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Free Ultimate Furniture Painting Guide

How to Paint Glass Surfaces

If you want to paint glass surfaces but aren't sure how to get the paint to adhere, it’s all in the prep! It's easy, fool-proof, and I'm so excited to share this process with you!


Set of three painted glass apothecary jars filled with candy

This is not only for glass, but works on any ultra-smooth surface like tile, Formica, glass, metal, plastic, and more!


Watch this week's YouTube video to learn how to paint glass so it adheres perfectly every time.


The Hunt for the Perfect Glass Piece

The glass aisle as thrift shops is ALWAYS loaded with great finds! Learning how to paint glass correctly will open a whole world of thrift options, because you'll no longer struggle with paint chipping or peeling off.

Let me show you how this works on a set of three glass Apothecary jars. I scored them from Homegoods for less than $30.

Traceys Fancy - glass apothecary jar on table before painting

A painted set (like my finished look below) from other retails would be close to $500!! But you can create something similar for a FRACTION of the price.

Traceys Fancy - Valentine's table decor with three painted glass jars filled with candy and heart shaped box


Four EASY STEPS to Prep Glass for Painting

The only product you will need to prep your glass decor for painting is a quality primer that is formulated to adhere to very slick surfaces. My go-to every time is Slick Stick by Dixie Belle! It’s a game changer in the upcycling world.

Tracey's Fancy - showing slick stick jar up close

It is very easy to use but there are a few guidelines to follow for the perfect finish every time.


STEP ONE - Clean

You will need to clean your slick surface with a cleaner that removes oil and leaves no residue. I use White Lightning but you can also use vinegar/water or rubbing alcohol. Be sure to dry your surface completely after cleaning.

Tracey's Fancy - Tracey cleaning glass vase with white lightning


STEP TWO -Paint glass with the first coat of Slick Stick primer


Using a brush or sponge, apply a THIN coat of Slick Stick to your surface. I prefer to brush it on and then go back over the piece with a stipple motion. The stipple creates tiny micro-mountains which increases the surface space for your future paint to adhere. That's my theory anyway!

Tracey's Fancy - Tracey painting first coat of slick stick on vase
Tracey's Fancy - Tracey applying first coat of slick stick on vase with a stipple technique

Not sure exactly how to "stipple"? Watch my How to Paint Glass YouTube video HERE.


PRO TIP: The stippling will give you an eggshell finish so if you would prefer a smoother look, skip the stippling and brush on with smooth thin strokes instead.


STEP THREE - Let dry for AT LEAST eight hours

Let it fully dry! This is very important!! DO NOT rush this step!!

Tracey's Fancy - Tracey showing finished first coat of slick stick on vase


STEP FOUR - Paint glass with the second coat

Return to your project, apply your second coat of Slick Stick, and allow it to dry for at least two hours.

Tracey's Fancy - Tracey painting second coat of slick stick on vase

After it is fully dried, your item is ready for paint!! I painted these apothecary jars with my favorite Dixie Belle chalk paint colors Caviar and Fluff.

Tracey with three painted glass apothecary jars after slick stick primer application
Traceys Fancy - Tracey painting small black checks on painted glass lid
Traceys Fancy - Tracey painting black stripes on base of painted glass apothecary jar
Painted glass lid with black and white stripes
Inside of painted glass lid with black and white stripes
Traceys Fancy - Valentine's table decor with three painted glass jars filled with candy and heart shaped box

These pieces were created in my private group, Curiously Creative, and I'm so proud of my members! We recently did a live in-depth tutorial on painting glass jars and they didn't waste any time trying out their newly learned skills. Aren't they fantastic?!?! My heart is full!!

Curiously Creative member painted glass cake cloche with black and white checkered pattern
Curiously Creative member painted glass jar with black and white checkered lid
Curiously Creative member painted glass jar with black and white stripes and a large red glittery heart


MORE Slick Stick Applications:

Remember when I said that Slick Stick isn’t only for glass and it can be used for ANY slick surface?

Here are a few of my favorite smooth (non-glass) surface projects for your inspiration!




Final display of Sweet Tooth Tea Set created by Tracey's Fancy using Dixie Belle chalk mineral paint and gold pigment


How to paint backsplash tiles by Tracey's Fancy


JOIN ME FOR MORE...with Curiously Creative

If you enjoyed this and want more of a deep dive into home decor and DIY processes, I would love it if you joined my exclusive online creative group, Curiously Creative. I show up LIVE to guide you through every step of updating, upcycling, crafting, and creating on-trend home decor and gift-giving ideas! 


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