Painted Glass Vases

Painted Glass Vases
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Remember I showed you all in the post, “Martha Stewart I Love Thee”, the awesome boat loads of paint given to me by the sweet folks at Plaid/Martha Stewart? Their paint is multi-surface which meant it was perfect for glass also! Back in the winter I had come across some beautiful enamel painted vases on Pinterest by Sugar & Charm. She used them only for display, but I wanted to make mine to be used with water. This week I pulled out those paints and decided it was time to experiment and make Painted Glass Vases.

DIY Waterproof Painted Vases - c4a.bc9.myftpupload.comI headed off to Target in search of some inexpensive vases. I was pleased to find these tall column vases for $3 each. Sometimes you know something is just meant to be. As I pass a home décor aisle this beautiful table cloth called to me, “Kim! Take me home with you!” I ignored his cries and moved on. Yet, as I walked away his cries became louder…”You need me! I’ll look awesome on the outdoor table this summer”. My resistance broke down and I ran back to quickly claim the tablecloth and take him home. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

Painted Glass Vases (800x533)

Now that you know the sick power that Target has over me, let’s get onto making some painted vases shall we?

You will need the following:

Glass vase, Martha Stewart Crafts Paint, nail polish remover, disposable cups and stir sticks, parchment paper or foil, paper towel, and old cookie sheet.

how to paint glass vases

The Martha Stewart multi-surface paint is nice and thick and you could just paint it on the inside of your vase, but for a smoother finish I recommend using a swirl and coat method. Now the paint says not to thin with water (but it will wash up nicely with water), so you will need to mix it with the nail polish remover.

1. For my tall vase I mixed 1 tablespoon of paint with 1 tablespoon of nail polish remover in a disposable cup. Mix the combination really well. If it seems too thick then add a bit more of the remover. I recommend doing this outside as the smell of the nail polish remover is quite strong.

mix paint and nail polish remover

2. Pour your paint mixture into your vase and swirl it around to completely coat the inside of the vase.

swirl paint in vase

3. Pour the excess paint back into your cup and allow your vase to drain upside down on a folded paper towel. Place it on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet. Allow it to drain for a few minutes and then turn it upright a allow it to dry over night. (Again I recommend you let it dry outside because of the nail polish smell).

drain paint

4. The paint manufacturer recommends baking the painted glass at 350 degrees for 1 hour. I was worried about how my vase would fair in that high of temperature, so I baked my at 275 degrees for 2 hours. Do not preheat your oven. Place the vase upright on the lined cookie sheet and put it into a cold oven, then turn your heat on and bake. After the allotted time, turn off the oven and allow to cool inside. Your vase is now ready to hold water and it should be able to go through the dish washer even, according the the paint manufacturer (though I haven’t tried that yet).

Painted Glass Vases

This method using these paints will create a gorgeous opaque finish. If you are wanted a translucent finish I recommend you try the method I used for tinting my Glass Float Ornaments, just be sure to use Mod Podge.

painted vase with roses

paint a glass vase watermarked

Table with painted Vases

The beautiful bright skittle-colored vases are perfect with the table cloth. Cheerful pops of color make me smile! Give Painted Glass Vases a try!


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AMENDMENT 5/11/12: I finally got around to washing the vases in the dishwasher, on the lower rack even, and they came out beautiful! Martha Stewart multi-surface paint rocks!

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  1. Wow this turned out great!! I have to try it! Your roses are so pretty too (and that table!!!! gorgeous!

  2. That is awesome… I have made these and they didn’t turn out so well AND I couldn’t put water in them. Thanks for the great tut Kim!!

  3. Oh these are so gorgeous! I love the Martha paints and would never have thought about nail polish remover! Really great outcome!

  4. What colors did you use? I love the vases!

  5. This is amazing! I really love the translucent look of the vases and they go so well with your new tablecloth! Wonderful job, Kim!


  6. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing that idea with us. I like that my Michels has a good supply of Martha Stewart paints. I am looking forward to using your fishing float technique to make some faux floats to use in summer-time displays.

