Sunday, April 28, 2013

Repurposed Old Window Painted Stained Glass.

We have an enclosed back porch, and there is a window that looks out from the office onto it.
I have wanted to find a large stained glass piece to put in it, but the price of something this size was well over $300.
I decided to create one using paints and an old six paned window I picked up for a few dollars at an antique store.

A few weeks ago I shared a small painted stained glass piece I did using Martha Stewart gloss glass/craft paints.
That was my trial piece for the large window piece that I wanted to create.

After cleaning the window off and washing with alcohol, I divided each pane into the sections I wanted to create, using cut up 4" by 6" cards.  I used a dish to mark where I wanted the middle design to be.
I traced these one with a dry erase marker (a transparency marker would work as well).

Once I got the images the way I wanted, I used the black gloss opaque paint to outline the images.  I piped this right onto the glass right from the container using the fine tipped lid (trying to be consistent in the flow of paint). 

(I later realized for a stained glass look, mixing silver with black into an empty container and mixing them well gives a more realistic "lead" look, but this simple black look is also very pretty).

This should be allowed to dry thoroughly for a few days.  Otherwise, when adding the other colors, if brushed against too much with a paint brush, the black may start to loosen and shift.

 Once the black is dried, the colors may be added in.

I found that opaque paints may be used but should be mixed by about half and half with liquid fill,
and then painted in with a brush.

I used opaque paints for the red, yellow, pink, orange, blue, purple.

 Colored liquid fill may also be used, but since I already had some of the colors in opaques, I decided to use them and just add some transparent liquid fill to water them down.
These should be mixed by about half and half with liquid fill,
and then painted in with a brush.

To create a more realistic "stained glass" look, I found the following method worked best.
 Using two different color greens and a clear, I mixed them together on my palette.

I then painted them into the space that I wanted green.
(Using two different color greens gives the green more variance.)

 Once I had the whole section painted with a thin coat of the green, I added just a touch of the opaque white and swirled it slightly in.

I then added a little bit to the painted green, mixing it around til I got the look I wanted.
(For the white section next to the greens, I did the same technique, only I used a base coat of white opaque mixed with the liquid fill and added small swirls of green).

When the spaces are filled, you may find, as I did that there will be places that the outline was not consistently piped on.

This can be remedied by going back and piping the black onto those places where the colored paint is leaking onto the black. 
(This can be done while the colored paint is still wet, or after it is dried.  If you feel confident, correct while still wet.  If you are worried about slipping, wait until it is dried.).

 After the paint has dried (and please, don't be hasty; the paint is very runny when it is wet!), holding the piece up to a window will reveal places that were not adequately painted.  These can be filled in with paint and allowed to dry to make the piece look complete.

(Be careful about putting too many layers of paint onto the glass.  I recommend painting it once or twice with two thin coats allowed to dry thoroughly in between coats
and then adding touch up color to spots as needed.  Too many layers of paint will make it lose the "glass" look by making it too thick and lumpy.)

My "stained glass" piece fills the window the way I was hoping and cost about $30 to make.

I used 14 bottles of paint, some of which I purchased in a set with a coupon and the extras while they were on sale for 40% off.  The extra paint left-over has created numerous other projects as well.
These are the colors I used:
  • red
  •  yellow
  •  pink
  •  orange
  •  2 blues (one opaque, one liquid fill)
  •  white
  •  3 greens (2 liquid fills, 1 opaque)
  •  purple
  •  clear liquid fill
  •  and black with silver painted on top.

Happy crafting!


  1. I love this piece! I have always wanted to do stained glass but with little kids that is not something I can do anytime soon. This takes care of my problem! I love the look, and I love that it is painted! Thanks for sharing :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  2. This is very beautiful!
    I just found your site and will be back to practice my sketching. I used to do more with this and with writing before I had my children. I long for a little more "Mother Culture" (as Karen Andreola says...) in my days so I will just start anew! Now!

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. pretty! I am impressed with your creativity and talents!

  4. What a wonderful window and you did a great job on the tutorial. I dabbled with glass paint years ago, but I can see the new is much better. Great transformation.

  5. This is totally amazing. I love it. So cleve and you did such a good tutorial too. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that is ongoing.

    Hugs, Marty

  6. Fabulous. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.