What are the Best Tips for Putting Decoupage on Glass?

Stacy C.
Stacy C.
It is important that colored papers be bleed resistant if they will be used for decoupage.
It is important that colored papers be bleed resistant if they will be used for decoupage.

Doing decoupage on glass can be trickier than on other mediums because of its smooth surface, and since it is often clear and exposes mistakes. To keep decoupaged glass as perfect as possible, clean the glass thoroughly before beginning the project, use laser copies of the paper to be decoupaged to prevent color bleeding, use watered down glue, and be sure to remove any air bubbles before letting the piece to dry. Following these tips can help result in the most professional look.

It is usually easier to get the paper or other artwork to stick to the glass if the surface is clean first. For best results, clean with soap and water and then go over the piece with rubbing alcohol. Finally, dry the glass before beginning any decoupage work.

Although an original copy of the artwork can be used, it is safer to make a copy in case the image gets ruined. Using a copy from a laser printer instead of an ink-jet printer is ideal because laser printer ink does not run or smudge when wet, as ink-jet ink will.

To decoupage on glass, first arrange the images as you want them to look on your final product. If the piece is a serving dish, for instance, it is a good idea to place the images on the underside. That way, chemicals are only used on the side of the dish that food will not touch. Once the images are arranged, dip a foam brush into water, then into a mixture that is three-parts glue and one-part water. A specialty decoupage product will also work. Coat the glass with glue first, then apply the image. Do not be afraid to use too much glue, since too little will result in streaks, and any excess can be wiped away or squeezed off.

Next, adhere the image to the glass based on the original arrangement. To eliminate any air bubbles in the artwork when you decoupage on glass, simply rub the image smooth with a finger. A special implement called a rubber brayer, made to smooth bubbles, can also be purchased for this job. It resembles a small rolling pin, but is made of rubber instead of wood.

If using multiple coats of glue, each coat should be allowed to dry thoroughly before adding another layer. Once all of the layers are completely dry, a sealant or clear coat should be applied to protect the decoupage on glass. Also, when finished, the item should be washed carefully so the work is not damaged.

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Discussion Comments


@croydon - I like it when glass painting is combined with decoupage to create something special. It's especially nice if the plates are transparent at all, because the decorations are able to glow a little bit if they are placed near a light.

I've also managed to decoupage a glass lamp, but you have to be careful with that, as the paper and glue might not be heat-proof.


@browncoat - I never thought of doing that on a window, although it's a good idea. I've pasted pictures on old plates though, for display and it can be really effective if you manage to get the right plate to go with the right pictures.

Lots of old decorative glass plates have beautiful patterns around the edges and these can serve as a frame for whatever you want to come across, but you have to make sure the frame is going to suit the picture. It's not use using lush, fairy tale pictures on a plate with a severe black and white line pattern as it won't look natural.

In my option, the best decoupage results come when you match up the pictures with each other and with the surroundings so that it looks like it was originally painted that way, while still being a little surreal.

You can find all kinds of beautiful old plates if you look through your local thrift shops.


If you're planning on putting decoupage on a window, you can use cutouts that have pictures on both sides so that it looks good from both angles. It's even more important to make sure that the glass is clean before placing the cutouts though, since if there is any dirt or anything else between the glass and the picture, it will show up on the other side.

This can be really effective, particularly if you do it for a child's room or play area, and it can also help with safety, since it will ensure they don't crash through the glass by not seeing it.

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    • It is important that colored papers be bleed resistant if they will be used for decoupage.
      It is important that colored papers be bleed resistant if they will be used for decoupage.