7th December 2019

How long will my glass painting last?

How long will my glass painting last?
How long will my glass painting last?

This is one of the common questions we get asked. How long will my glass painting last? Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this.

For a start the manufacturers of various glass paints don’t seem to be very forthcoming with an answer. I can understand why this might be. If they did say “our paint lasts at least 5 years” then they will leave themselves open to complaints from people whose works faded after 4!

Secondly there a quite a few variables: Which type of glass paint you use, your painting method, the thickness of the application, where you place the finished item. Even the country you live in will make a difference as some get more sunshine than others.

In this article there is some anecdotal information plus a request at the end that you help us with an answer!

How long will my glass painting last?



Waterbased Paint Cracking.
Waterbased Paint Cracking.

Issues with waterbased paints.

Some waterbased paints, especially the flowing ones, can get quite brittle as they age. The piece I show in the video is at least 5 years old. It lasted that amount of time but is now quite brittle. This ISN’T an issue if you are painting on a solid surface like glass. But it could be an issue if you paint on a fexible surface (which does get flexed). You might want to think about using  a solvent/acrylic paint for this type of work.

Windows and doors.

Solvent based paint, still fine after two years.
Solvent based paint, still fine after two years.

Now I am still experimenting with this but so far I have found areas where I have done a thinner coat of yellow paint HAVE started to fade. This has happened in just over 2 years. The areas where I have done a thicker coating of yellow paint are still fine. So the solution here seems to be, if you are creating something for a window or door ensure you give a good coating of paint. After all they are going to be subject to a lot more sunlight than something which is just on the side in your house.


For the vast majority of my glass painting, vases, nightlights, clicks etc, there has been no issue with fading at all. The only issues I have had are the two mentioned above.


Rather than just relying on my anecdotal information I’d really like to hear from other glass painters as well. You can comment  at the bottom of this page, in our Facebook group or on the relevant video on YouTube. Please let us know the following:

  • What sort of glass paint you used.
  • How old the piece is.
  • Where it has been living (in a window, semi shaded, kept in a cu board and coming out once a year)
  • A photo (I think that is only possible on Facebook and this page).

If we can put some information together then we will update this piece and hopefully be able to give you a fuller answer to the question!

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