  7. LOVE This!! My girlfriend used this & painted yellow & blue stars for me on my tailgating wineglasses in honor of Ucla 🙂 I’m such an in the box thinker, I never would’ve thought of using it to paint vases! Beautiful!

  8. Gail M says:

    These look really cute. I find it interesting that you called the tablecloth “him”. Do you really need to add nail polish remover? Martha Stewart painted cake domes on her show using a similar technique at: She waited 21 days for the paint to cure instead of baking it in the oven. Do you suppose it was because the food would come in contact with the dome?

    • Hi Gail,

      Like I mentioned in the post, this method creates a smoother finish and it only takes a few minutes to coat the vase. You of course can use a paint brush and paint it on (as shown in the video) but it will take 3 coats of paint and you will need to wait for it to dry in between coats. For this type of very narrow vase, a paint brush will not work.

      As far a the drying goes, Martha explains in the video you can wait 21 days for a full cure OR speed up the process by baking it. I’m impatient so I chose baking.

      Thanks for your questions! 😉

  9. I love the colors! I’m impatient too so I love the baking option. Beautiful result.

  10. These are beautiful! I just pinned this post to try it myself! xoxo, tracie

  11. These rock – and I am so glad you didn’t ignore the sad, pathetic cries of that tablecloth! He obviously found a good home!

  12. Love it! Can you use anything other than nail polish remover or is that what was recommended?

    • Thanks Bethy! The MS paints say not to thin with water and I knew you could thin other types of permanent paints with acetone so I gave it a try… and it worked great! 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very pretty! I laughed when I read about the products calling to you. I often wonder how items just jumped into my cart, even when the kids aren’t with me. It is hard to pass up a deal, right?? 🙂

    Thanks for your blog and all the inspiration you have given me. (I am anonymous, only bc I don’t have any of the accts accepted, but know that I am a huge ‘repinner’ and follower of yours on pinterest. :))

  14. These look gorgeous, especially with that table cloth. I would have loved to receive all those fabulous paints from Martha Stewart.

  15. They’re so cute!! You do amazing projects, I would NEVER have thought of using nail polish remover in addition to the paint — so smart.


  16. Gorgeous! I’d love for you to add it on my link party at: Thanks!

  17. This is an awesome idea! I almost paid $15 for a green vase for Mother’s Day when I could just make one for mom instead. Thanks for sharing, looking like a project for this weekend. 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    I always thought that glass will crack under high temperatures, unless of course the glass is designed to resist heat.

  19. So pretty. And so nicely styled.

  20. Is it safe to put paint/acetone in a gas oven? I don’t want my kitchen to explode or for there to be toxic fumes! I’ve been trying to paint glass vases for weeks and have not had good luck. Latex didn’t stick, even when I tried treating the vase with alcohol first (I waited for the alcohol to dry). So I switched to an acrylic specifically for glass, a week later I tried to put a clear varnish on it, and the paint dissolved. Should I just have been more patient and tried waiting 21 days? Can you put varnish over acrylic at all? I now have a Folk Art-painted vase still drying and I’m not sure what to do next to it. I want to eventually be able to put wet floral foam in the vases and not have the paint smear or chip. If Martha Stewart’s is just better quality, I’m willing to give it a try too, but I’m beginning to think I’m throwing away money with all of these different brands.

    • Hi Christine,
      I’m not sure what to tell you about a gas oven. I don’t think you would have issues as long as you let it dry completely 1st outside or in a well ventilated area for a few days. The 21 days is the recommended time for the paint to cure completely. The baking just allows you to put it in the dishwasher.

      Regular acrylic paint will not work on glass. The Martha Stewart paint is an all-surface paint which will adhere to the glass beautifully. You will not need any type of clear coating either. 😉

    • Sounds good. I just bought some Martha Stewart craft paint and I’m going to get started now. I’ll wait until next week and pop it in the oven using the method you outline. Thanks for the reply! Wish me luck!

