19th July 2024

Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.

Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.
Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.

In this article about working with thick waterbased glass paints we are talking about the type of glass paints you would normally used for pipe and peel work. (Also called Peelies, Stickers etc.). We have several videos on the site already about how to do that. Here we will be looking at how to use these paints in a slightly different way, to paint on objects such as vases, mirrors and light catchers etc.

The type of glass paints we are talking about include Gallery Glass, Arti’Stick and Glas Design. As well as the numerous generic thick glass paints you can buy.

Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.


Clarice Cliff Design.
Clarice Cliff Design.

The Designs.

Obviously the techniques we use here are suitable for just about any type of design. We chose designs inspired by Clarice Cliff as we think they are really suitable for glass painting. If you haven’t come across Clarice Cliff before then I suggest you do a quick search in Google images and take a look at her work. It is normally quite bold, with blocks of colours and perhaps (some may say) slightly childish in it’s line work.


The great thing about these thick paints is you can use then to get a range of finishes. In our demo piece youwill see that the background and sky etc are done smooth whilst I kept the flowers textured by using the paint thick.

Watering down the colours not only gives you a smoother finish, it also enables you to blend the paint on the glass. Whilst most of these waterbased glass paints will be fine when a little water is added we STRONGLY recommend that you do a test first with the particular brand you are using. just to make sure it doesn’t crack or anything. We added about 15/20% water. This was just enough to make the paint flow.

Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.
Working with Thick Waterbased Glass Paints.

Mixing Water/Paints.

Obviously you need to do this very carefully as you don’t want to introduce air bubbles into your work.  If you do get bubbles in your work then try and either lift them out or pop them as you go along. Don’t forget to go back and check your piece as it is drying, just in case there were some bubble hiding under the surface.

We mixed the paints rather like you would do with water-colours. On a cling film covered plate which acted as our pallet. If you are mixing new colours it’s always a bit of a balancing act. You don’t want to mix up too much paint so that you end up wasting a lot. On the other hand you don’t want to run out as it’s always difficult to mix up an exact colour match again.


Firstly please remember that if you add water to these paints then they will no longer be peeable. Also remember that whilst you will be able to wipe any object made with them down with a cloth. You won’t be able to either soak wash it or put it in a dishwasher. Therefore it is unsuitable for objects like glasses and dishes you are going to use.

I have been ask WHY you would do this type of glass painting with the thick waterbased paints when the flowing solvent ones are so much better. Whilst I do personally agree that the solvent one give a better finish there are some good reason why you may do this.

  • Practically, it might be that you just have these paints around having bought them for pipe and peel work.
  • They tend to be a lot cheaper than the solvent paints.
  • They tend to be child safe. (although don’t think this means they will wash out a fabric easily, they won’t!).
  • You can get a range of texture with them. Something you can’t do with the solvent paints.
  • With a bit of care the standard of finish you can get isn’t actually as far from solvent based paints as you might thing. As, I hope, our demo piece shows).

All we can suggest is, if you have these types of paint around then give it a go. And if you haven’t, maybe think about picking up a cheap set!. Let us know how you get on below, or on our facebook page or in the YouTube comments.


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