How to up your hostess game with a DIY water glass painting tutorial.


Step aside designer dishes. Anthropologie. Pier1 Imports. Whoever you are. I have a paint brush, porcelain paint, thrift store dishes, and a plan that I want to share with you in this water glass painting tutorial.

If you are anything like me, you swoon over the custom prints and inspired home decor that you find in fancy shops. And then you gasp and choke when you look at the price, and reassert your determination to make do with the generic dishes you have at home. If you have an ounce of creativity, you can do this. All you really need to know how to do is color inside the lines. Want to learn more about glass painting? Read on.

First up, you need a canvas (in this case some kind of heat-proof dish that you want to paint). Please be sure to choose dishes that are microwave safe, or heat-proof, or made from pottery, because you know they’ve been through a kiln and can handle some heat. Until you’re an expert, and if you want to leave green fingerprints all over this project, start at a thrift store. For an investment of approximately 50 cents you can get started.

Next up – your supplies:

You will need an image that you plan to put on your dish. You can get all creative and brave, making your own, or find an image that you would like to trace.

You also need:

  • Porcelain paint – I recommend opaque pebeo. I picked some up at a local art supply store and it runs around $5 per bottle. I also recommend using an image that is monochrome so you don’t need to make a major investment to get started.
  • Paint brushes
  • Graphite paper
  • A pen or pencil to trace your image with
  • Scotch Tape – this one will hold your image and graphite paper in place while you trace and is a project-saver.


Cut your graphite paper to a slightly larger size than your image. The reason you want it to be slightly larger is so that the tape will hold both your image and the paper in place.

Make sure your graphite paper is placed graphite side down on the glass with your image on top. Tape into place. You can move it around at this stage and make sure you get the image just where you want to. Trace your image.


I like to place a piece of white paper on the opposite side of the glass now. Glass is reflective, and unless you’re doing this in the dark (which I don’t recommend) your may get a reflection of your outline that confuses you when you try to paint it in.

If you don’t like the way your image turned out you’re still able to change it. Just wipe the surface of the glass with a cloth and water to get the graphite off, and start that part again.


And then it all gets easy. Can you trace lines with paint? Probably – so go for it. I have picked up a few tips along the way:

  • Use the paint liberally: the thicker it goes on, the more opaque (solid) the image will be.
  • Do not stop working on an area until you finish it. This paint settles seamlessly if it is applied against wet paint. This helps you avoid any lines in your image where you stopped painting and started again.
  • If you make a mistake, use water and a paintbrush to fix it. Once the paint is dry, if you want to get it off, you will need to scrub the entire dish and start over.
  • The bottle says you can air dry the paint over several days or you can bake it. I recommend baking. I have found that by curing it through baking it, you will get a very durable image that can withstand some pretty aggressive hand washing in the future.

Once you get the hang of glass painting with a simple project, branch out and get adventurous. The limits of what you can do are the limits of what you can imagine.

Did you find this helpful? Do you have an inspiring idea to share? Let us know about it.

Talk to you soon




5 thoughts on “How to up your hostess game with a DIY water glass painting tutorial.

  1. Sarah says:

    Such a good idea! I tried to do something similar last year with glass etching on thrifted mugs, but they turned out nowhere near as nice as these!


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