Stained Glass Paint: Which Type of Paint to Use

4K Shares

​There are a myriad of ways to add details to your stained glass projects including decorative solder, wire work, and glass paint to name a few. But glass painting opens up so many possibilities and many questions along with it.

​And so, this article is all about ​glass painting and which ones to use on stained glass.

Even if you don't consider yourself a "painter", sometimes you just want to add an eye or a couple of little lines for detail. Or maybe you want to personalize something with a name or are looking for a way to sign your work? The answer could be to use special paints for glass.

​Glass Paints ​

Ever since I started working with stained glass, I wanted to do traditional stained glass painting, but I didn't start there. There was so much to learn about the making of stained glass that I had to start smaller and with more basic designs and tools.

Over the years I’ve tried many different types of glass craft paints before ever touching traditional stained glass paints. So I thought that I would share my favorite glass paints with you in no particular order.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I recommend products and services I’ve used or know well and may receive a commission if you purchase them using my link (at no additional cost to you.)

1. Folk Art Enamels

​These glass craft paints are an acrylic paint, made by Plaid for glass and ceramics. They come in a variety of colors and in squeeze bottles that are very easy to store. These water based glass paints are non-toxic and can be used by air drying for 21 days or baking the glass in the oven.

As an avid crafter of many different styles of crafts, I was familiar with Folk Art acrylic paints and found that the Folk Art Enamel paints we're just as easy to use. These glass paints are opaque and are really long lasting after being baked onto the glass in a regular household oven. It would take some intentional scratching with a knife or something sharp to damage the paint.

The nose, flowers and dots on this stained glass bunny were painted with Folk Art Enamel paints for glass.

The green swirls, the toes and the eye were made using Pebeo Porcelain 150 Paint Pen (#4 in this list.)

2. DecoArt Gloss Enamels

The DecoArt Gloss Enamel paints are another type of glass crafting paint that are very easy to use. These water based paints can be baked onto the glass for a dishwasher safe finish (not that you should put your stained glass in the dishwasher!)

Applied with a paintbrush these paints are easy to clean up with water and are also non-toxic. DecoArt also has quite a few product lines in their enamel paints, including Gloss Enamels, Frost Enamels, Crystal Gloss Enamels, Glass Chalkboard Paint, Glass Stain and many others.

​This cloche style lantern was painted using black DecoArt Gloss Enamels. The whimsical design was hand painted with a brush onto the amber glass.

​3. Pebeo - Porcelain 150

Pebeo Porcelain 150 paints are another great glass painting product. these colors can be mixed to make your own shades and personalized colours and can be cleaned with water. This line of paints also has a special thinner that can be used if the paint gets a little old and starts to thicken.

The Porcelain 150 paint is left to air-dry for 24 hours and then is baked in the oven to cure the paint.

Although these paints are still very easy to clean up, you'll find you need to take a little more time cleaning your brushes. ​The Masters Brush Cleaner cleans them up beautifully, conditions them and is what I use on all of my brushes. Especially my good ones.

​This white glass heart was detailed using the Pebeo Porcelain 150 paint in copper. The paint was applied with a sponge over a stencil to create the design.


​4. Pebeo - Porcelain 150 - Paint Pen

The Pebeo line of glass paint is also available in a pen style dispenser.  The Porcelain 150 Paint Pens are perfect for writing names on Christmas ornaments or doing any other detailed line work if you don't have great control with a paintbrush.

I personally found that these often dried out if they weren’t used consistently. But even still, they were ​super convenient ​when writing names or doing line work.

​The eye, toes and green lines were are all painted using the Pebeo Porcelain 150 Paint Pen.

The flowers and blue dots were painted using ​Folk Art Enamels (#1 in this list.)

​5. Pebeo - Vitrea 160 Outliner

These fancy little tubes of paint are a great way to add texture to your painted design.

The Vitrea 160 Outliner tubes have long slender tips for dispensing the paint. They do take a little practice to get a consistently thick line, but once you get knack for using them, they can be a lot of fun to use!

After painting, the glass is left to air-dry for at least 24 hours and is then baked in the oven to set the outliner permanently.

