21st May 2024

Are all Glass Painting Outliners the same?

Are all glass painting outliners the same?
Are all glass painting outliners the same?

Are all Glass Painting Outliners the same. Well the quick answer to this question is no they aren’t. In fact there are 3 t attributes which can be different. The first and obvious one is the colour. The second is its’ hardness / peelablity, this is perhaps the most important factor. The third is it’s ability to retain its’ shape.

Obviously with these 3 differences there are different combinations. You will want to use different outliners for different work.

I should mention at this point that, whilst I call them all “outliners” some can be known by a different name. For example, some are called contour paste and others cerne relief.

Are all Glass Painting Outliners the same?

Different Outliners for Glass Painting.
Different Outliners for Glass Painting.

Outliner colours.

This is one of the more obvious differences between outliners. Most brands sell their outliners in more than one colour. Whilst black tends to be the most popular you can normally get at least gold and silver as well. Some brands go a lot further than this and make a whole colour range available. As with paints the actual shade of the colour can vary brand to brand. Even the gold and silver ones can look very different between one brand and the next. “Black” seems to vary between a VERY dark shade to something you would more likely call grey.


Most, but not all, outliners which come in bottles are peelable. Similarly, most but not all outliners which come in tubes dry hard and aren’t peelable.

The vast majority of the time I use the peelable outliner in my work, even if I don’t want to peel it off when I finish. For example using a peelable outliner with a solvent based paint will seal the outliner down. It can still be washed/wiped down so there is no problem with doing this for decorative work. The benefits of doing this is the bottled outliner tends to be MUCH cheaper than the tube ones. It also allows me to use the outliner from a piping bag and then put any left over back into the bottle.

Which outliner to use for Glass Painting.
Which outliner to use for Glass Painting.

There are a couple of situations when I would use other outliners:

  • When I’m using an oven bake paint I am careful to use to outliner which is specifically made to go with it. I wouldn’t want to put any other outliners in the oven plus I assume using a different outliner would mean the piece was no longer dishwasher proof. This would defeat the object of using the bakable paint. Finally some of the oven bake paints react badly to the softer outliners which means you can’t use them even if you aren’t going to bake the final object.
  • Another situation in which I would use a harder outliner is when I am going to do any line work which won’t be painted. This might include stalks and stems on flowers, numbering or lettering (a name, date or something like that).

Retaining Shape.

Not all outliners seem to retain their shape when they dry. Some do whist other flatten or splay. Often this won’t matter but it maybe something you want to take into account when deciding the thickness of your initial line work.


As with the glass paints you will decide which outliner you prefer over time. If you do more than one type of glass painting you will probably decide on different ones for different things. As normal having the “correct tools for the job” makes life easier!

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