decide whether you need some type of “primer” or undercoat on the glass, under the paint, read the directions on the back of your paint. All glass paints are different. Some require an undercoat and some don't.
If you want to use multiple colors, the jars of Pebeio Vitrea paints can add up quickly.
Garbo glassware hand-painted glass wine cups: