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How to Paint Glass Jars: 10 Unique Ideas

Author: Roe Li

Glass jars are versatile objects that can be used for plenty of things. They can be used as food containers, flower vases, pen holders, centrepieces and the list goes on. Using your creativity and a few craft materials, you can create beautiful and unique painted jars that are straight out of Pinterest.

Table of Contents

1. Choosing the Right Glass Jars

2. Cleaning and Preparing the Jars

3. How to Paint Glass Jars



Choosing the Right Glass Jars

Any kind of glass jar can be used for your painting project. You can recycle the empty ones in your kitchen to avoid buying new ones. Milk bottles, coffee jars, and even Gatorade bottles will do. Mason jars are also a popular choice for its embossed letterings, giving it its signature vintage look.

Make sure that your glass jars don’t have cracks or chips. No matter how small the chips may be, it could leave tiny glass pieces and sharp edges that could harm you.


Source: Pinterest



Cleaning and Preparing the Jars


Before proceeding with painting, see to it that the glass jars are clean, they must be free from grease, dirt, and other debris.

Soak the glass jars in warm water mixed with dish soap and a few cups of white vinegar. This will help remove the labels, wash off grease, and disinfect the jars. Wait for about 30-45 minutes before taking the jar out of the water and peeling off the label. Rinse the jar thoroughly and air-dry afterwards.

Cleaning Glass Bottles Before Painting


Source: Pinterest

How to Paint Glass Jars

Now for the fun part: unleashing your creativity! Any type of paint will stick to glass, but acrylic, spray paint, and chalk paint are some of the most commonly used. Check out these unique ideas on how you can decorate your glass jars:



1. Painting With Acrylic Paint


The key to painting glass jars with acrylic is to ensure that the surface is extremely clean. It should be free from dust and oil so that the paint adheres to the glass better. Wipe the glass jar thoroughly using rubbing alcohol and avoid leaving fingerprints on the surface.

Acrylic paint tends to peel off on its own over time. To prevent this from happening, apply thin coats of paint on the glass. You can use a painting sponge to get a smoother finish. If you want your design to have that messy look, then using a paintbrush will help you achieve this.

Painting glass jars with acrylic


Source: Freepik


2. Painting With Spray Paint

Having a clean surface is the key to getting a nice and smooth finish when using spray paint. Wipe the glass jar with rubbing alcohol first using a cotton ball or microfiber cloth. Make sure that it’s completely dry before proceeding with painting.

Having proper ventilation is also important while painting. Paint releases toxic fumes that could pose a health risk to your lungs. Thus, painting outdoors is the most ideal setting. If you’re painting indoors, make sure to open the windows and use fans to provide ventilation. Besides, if you are the manufacturer that provides printing service, using high speed robot arm is a good idea to improve efficiency.

Place the glass jar upside down on top of a newspaper. Shake the spray paint can and hold it 6 inches away from the jar. Spray the jar horizontally, keeping your arm constantly moving to avoid drips. Apply a thin coat first, then let it air-dry for about 30 minutes before applying another coat.

Spray Painting Glass Jars


Source: Pinterest



3. Painting With Chalk Paint


Chalk paint is a great option for decorating your glass jars. It has a matte finish that lets you create beautiful effects, such as the popular distressed look on mason jars. Chalk paint is also available in pastel colors that will look good for springtime craft projects.

If you want a smooth and seamless finish on your glass jars, you can use chalk spray paint. On the other hand, if you’re going for a distressed design, a paintbrush will work fine.


Source: Pinterest



4. Distressed Look


Mason jars already look good on their own, but you can transform these plain glass jars into a beautiful piece of decor. The distressed look is a popular design that evokes a rustic, farmhouse style.

To distress mason jars, paint the jar first with 2-3 coats of your desired color. Let it dry completely. Then, using a 220 grit sandpaper, lightly sand the raised or embossed areas of the jar.

