Can You Paint Glass Pendant Lights? The Definitive Answer

The simple answer is, yes, you can paint glass pendant lights. However, you do need to be careful with your choice of paint and painting method. Below we explore painting a glass pendant light in more detail.

Glass pendants are lovely, and sometimes you may want your glass to have a little more personality than simple, plain, transparent glass. A well-chosen and applied coat of paint can transform a bland glass pendant light into a piece of perfection, without breaking the bank.

Things You'll Need to Paint Your Glass Pendant Light

As you have already imagined, painting glass is a little different to painting other surfaces. You also have the options of either painting your glass in a solid colour or in a pattern using a stencil design. Here are the items you will need to paint your glass pendant lights:

  • Acrylic or enamel glass paint (if using a stencil design)
  • Transparent acrylic glass paint (if wanting a solid colour)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Drop sheet or drop cloth or newspaper
  • Rags
  • Adhesive stencils
  • Sponge stencil applicator
  • Sponge paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Lint-free towel
  • Disposable container

Nice to haves:

  • Painter's tape
  • Craft knife

Prepping Your Glass Pendant Light For Painting

  1. Safely remove the glass from the light fitting

  2. To remove the glass you might have to unscrew it from the fitting or remove the hook or finial that keeps it attached to the fitting. Usually, you should be able to detach the pendant glass without having to remove the entire light fitting or even switch off the electricity.

  3. Thoroughly clean the glass and allow it to dry

  4. Thoroughly wash the glass with warm, soapy water. Rinse the glass and wipe it dry with a cloth or a towel that is lint-free. Then place the glass aside on a safe surface and allow it to dry.

  5. Remove any excess dirt or residue from the glass with rubbing alcohol

  6. Wipe down the entire glass with a cotton ball dabbed in rubbing alcohol to remove any excess dirt or residue that may have been left on the glass. Leave the glass for a few minutes to dry.

Painting Your Glass Pendant Light

Painting a solid colour

  1. On a solid colour, you want the light to shine through the glass. So transparent acrylic glass paint would be a good choice of paint. It will give you a stained glass look.
  2. Use painter's tape to cover any area of the glass or glass pendant light that you don't want to get paint on. You can use a craft knife to trim the tape so that it is applied exactly how you want.
  3. Put some of your glass paint into a disposable container. Dip the sponge paint brush in water and squeeze it dry. Blot it on rags to ensure it is only slightly damp.
  4. Dip the slightly damp brush into the paint. To prevent dripping, dab off excess paint on some newspaper. Use long, smooth strokes, going from top to bottom, to brush the paint onto the glass surface. Aim for an even coating without streaks, repeat your strokes if necessary.
  5. If you make a mistake, use the cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the paint away. If you want to wipe the entire class clean and start over, use rubbing alcohol and paper towels to wipe.
  6. When done, you can then remove the painter's tape, if necessary. Allow the paint to dry according to the instructions on the paint bottle.

Painting a pattern using a stencil design

  1. Decide if you'll be using enamel or acrylic glass paint, transparent or opaque opacity, and the colour of the paint you'll use.
  2. Cut out your stencils so they fit on the pendant glass. Be careful not to get too close to the stencil cut-outs or you could ruin the design. Try to leave at least 2.5 cm of space around the stencil designs.
  3. Peel off the backing of the stencils and stick the designs appropriately on the glass, one by one.
  4. Wet the sponge stencil applicator brush and squeeze it dry. Blot it on a rag to ensure you remove as much excess liquid as possible.
  5. Squirt a small puddle of paint into a flat, disposable plate. Dab the flat end of the applicator sponge brush into the paint, then blow away excess paint on some newspaper, removing as much excess paint as possible.
  6. Tap the flat edge of the sponge brush over the cut-out sections of the stencil. A series of quick, light, repeated taps will give you a thin first coat. Apply more paint to other sections.
  7. Wait a while and allow the first coats of paint to dry. Then apply a second coat. To keep the paint smooth and even, apply several light coats. Repeat applications until you’re satisfied with the color and opacity.
  8. After applying the final coat, remove the stencils and allow the paint to dry according to the instructions on the paint bottle.