    • Fail! I tried different amounts of nail polish remover on two different vases. It starts out smooth, but a few seconds after I put it in the vase the consistency would change due to the nail polish remover evaporating. Less remover got crumbly very quickly, more remover was better, but ended up somewhat discolored as parts of it wanted to dry while I was still pouring and swirling. My nail polish remover is pure acetone. Perhaps that makes a difference.

  21. Nikki Hall says:

    I just wanted to ‘Thank you’ for sharing this great idea! I loved the look of the vases from ‘Sugar & Charm’ as well, but, I also wanted to make the vases useable as well! I have been looking for a paint solution or tip that would make this possible without a spray paint sealer … and you have just made it possible! Thank you for sharing your great ideas and tips!

  22. It is a beautiful idea! Thank you!

  23. I need these in 14 days. Didn’t know about the cure of 21 days. So I tried with getting bottles hot first then pour paint in. I will bake in oven in a few days. Any problem with the fumes or explosion from acetone? Acetone fumes is it dangerous? Cooking in the same oven that you make your food could it make you sick?

    • Hi Desir’ee,
      I do not recommend getting your bottles hot first. As far as the baking goes, as long as you have allowed the bottles to air out well (outside) for a few days then the fumes should not be a problem. Make sure to follow the baking directions in the post too.

      • I am baking about 15 bottles now in the oven. This scares me as they cook and their is some smell. All windows open on the house. Be very careful if you consider doing this and make sure the vases are pretty dry beforehand.

  24. I was wondering if it was just a thin coat you use? and i was also wondering if you let the vase dry first before putting them in the oven or did you just put them in the oven wet?

    • Hi Ashlee,
      I wouldn’t say it was super thin, but a moderate coat. You want the glass to be coated evenly. Reread through all the directions carefully. You need to allow the vases to dry thoroughly overnight. I left mine outside to dry.

  25. Can you not do this swirl method without the addition of acetone polish? They are beautiful! I love your method because I too would like to put water in the vases.

    • Hi Crystal!
      You can totally paint the inside of any glass with this specific type of paint, using a paint brush, the problem is that the paint is very thick and does not “swirl” without thinning it down with the nail polish remover and using a paint brush leaves brush strokes. I wrote this post back in 2012 and since then many craft companies have come out with Glass Paint, including the Martha Stewart brand. So to be honest, if I was writing this post today, I would just be using her newer glass paint instead of the all surface paint.
      Hope that helps 😉

  26. I was wondering if youo colors in two separate bowls along with the nail polish remover (amount depending on size of vase) and swirling it making a marble effective?

  27. Mine didn’t turn out anything like this at all, not even close.
    Waste of money.

  28. Moe Bullock says:

    Why did my paint run when in the oven curing?

  29. Terry Caron says:

    Hi Kim!
    You were so thoughtful answering a question I had about painting vases. I have one now.
    I have about 6 lined up for now on a bookshelf, and the colors are gorgeous. I can’t sell them on Etsy or give as a gift because no matter how I do it, the inside is never smooth. I followed directions carefully about turning it upside down. I don’t use a brush. I find it very awkward. I swirl and turn it. It look lovely, but if a buyer or gift recipient looked inside, which they would, it is not a smooth job. And sometimes the parts of vases that flare out a bit at the top do not come out smoothly no matter what I do. I have tried with nail polish, without nailpolish, the new Martha Steward paint (oh those colors!) that you recommended.
    Any ideas? Thank you. Terry

    • Hi Terry,
      If your goal is to have a sellable product then I would switch to a paint made specifically only for glass. As mentioned before, this tutorial was written long before glass paints were made easily available to the general public. With so many new glass paints to choose from I’m sure you will find one that might give you the results you desire.

  30. Danielle says:

    i just tried these and mine didn’t come out like yours at all. All I had was a big streaky mess but I saw that it wasn’t sticking to the glass right so was able to wash it off and save the vase. But yours are beautiful.

    • Thank you Danielle. I’m sorry you had trouble with it. When I wrote that post years ago, glass paints were not readily available as they are now. Today I would use one of Martha Stewart’s glass paints instead. DecoArt has a huge line of glass paints too. Maybe give those a try. 😉