Distressed mason jars


Source: Pinterest


5. Glitz and Glamour


Add a bit of sparkle to your glass jars by making your own glitter jars. Using painter’s tape, wrap it diagonally or horizontally around the jar. Apply Mod Podge on the areas without the tape, starting at the bottom. Sprinkle the glitter on the jar and lightly tap off the excess. Let the Mod Podge dry completely before removing the painter’s tape.

To add more shine and sparkle, spray paint the lid of the jar or the handles with gold. You can also use two or more colors of glitter to decorate your jars.

DIY Glitter Jars


Source: Pinterest


6. Spring Is Here


What better way to welcome spring by creating a robin’s egg glass jar decor? Paint your jar with chalk paint in a pastel blue hue, such as Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Serenity Blue. Let it dry completely. To create a speckled look like that of a robin’s egg, dip a toothbrush in black paint and flick the bristles near the painted jar.

Add embellishments to the jar by wrapping twine around the rim to resemble a bird’s nest. To finish the look, fill the jar with white daisies or baby’s breath.

Robin’s Egg Spring Mason Jar


Source: Pinterest




7. Pretty Little Lids


Don’t want to paint your glass jars? Decorate the lids instead. For this design, you’ll need plastic figurines that have a flat bottom. Glue the figurine on the lid using hot glue and let it dry completely. Next, use spray paint to apply color to the jar lid and figurine. Once it’s dry, place it on the glass jar, and you’ve got a pretty container for storing treats and trinkets.

Painted Jar Lid Ornaments


Source: Pinterest




8. Gilded with Gold


Who knew milk jars would make such elegant vases? Take those empty jars out of your kitchen and spray paint the outer surface with metallic gold color. Apply Mod Podge on the bottom half of the jar, then sprinkle with gold glitter. Let it dry completely. Your gold vase is now ready to be decked with fresh flowers.


Source: Pinterest




9. Marble Jars


Turn your boring old glass jars into a marbleized container with this easy tutorial. Simply spray paint the jar with your desired color (black or white is preferable). Using a marbleizing spray in a different hue, spray the jar to recreate an elegant marble design.

Marble Glass Jars


Source: Pinterest




10. Cute Cutouts


Create an adorable container using cutout designs and pastel colors. Print your preferred cutout design on sticker paper, then apply the stickers on the jar. Apply 2-3 coats of chalk paint on the jar, making sure to paint over the stickers as well. Once it’s dry, carefully peel off the sticker. Voilà! You can use these jars as gift containers or treat jars.

Cutout Painted Jars


Source: Pinterest



What Paint is Best for Glass Jars?

Painting glass jars can be a delightful way to transform ordinary containers into personalized decorations or functional pieces. Whether you’re looking to create custom vases, storage solutions, or decorative accents, choosing the right paint is crucial for achieving a professional finish that lasts. Here’s a comprehensive guide on selecting the best paint for glass jars and effective techniques to ensure your painted glass jars creations stand out.

Types of Paint for Glass Jars

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is versatile and widely used for painting glass jars. Its ability to adhere well to glass surfaces makes it a popular choice among crafters. To paint glass jars with acrylic paint, start by thoroughly cleaning the jars with soap and water to remove any dirt or oils. Once dry, apply acrylic paint using a brush or sponge. For best results, apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat to prevent drips and ensure even coverage. After painting, allow the jars to dry completely before handling or sealing with a clear acrylic sealer for added protection against wear and tear.

Spray Paint

Spray paint offers a smooth and even finish, making it ideal for covering large areas or achieving a uniform look on glass jars. When using spray paint, it’s essential to work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes. Prepare the glass surface by cleaning it thoroughly and ensuring it’s completely dry. Hold the spray can about 6-8 inches away from the jar and spray in light, even coats. Allow each coat to dry before applying additional layers to build up the desired color intensity. Spray paint comes in various finishes, including gloss, matte, and metallic, offering versatility for different design aesthetics.

Chalk Paint

Chalk paint is known for its matte finish and is perfect for creating a distressed or vintage look on glass jars. It adheres well to glass surfaces with minimal preparation, typically requiring only cleaning with soap and water. Apply chalk paint directly onto the glass using a brush, and for a distressed effect, lightly sand the painted surface once dry. Chalk paint is available in a variety of colors and can also be found in spray form for easier application on irregular surfaces or intricate designs.

