Looking for a fun creative outlet that doesn’t take much to get started? Turn your trash into treasure by taking an old wine bottle and decorating it. Whether you’re completely new to painting or regularly paint with other media, glass bottle painting is easy, and you can get striking results quickly. Read on to learn how to paint wine bottles. 

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Supplies for Glass Bottle Painting

flower painting on bottle
Some supplies you’ll need to create bottle art—plus some easy bottle art inspiration.

You’ll need some specific supplies to paint glass bottles, even if you’re used to painting on other canvases. 

Glass Paint

Paint for glass is different from other kinds of paint you may be used to working with, such as watercolors or oil paints. It’s most similar to acrylics and is indeed a type of acrylic paint. Thick and opaque, it can be layered well yet won’t peel, run, or flake off easily.

Glass Bottles

Although used wine bottles are a popular canvas for bottle painting, you don’t have to be a wine drinker to have a go at this craft. Any other type of glass bottle, jar, or vase is a suitable canvas. And paint for glass is generally thick and opaque, so it doesn’t matter what color your glass bottle is because it will be painted over anyway.

Paint Brushes

Flat brushes suitable for use with acrylic paints are best for glass painting. The size of the brush will depend on how fine you want the details to be on your bottle. Aim to have at least one larger brush to cover larger areas of the bottle’s surface and one finer brush for details. You can also use sponges, old toothbrushes, sticks, and even your finger to paint onto the bottle.

fingertip flower painting on bottle
Paint flowers with your fingers.

Paper Plates/Paint Palettes

You’ll need some kind of surface for mixing paints and dispensing them from the tubes. A sturdy paper plate or old ice cream tub lid is ideal.

Paper Towels/Rags

You’ll need these to wipe up any spills or mistakes.

Rubbing Alcohol

If you’re using a wine bottle or other glass container that’s had a label on it, you may need to use rubbing alcohol to remove sticky residue from the glass so you have a clean, smooth surface to paint on.

Boost Your Bouquet

Floral Painting on Glass Bottles

How to Paint Glass Bottles

painted bottles
Looking for bottle painting ideas? Bottle art by student Lakshika Somani for Painting on Glass – 10 Ideas and Guide for Beginners.

Step 1: Plan a Design

leaves on bottle
Plan a design before you get started.

You can get as creative as you want with your bottle painting project, but if it’s your first time painting glass, it’s a good idea to keep things simple. The circular shape of the bottle can make it a bit tricky to paint perfectly proportioned figurative scenes, so forgiving subjects like abstract or floral designs are ideal. If you’d like, sketch a design onto paper first so you have a plan before you start painting.

Step 2: Set up Your Work Space

After gathering all of the materials listed above, set up your work space. Protect your table with a drop cloth or newspaper. Remove any labels and sticky residue from your bottle with water and soap, and then rubbing alcohol if necessary. Squeeze some glass paint onto your palette in whatever colors you’d like to work with.

Step 3: Paint a Base Layer

painting bottle teal
Use paint for glass bottles to paint a base layer.

Start by painting a base layer on the bottle in one color, using long strokes with a wide, flat brush. The transparency/opacity of the paint on the bottle will depend on how thickly you apply it and how many layers you use. This is up to you, depending on the effect you’d like to achieve. 

Of course, a base layer isn’t essential if you would rather just paint patterns or designs on a transparent bottle. There are no strict rules when you’re learning how to paint wine bottles!

Step 4: Paint Designs and Details

bottle swith squiggles on it
Looking for bottle painting ideas? Try abstract designs.

Once you’ve finished with the base coat, you can add more details. If you don’t mind a smudgy, blended effect, then you don’t need to wait for the base layer to dry completely. In the image above, the artist has painted loose abstract dabs of color onto a still-damp base coat and then gone over the dry base layers with a fine brush. 

However, if you’d rather paint precise details and don’t want the colors to blend, give the base layer time to dry. This can take up to 24 hours. Then, you can paint wavy lines or swirls with a fine brush, platter droplets of paint with an old toothbrush, paint designs through stencils, or dab abstract designs with a sponge.

painted bottle
Learn to paint easy bottle art, like these.

Don’t Stop at Bottles

painted ornament
Holiday tree decorations are another possible canvas for glass painting.

The materials and techniques you learn while learning how to paint bottles can be used to paint a huge variety of other glass objects. Jars, vases, tree ornaments, wine glasses, coasters, and even window panes are all surfaces you can use for your glass painting masterpieces. Bring color and flair to your day by painting these humble objects and turning them into something completely new. Have fun!

Easy Bottle Painting Inspiration

Painting on Glass—10 Ideas and Guide for Beginners

Written by:

Elen Turner