Today, I’m showing you how to makeover a glass vase with acrylics and painted flowers.
If you’re an avid thrifter then you know there are always lots of clear glass decor available for the picking. My little vases were just waiting to be dressed up!
No artistic expertise is required to create these flowers and no perfection is needed.
All the petals are the same exact paint stroke. I’ve even included helpful tips along the way and what issues to avoid.
I chose a petal shape that I thought would be easy for anyone to be able to paint so for you beginners, give it try!
The sunflower is easy to paint but does need time and patience to complete, and the echinacea will be a breeze once you’re done with the sunflower.
HOW TO MAKEOVER A GLASS VASE WITH ACRYLICS AND PAINTED FLOWERS
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WHAT KIND OF PAINT CAN YOU USE ON GLASS?
I use Apple Barrel Matte, FolkArt Matte and FolkArt Multi-Surface acrylic craft paint to create my designs on glass. You can also use FolkArt Enamel acrylic paint, however, I haven’t tried the enamel yet to give an opinion on how well it works.
TIP: Apple Barrel Matte works the best when coating the inside of glass vases or jars since it has a thinner consistency.
- small thrift vases
- acrylic craft paint
- round artist brush
- liner artist brush
- small stiff paint brush
- Isoprepyl alcohol
- paper towels
- cotton face pads
- wax paper
- white vinegar (if needed)
PREPARE THE GLASS VASES FOR PAINTING
CLEAN: Since my glass vases were from a thrift store, they had multiple white rings on the inside which were from long-term use of water with fresh flowers. Both needed a heavy duty cleaning.
TIP: For stubborn white rings, pour 100% white vinegar inside the vase. Let it soak for several hours. Use an old toothbrush for scrubbing. It’s amazing how that vinegar works so well. My vases turned out crystal clear!
WIPE: Rub Isopropyl alcohol on the glass right before painting to remove any soap residue and oils from your hands.
HOW TO PAINT THE INSIDE OF A GLASS VASE OR JAR USING ACRYLICS
Pour a generous amount of acrylic paint in each vase. Depending on the size of the opening, you can squeeze some paint on the sides, also.
Begin rolling, tilting and turning the vase constantly to spread the paint around. The paint should look like it’s flowing and dripping down the sides and towards the opening.
This step takes time and patience until the inside is fully coated.
Once the inside is completely coated, turn the vase upside down onto a piece of wax paper. Allow the remaining paint to drain out for about 30 minutes.
Turn the vase upright. Clean the tip-top lip of the vase by squirting a cotton face pad with Isoprepyl alcolol and carefully wipe the excess paint off. Work on wiping the paint off evenly around the tip-top.
Let the vase dry during the day and overnight before beginning to paint the flowers
NOTE: The total time for the inside paint to cure is about a week, so wait before you start sticking faux flowers in the vase as they will scrape the paint. I’m still careful after that time, too.
HOW TO PAINT GLASS WITH ACRYLIC PAINTS
Before you begin painting on the glass vase, practice, practice, practice the petal strokes until you get somewhat comfortable making the sunflower petals. No perfection needed.
Squirt one light and one dark shade of gold onto your paint palette leaving about a one-inch empty space in between the two.
Use a round artist brush to pull the two shades together haphazardly, but do not totally mix them together. This is going to be kind of like cheating at shading. (The gold and cream paint dots seen below are for later.)
Load your paint brush generously with the mixture of two gold colors by dabbing/rolling from one color to the other with your brush.
Paint the petal by placing your brush down….slide the brush across….and lift up. Practice painting the petals like this.
LET’S START PAINTING ON THE GLASS VASE
First stipple a faint brown flower center as seen in the photo below. Let dry completely. Doing this first will ensure your petals will end up fitting within a somewhat round shape.
The first petals are going to be the background layer of the sunflower. You’ll be using the two shades of gold acrylic paint to paint the petals.
Begin painting your petals. Remember to load your brush generously.
TIP: Holding the vase steady using my thighs as I painted worked out really well for me.
Keep turning the glass vase slightly which makes it easier to paint the next petals as you go around. The photo below shows the first layer of petals completed.
VERY IMPORTANT: The first row of petals must dry completely before painting the rest of the petals. I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying process and then let the glass cool off before painting again.
Remember the light gold and cream paint dots seen on the paint palette? It’s time to mix those two together. That mixture becomes one individual color.
You’ll be haphazardly dabbing/rolling the paint brush back and forth between the two colors just like you did with the two gold colors that made the first layer of petals.
This layer of petals will be lighter in color and a little bit shorter than the background petals. Paint the new petals in between each background petal as you can see in the photo below.
Now, your last layer of sunflower petals are completed and you need to speed dry them with the hairdryer.
Complete your sunflower by stippling the rest of the brown flower center. Use both light and dark brown shades. Refer to completed photo for how this ends up looking.
TIP: The Isopropyl alcohol will easily remove any unwanted acrylic paint. Use Q-tips, cotton face pads or paper towels where needed.
LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES:
Don’t try to paint the top layer of petals before the paint is completely dry on the previous petals. I had to remove a couple of petals and paint them again.
Don’t paint too many petals. You know the saying, “less is more.”
Having made these two big mistakes, I decided to start completely over. As seen in the photo column above, you can see how the alcohol is starting to remove all of the acrylic paint.
HOW TO PAINT FLOWERS ON CLEAR GLASS
Use the sunflower painting instructions to make the echinacea flowers. Once you have finished your sunflowers, you’ll find that these echinaceas are quick and easy to paint!
I tried 3 times to paint some green stems and leaves and they were looking like a hot mess until the third one.
The last was a winner… a very simple “suggestion” of a stem. Use a liner brush to start the stem at the bottom, slide the brush upwards, and lift up near the petals.
Once your vases have cured inside, you can dress them up with faux greenery and include them in your home decor.
The flower choices to paint are endless! What flowers would you’d like to paint on glass vases? Let me know in the comment section down below.
RELATED POST: HOW TO PAINT A THRIFTED FLOWER VASE
I’ve joined a group of creative designers this month to share our upcycles and makeovers with all of our readers. We take something old and/or unused and ‘do it over’ into something new. Our items can be found in closets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! This month our theme is “glass.” Be sure to click their project links at the end of my post to see what they’re sharing. Don’t miss out!
BELOW, FIND OUT WHAT YOUR “DO IT OVER” DESIGNERS HAVE CREATED!
Little Vintage Cottage ~ Modern on Monticello ~ Pandora’s Box ~ Purple Hues & Me ~ Southern Sunflowers ~ Unique Creations by Anita ~ Color Me Thrifty ~ The Apple Street Cottage ~Exquisitely Unremarkable
Sharing my floral painted glass vases at these fabulous blogs!