How To Permanently Color Etched Glass? Easy Guideline in 2022

How To Permanently Color Etched Glass

Etched glasses can make any interior look sophisticated with its elegant designs. Windows, serving dishes or any decoration piece made from etched glass play with light and curves in such a way that it elevates the overall appeal of that space.

While it is already a mesmerizing surface, it can be made even more attractive with a splash of vibrant colors! But what if they fade away with time or are removed while cleaning? You can ensure that the colorful designs stay in place for a long time by painting them in the correct way yourself!

So, let’s see how to permanently color etched glass in three steps and with a few easily accessible tools.

How to Color Etched Glass for a Long Lasting (Permanently)?


  • Etched Glass
  • Non-streak Glass Cleaner (or Diluted Rubbing Alcohol)
  • Paper Towel
  • Acetone
  • Glass Jar
  • Paint Brush

Step 1: Choosing The Paint

Choosing The Paint

1. Paint For Glass

Of course, you will need to pick a spray paint that is specifically meant for glasses. Such paints come in primarily three varieties like acrylic, enamel and solvent-based. Even though all of them have been prepared to adhere to the glass surface, they bring in different textures or finishes for your result.

Acrylic paints provide more transparency through their colors, while the other two deliver more solid strokes. With enamel paints, you can choose between glossy and non-glossy finishes. The solvent-based paints are primarily used for decorative pieces since they result in rich color.

2. Non-toxic

Toxicity never did anyone any good. Keeping up with that mantra, your chosen paint also should be free from toxic materials. To make sure of it, go through the full labels of the product.

This becomes a matter of higher importance if your etched glass surface is a serving dish of any kind. Even non-toxic paints may not be safe for ingestion. So try to get as much information as possible about their toxicity and potential health hazards.

3. No Mixing

You may be in the mood to be more creative and adventurous than usual. However, curiosity is not encouraged in all situations, including the one where you might want to see what mixing two paints turns into. Especially if they are from different manufacturers, never mix two or more paints.

Step 2: Other Preparations

Other Preparations

1. Clean The Glass

Start the preparations for coloring the etched glass permanently by cleaning it up. Take your non-streak glass cleaner and spray some of it on the etched glass. If you don’t have any, use diluted rubbing alcohol instead. Then wipe away the excess cleaner from the glass surface with a paper towel.

This step will ensure that the target surface is completely free from dirt, grime or oils which could mess up the color later.

2. Clean The Paint Brush

Along with the glass, your paintbrush also needs to be equally clean so that dirt particles don’t migrate from it to the target surface.

To do so, you will need some acetone in a small jar and then put the brush there in such a way that its tip stays submerged in that liquid. For confirming this, it is better to choose a glass jar instead of an opaque one. Once the top has gone under the liquid, swirl it a little to shake off the previous color or particles on it.

When all these accumulated materials have left the tip, you can pull it out from the solvent and then wipe the entire brush with a paper towel to eliminate any excess liquid. Remember that this paintbrush needs to have a really thin tip so that it can fill in tiny sections of your design without crossing its borders.

3. Leave Stencil In Place

If you have been using a stencil to make the designs on your etched mirror, it would be a good idea to leave them in place for the painting. The clear outline created by it will help you to stay within the marked frame when you paint and make the end result free of minor errors.

4. Test The Paint

Before you put your chosen paint on the main canvas, test it out on smaller pieces of etched glass to see if it actually delivers your expected results. This is an important part of the process since all paints don’t produce the same shade or consistency. So you will know if you are really ready to go by testing it out first.

Step 3: Applying Paint

Applying Paint

1. Add Color

As we mentioned earlier, your paintbrush needs to have a very thin tip to apply the color appropriately. Use its fine tip to color smaller areas and tighter edges with little strokes. If a brush is not available, the next best thing would be cotton swabs. However, they are not suitable for larger projects with bigger areas.

Either way, add color to your paintbrush or swab and get ready to apply it. Remember to not go over the same area too many times since it can dilute the density of the paint and make it translucent.

2. Paint With A Single Color

You might be tempted to use different colors from the start since that is definitely much more fun for an artistic soul. However, in cases like this project where a little mistake can ruin the entire design, it is safer to only do one color first. This ensures that the colors will not bleed into each other.

When you are done with one color, start applying the next color from the other end of the design surface. This will give the first color enough time to dry and thus prevent them both from intersecting each other’s path. Additionally, before you switch colors, dip the brush in acetone to clean up the previous color’s residuals.

3. Apply The Second Coat

In case your colors don’t turn out to be that vibrant or if you can see the stroke lines in them, apply a second coat to fix the issue. However, only start to apply it after making sure that the first coat has dried up completely. Otherwise, the different colors might get mixed.

Final Word

Knowing how to permanently color etched glass, you can now get started with your creative ideas and start the makeover of your favorite interior pieces.

Alternatively, you can create something completely new with a DIY etched glass project and then showcase it proudly as one of the highlights of your room.

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