What is Stained Glass Paint?

C. Daw

Stained glass paint is basically a form of paint that is available at most art and craft stores. The paint is specifically designed to be applied to — and adhere to — glass or acrylic glass. This allows the designer to make breathtaking art designs that are unique and personal while allowing the artist to save a substantial amount of money. There are various substances from which stained glass paint is made, and even though they all work, each form has specific uses. In order for the stained glass paint to dry correctly, it has to be kiln-dried at a certain temperature, depending on which type and brand is being used.

Damage to stained glass windows can be fixed with stained glass paint.
Damage to stained glass windows can be fixed with stained glass paint.

Vinegar trace paint is the darker pigmented blend that will block any light from the sun. This type of stained glass paint is used for outlining forms and objects or for separating different patterns within the the work of art. The vinegar trace paint is the foundation of each and every separate figure or object that is being created on the stained glass window.

Stained glass paint is specifically designed to be applied to — and adhere to — glass or acrylic glass.
Stained glass paint is specifically designed to be applied to — and adhere to — glass or acrylic glass.

Matt paint is the second form of stained glass paint that can be acquired. This particular material also has a limited selection of colors that can be purchased, so it is commonly used for tracing or shading. Matt paint is not as hard to apply as vinegar trace paint is, so it can easily be blended by using a brush, or even a finger, to obtain the desired look and texture.

Silver stain is a stained glass paint that comes in more vibrant colors. It gets its name from being produced with silver nitrate. Unlike most of the stained glass paint that is available on the market, silver stain actually changes the color of the glass rather than just covering it with color.

The final type of stained glass paint that is available to use, and the one that is most common, is oil-based paint. These paints are easy to work with, are available in almost every color that might be needed and can be applied with any basic oil brush. Even though these paints are the most common when it comes to stained glass paints, the colors fade with time and can blend together if they are not allowed to dry properly.

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Discussion Comments


@clintflint - It might not be that difficult but I find it too dangerous and messy to try and make at home without a dedicated studio. No matter how good you are, you can't avoid littering the workbench with slivers of glass and it's difficult to tidy them all up. Not to mention that individual stained glass sheets are very expensive.

It might not be as authentic, but I think stained glass paint is a much better option for most people.

And it is still a traditional art. Many of the stained glass windows in cathedrals and elsewhere were made using a combination of colored glass panels and stained glass paints, and those are beautiful.


@irontoenail - It's also helpful to remember that stained glass paint and traditional stained glass are different. As it says in the article, you can use particular paints in order to create a stained glass effect on a single sheet, but you can also use stained glass paints to add detail to real stained glass patterns, which use multiple sheets of glass.

Stained glass isn't actually that difficult to make once you know the basics and understand how to create a pattern.


If you want to make special glasses for someone (or for yourself) and you haven't made anything using glass painting before, one idea might be to get a permanent marker set made for glass rather than try to paint it.

These are usually intended to be used on ceramics and will be able to withstand washing. Check to see whether they will work with a dishwasher, though, or in a microwave without disintegrating.

You can still make stained glass-style patterns with markers, as long as you follow the rule of dividing the colors with heavy lines. But stained glass paint is fairly expensive and difficult to use for beginners, so for a quick present I would definitely use the special markers instead.

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