08 May 2011


My best friend, @OAmadeusAmadeus, requested that I write a blog about my newest hobby, painting wine glasses. 

I don't remember exactly why I decided to start painting wine glasses, probably because I needed an artistic outlet to add to my life at a time when I was working about 60 hours a week and coming home alone in a new town. So I decided to paint, I painted for years when I was young, mild artistic desire and talent inherited from my mother, who is one of the most talented people I know, and something I had stopped doing in the social and academic focus that was my college career.

Once you have decided to paint the steps are fairly simple.  All you need is paint, brushes, and a "canvas."

Finding a canvas is easy, all you need is a wine glass, a drinking glass, a margarita glass, a glass bowl, anything you think is worthy of painting.  I find this very easy because I love garage sales and flea markets so I'm always finding fun glassware pieces on my second-hand adventures. 

Brushes are also easy, paintbrushes can be found pretty much at any store that sells craft supplies.  I happened to already have some at home, but if you don't just run down to your nearest store and grab some. 
And finally the last thing you need is paint.  This was a lot more difficult for me to obtain.  You cannot use any regular paint to paint on glasses, at least not any that you plan to use.  Regular paints such as watercolor or acrylic paints will come off in the washing of the glasses or even during the use of them.  The paint will chip off, peel off, or wash off of glass because glass is not a porous surface therefore you have to find paint that is created directly for this purpose. 

Finding paint took me numerous Google searches for recommendations, trips to cities where craft stores can be found (here in Wilmington we only have a WalMart and they're in the process of slowly removing nearly all their craft supplies), as well as discussions with craft store personnel, and my personal crafting and art experts: my mother and grandmother.  But in the end I finally had a successful trip into a Michael's Craft Store where I was able to find a suitable variety of paint in an assortment of colors.  I use pebeo's Vitrea 160 as it comes in both glossy, matte, and transparent varieties, the colors can be mixed with one another (some specialty paints do not mix together well), and can be applied directly to the glass.  There are a few drawbacks to the Vitrea paint, on the packaging it says "Thin with Vitrea 160 thinner" I assumed this was a simple announcement that it could be done if a thinner consistency was desired however the more and more I use the paint I would say that it is a recommendation.  The more and more I use the paints the thicker and thicker they become and its becomes difficult to put even coats on the glassware.  So I would recommend checking out the types of paint you are planning to use before buying them.  The variety I use cost $3-4 for a 1.5 oz jar so just be ready to put a little investment into this project if you are planning on painting a rainbow on your glassware its going to cost a few dollars. 

A zebra print glass, if you look closely you
can see the lack of smoothness I was talking about. 

And now to the fun part...painting!

I would make sure you have a pretty solid plan in place before you put your brush to the glass because its best to wipe any mistakes off immediately.  This isn't the kind of canvas that you can paint over if you decide you don't like it...so make sure you know what you want. 

For example I'm not sure what I want to do with this glass but it looks a little
unbalanced with just the bow because the top is so large. 

In general I like to do random patterns because of the difficulty of getting things exactly even.  You can use patterns and tape them to the inside of the glass but I like the feel of freehand.  I've only created two different "sets" of glasses.  One of them was the margarita set you see sprinkled throughout the post, but in reality it was a theme with similar images throughout, all the glasses were a little different and an animal print pair for @OAmadeusAmadeus that I can't find any photos of (that's your cue to post some girl!) 

Recipients of my margarita glasses!
Really its just meant to be fun.  I like the eclectic feel of matched but unmatched things and really anyone can do it because you could do something as simple as swirls or blotches on your glasses and you will have created something unique and only yours.  Just remember to get paint that you can BAKE on so that its permanent...you don't want your favorite glasses to be unusable because the design will come off the first time you use them.  My Vitrea paint needs to dry for 24 hours and then is baked for 40 minutes at 325 degrees then you can use them to your heart's content...they're even said to be dishwasher safe!

Enjoy your new hobby!

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