​NOTE: ​Be sure the Vitrea 160 ​Outliner has dried thoroughly BEFORE baking. If it hasn’t, it will cause broken bubbles to appear in the paint while baking which you can’t get rid of.

​The lines in the fairy wings were made using ​Pebeo Vitrea 160 Outliner in pewter. Some small glass seed beads were added to the tips of the lines of paint before baking and the painted acted like glue and held them in place!

The face details were painted on using DecoArt Gloss Enamels (#2 on this list.)


​6. Traditional Stainer Paints - Reusche

After making stained glass for 5 or 6 years, I ventured into the amazing world of traditional stained glass paints. These paints are kiln-fired and are the same type of paint that you would see in stained glass windows in churches.

These glass paints can be layered on top of each other and are fired to approximately 1250 degrees in a glass kiln. This basically melts the paint into the top surface of the glass.

It's this ability to layer the paints that allows the artist to get more depth in their work and have the ability to control the amount of light that comes through the glass breathing life into their  stained glass design.

​SPECIAL NOTE: Many of the traditional stainer paints contain toxins such as lead and cadmium. For this reason, I only use the lead and cadmium-free stainer paints by Reusche.

This lion was painted using traditional stainer paints ​by Reusche. ​


If you are interested in pursuing this fascinating type of glass painting,  be sure to understand the safety concerns when using traditional stainer paints and wear a proper mask or respirator and consider the proper ventilation as well.

​​In My Experience...

I use a small toaster oven dedicated strictly to crafting to bake my craft paints onto the glass. And anytime you paint on glass, the glass gets baked or fired BEFORE assembling your stained glass project.

I experimented one time with a small candle holder that I painted a couple of quick designs onto using glass craft paints.  

I don't know why, but I never considered the melting point of the solder before putting it in the oven. Needless to say, when I removed the project from the oven, the four sides of glass had all toppled onto the base and the solder had melted all across the metal tray.

What a mess! ​

​In any case, whether you are looking to add only a couple of details like dots or lines, or you're interested in getting started with traditional glass painting, there are many options for you to find exactly what you need to add your own artistic flair to your stained glass projects.

4K Shares

Leave a Reply 10 comments

Marge Meyer - March 26, 2018 Reply

I can’t access the download for soldering. What am I doing wrong?

    Samantha Calder - March 26, 2018 Reply

    Hi Marge, If you were trying to subscribe using the same email you used for leaving your comment, it doesn’t appear that you’re a registered subscriber. Try this link to subscribe. You should receive a confirmation on the screen once you add your info and submit it, and then you’ll receive the link by email. https://livingsunglass.com/freevideo/

Lolly Vanderbilt Klepper - March 28, 2018 Reply

Fantastic. I was wondering about this and you gave me good information. Thank you.

    Samantha Calder - March 28, 2018 Reply

    I’m so glad you found this helpful Lolly! Feel free to share anything you make in the Make Stained Glass group on facebook. 🙂

Patty - March 29, 2018 Reply

Helpful info on glass paint products!

Nancy scott - April 4, 2018 Reply

When baking painted glass, what temp and how long? Thanks, good info.

    Samantha Calder - April 4, 2018 Reply

    Hi Nancy, Great question! Each type of paint has it’s own specific instructions right on the bottle but they’re usually in the neighborhood of 325 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes.

Michael - September 7, 2018 Reply

Does anyone know how well and how long Pebeo paints keep their color when displayed as a attic window. I’ve painted an attic window (looks like stained glass) and hung it today. I painted and oven cooked it all to specifications. But nowhere do I see how long I can expect it to last.

    Samantha Calder - September 8, 2018 Reply

    Great question Michael. I’m afraid I don’t have a proper answer to your question, however, I can tell you that the various oven baked glass paints that I’ve talked about in this article haven’t faded at all on any of my work that was created about 10 or 11 years ago. I’ll try to get in touch with Pebeo to find out a better answer to your question. Once I hear back, I’ll post the answer here for you.

      Michael - September 10, 2018 Reply

      Thank you Samantha Calder for your reply. I’ll await your response. This attic window will receive approximately 3 to 4 hours of direct sun a day. Regardless of the response, I’ll follow this up with a report after about 6 months of how the glass is holding up.

Leave a Reply:







Translate »