Glass Paints

Specifically formulated for glass, these paints offer superior adhesion and durability. They come in transparent, opaque, or frosted finishes, allowing for a range of decorative effects on glass jars. Before painting glass jars, clean the glass thoroughly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and curing. Some glass paints require baking to set the paint permanently, while others cure over time. Use stencils or tape to create precise designs and patterns with these specialized paints.

Tips for Painting Glass Jars

  • Surface Preparation: Cleanliness is crucial for successful glass painting. Use rubbing alcohol or a vinegar solution to remove any oils or residues that could prevent paint adhesion.
  • Application Techniques: Experiment with brushes, sponges, or stencils to achieve different textures and designs on your glass jars. Apply paint in thin, even layers to avoid streaks and ensure uniform coverage.
  • Drying and Curing: Allow painted jars to dry completely between coats and after the final application. Follow the recommended curing time for the paint you’re using to ensure durability and longevity.
  • Sealing: Consider applying a clear sealant or varnish over the painted surface to protect it from scratches and moisture, especially for jars intended for everyday use or outdoor display.

Creative Ideas for Painted Glass Jars

More Painting Ideas and Techniques
  • Personalized Themes: Explore painting glass jars with themed designs such as beach scenes, floral patterns, or geometric shapes. Use acrylic paints for intricate details and vibrant colors that pop against the glass surface.

  • Ombré Effect: Achieve a gradual color transition by blending different shades of acrylic paint on glass jars. Start with a light base color and gradually layer darker shades towards the bottom for a stylish ombré effect.

  • Etching: Consider etching designs onto glass jars using glass etching cream or stencils. This technique creates a frosted or matte appearance on the glass, ideal for creating elegant, personalized gifts or votive holders.

  • Decoupage: Use decoupage techniques to apply decorative paper or fabric onto glass jars. Seal the material with decoupage glue or varnish for a smooth finish that showcases intricate patterns or vintage prints.

Practical Tips for Successful Glass Painting
  • Temperature Considerations: Ensure the ambient temperature is suitable for painting glass jars. Extreme cold or heat can affect paint adhesion and drying times. Aim for moderate temperatures and avoid painting in direct sunlight.

  • Handling and Storage: Once painted, handle glass jars carefully to avoid scratching or smudging the paint. If stacking jars, place protective layers between them to prevent damage.

  • Cleaning: Maintain the beauty of painted glass jars by cleaning them gently with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing brushes that could scratch the painted surface.

  • Experimentation: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different painting techniques, colors, and finishes. Mix and match paints to create unique effects and textures that reflect your personal style or complement specific themes.

Safety Precautions
  • Ventilation: Always work in a well-ventilated area when using spray paints or paints with strong odors. Open windows or use a fan to ensure adequate airflow and minimize inhalation of fumes.

  • Protective Gear: Wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling paint, especially during spraying or when using chemicals such as glass etching cream.

  • Storage of Paints: Store paints in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Proper storage helps maintain paint quality and ensures consistency in application.

Painting glass jars allows you to express creativity while transforming everyday items into personalized decor or functional pieces. By choosing the right paint and employing effective techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results that enhance your home decor, serve as thoughtful gifts, or add a unique touch to special occasions. Whether you prefer the versatility of acrylic paints, the smooth finish of spray paints, or the vintage appeal of chalk paints, each option offers distinct advantages for achieving desired aesthetic effects on glass surfaces. Explore different ideas, experiment with various techniques, and enjoy the rewarding process of creating beautifully painted glass jars that inspire and delight.



There are so many ways to repurpose and decorate glass jars. All you need is your creativity, and you’ll be able to create containers, decors, and vases out of the empty glass jars in your kitchen.

If you need bottles and jars for commercial or personal use, Roetell Glass Packaging has a full range of glass bottles and containers. Check out our website to view the products and services that we are currently offering.

Reliable Glass Bottles, Jars, Containers Manufacturer | Roetell