How to Frost Glass and Wine Glasses

How to frost glass before painting. Easy techniques to help you add a frost finish with confidence. This is the enamel frost that once baked is waterproof.

It is important to note that this ‘how to frost glass’ painting tutorial is using the enamel paints that will become waterproof after the paint has cured.

You can cure the paint by baking or letting set for 21 days or more.

This is not the spray can frost you can buy from Rustoleum or other spray paints. Those will not be washable.

I tested them so I know that from experience.

When I shared my snowmen on frosted glass I had lots of interest in how I accomplish the frost finish.

The one of the left has a frost finish I painted on. The right is clear glass.

Snowmen painted on frosted glass jar, how to frost glass, pamela groppe art

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The first video is a quick overview but there is a full length video at the end of this post.

The two techniques I prefer to use are simple enough for beginner painters. And the supplies are easily available too.

Related: Paint Violet Flowers on Glass

I show you how to paint not only glass jars but also how to frost wine glasses.

Paints for Frosting Glass

The paints I am using are the Plaid Folk Art enamel Frost paints. I was sent these to test by Plaid Folk Art awhile back and I am just now getting the tutorial done.

They also sent me the Martha Stewart and Ceramcoat colors. I loved them all. Even ones I did not think I would.

Plaid Folk Art Frosted Glass paints, Pamela Groppe art

I painted each and every color onto these Oui’ glass jars and I can say I was impressed with the beautiful tones.

Here are some Frosted Paints on Amazon.

If you can’t find the frost paints in your local hobby store then visit Plaid Online to order directly! I linked to Fire Coral but if you scroll down you will see the other colors.

Also do a search on their site for Frosted Glass paints and it will bring up the colors of the other brands they carry like Martha Stewart and Ceramcoat.

Clean glass before applying frost

Before you begin painting it is important to clean the glass well and remove all label residue they may have.

Many like to use GooGone to remove label glue but I use a natural Citrus solvent.

recycled salad dressing jar with frosted paint bottle, pamela groppe art

Wipe the glass surface down with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol.

Rubbing alcohol will remove any film that could interfere with the paint adhering well. Try not to touch the surface with your fingers once it is cleaned.

rubbing alcohol next to glass jar, how to frost glass, pamela groppe art

Touching it with your bare hands can leave body oils.

I use gloves so I won’t smear up the glass and it keeps paint off my hands. Win, win.

Here are the gloves I like to use , Nitrile gloves

Let it dry. Some say to let it dry 24 hours but that is ludicrous. The alcohol will evaporate in minutes.

If you are nervous about it then let it sit half an hour but a good 10 minutes should be sufficient.

I do several jars or glasses at once. By the time I am finished with the last glass the first one is good to go.

Apply frost paint to glass

Put a puddle of paint on your palette. I like using palette paper but you can use what you prefer.

This is the palette paper I use.

frost paint on palette with sponge pouncer

Bounce your sponge pouncer up and down into a puddle of paint. Pounce out excess by moving to a clean part of the palette paper and pouncing the sponge.

sponge pouncer offloading excess paint

Move to your glass surface and start pouncing the paint onto it. Move the sponge applicator as needed to cover the glass surface.

pouncing frost paint onto glass surface, how to frost glass, pamela groppe art

Reload paint on to the sponge applicator as needed to cover entire surface.

Don’t want to frost the entire glass, then only apply the frost to the portion you wish frosted.

Frost finish on Wine Glasses

In the full length video I show how I put the frost finish on a wine glass too. With wine glasses you want to leave a blank space where someones mouth would touch.

In this photo below you can see the frost finish is below the rim by about 1/2 an inch or more.

wine glass painting with a frost finish and pine bough, pamela groppe art

Once you are done covering the surface let dry 24 hours before trying to paint a design on top of the frosted paint.

Related: Paint Roses on Glass

Fine texture on Frosting Glass

square jar with frost finish painted on

For a finer texture finish I use a make up sponge applicator to apply the frost paint.

applying a frost finish paint to a square jar with a make up sponge

I have tried using a paint brush but I don’t like the streaks that leaves so my go to applicator for a frost finish are these sponges.

How to paint a frost finish on Glass

Plaid Folk Art Frosted Glass paints, Pamela Groppe art

Apply a frost finish paint to glass to make a beautiful background for hand painting on glass.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Enamel frost finish paints
  • Glass surface of choice
  • Rubbing alcohol

Tools

  • Sponge stencil pouncer
  • Make up Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Gloves
  • Palette paper

Instructions

  1. Clean glass with soap and water
  2. Wipe down with alcohol
  3. Let dry
  4. Load sponge applicator with paint, pounce off excess
  5. Apply to glass surface with pouncing motion
  6. Cover surface
  7. Let dry 24 hours before painting

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And that is how easy it is to add a frost finish to glass. I find it easier to paint glass if I have a frost finish on the piece.

The paint adheres more easily making it simpler for the beginning glass painter to get the hang of painting on such a slippery surface.

Now for the video…

Curing painted glass

To cure the painted glass for longevity you should bake it.

If you are only going to frost your glass and not paint a design on it, then wait 24 hours and bake following the instructions below.

If you are going to paint a design on top of the frost finish this is the order you would do it in….

Paint the frost finish, let dry 24 hours minimum, paint the design, let dry 24 hours minimum, then bake.

Let the paint dry for 24 hours then place in a cold oven.  Set the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.  Start the timer once the oven reaches temperature. Once the glass items have baked for 30 minutes, shut off the oven, don’t open the door and let cool completely, then remove from oven.

Happy Painting!

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Happy Painting!

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5 Comments

  1. So if I paint on top of the frosted glass I can’t bake it in the oven?.. what would happen if I did?.. I’m getting a bit confused

    1. No that isn’t what I am saying. Don’t bake before you paint the design then rebake. Paint the frost, let dry 24 hours minimum, paint the design, let dry 24 hours minimum, then bake.

  2. Dear Pamela,

    I want to frost and then paint my glass candle holder. And then, bake per instructions. What tpe of frosting should I use. Paint on or spray on.

    Kind regards, Diane

  3. Hi I am trying to find an alternative to etching a borosilicate glass. Can this be used on glass baking dish made of borosilicate glass and used in the oven with temps up to 425 degrees.

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