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Glass Painting: Upcycle Glass Jars with Pebeo Vitrail Glass Paints

In this glass painting tutorial, I’m going to show you how to upcycle glass jars into decorative and functional pieces of art!  These glass jars are perfect to hold paintbrushes, pens, markers, utensils or anything you want! 

If you are a visual learner, and prefer to learn by watching a video, check out my latest episode of Create Something Today.


For this project, we’ll use Pebeo Vitrail Glass Paints and Pebeo Vitrail Crackling Effect Kit

You can buy these paints individually or purchase the Pebeo Workbox which includes 10 paints, a paint tray, 1 squirrel hair paintbrush, sponge and gold relief outliner. 

I purchase my supplies on Blick Art Stores in NYC or on You can also find these items at other art supply stores or on Amazon.

Other supplies include:

Pebeo Vitrail Workbox Glass Paints

  • Pebeo Gold Relief Outliner
  • 3-4 flat paintbrushes.  Brushes should be soft and not too rigid.  Squirrel hair or synthetic is fine.
  • Plastic or paper cover for your table
  • Water container and a few other containers to clean your brushes
  • Mineral spirit to clean brushes (there are many brands to choose from, I use Gamsol)
  • Speedball Pink Soap brush cleaner
  • Glass jars (I save glass jars from spaghetti sauce, pickles, jams, etc.)
  • Paint tray (optional)

Step 1: Prepare Glass Jars

First step is to remove labels. To do this, soak your glass jar in a container of hot water. Let it soak for awhile until the label peels off easily.  

If there is any sticky residue, you’ll definitely want to remove that. Depending on how sticky it is, you might use an SOS scouring pad to scrub it off.  

Final step is to use a paper towel and wipe down your glass jar with rubbing alcohol to ensure that all the residue is removed.

Step 2: Painting Your Glass Jar

Upcycle a glass jar with Pebeo Glass Paints

For this project, we’ll paint our glass jar in an ombre style.  What this means is: select 3 colors and paint them in a way that allows them to run into each other, creating this ombre type of look. 

This colors used in the above glass painted jar are:  Turquoise, Greengold and Lemon. 

Start by applying a band of the darker paint color first, in this case turquoise.  Once finished, place this paintbrush down on a paint tray or another surface like an old container lid.

Pick up a 2nd paintbrush and dip it into the 2nd color, in this case greengold.  Paint a band of this color right above the first band and let it run into the turquoise. It is ok if the paint colors start to flow into each other.  This will will create the desired ombre style effect.  

For the 3 band, using the same paintbrush as you did for the turquoise, add another band of this color above the greengold.

For the neck of the glass jar, switch to a another flate paintbrush and add a new color, lemon.  

Finally, finish the rim of the glass jar with another band of turquoise.  

Now let this dry for about 1 hour.  Watch how the colors drip into each other, forming their own unique pattern! 

Step 3: Cleaning Brushes

While your glass jar is drying, remember to clean your brushes before the paint hardens!  One thing to remember when using Pebeo Vitrail Paints is that they are not water soluble. This means you can’t simply clean your paint brush with water.  

What I recommend is pouring a small amount of mineral spirit in a container and soak your brush for 10-15 minutes, until the paint dissolves.  As a second step to ensure the brush is completely clean, I recommend adding a few drops of Pink Soap to water in a different container and let your brushes soak for an additional 10-15 minutes. 

Wipe your brush on a paper towel to test if it is completely clean and free of paint. If it isn’t, soak it in the Pink Soap solution a bit longer. 

The used mineral spirit can be reused many times, so be sure to save it in a container that is secured tightly with a lid.  

When you are ready to dispose of used mineral spirit, drop them off at your local hazardous-waste collection site.

Step 4: Adding the Pebeo Crackling Effect

Pebeo Vitrail Glass Paints and Pebeo Vitrail Crackling Effect Kit

Adding the Pebeo crackling effect is a 2 step process.  Once your painted jar is dry (it should be dry, but still slightly sticky to the touch), use a flat paintbrush and apply an even coat of the step 1 crackling effect medium.  Within approximately 15-20 minutes, you will start to see the crackles form.   

Let it dry for 24 hours before you apply step 2 of the crackling medium, which is the sealant that protects the crackles.  

Let this now dry for another 24 hours before adding the gold relief outliner embellishments.

Remember to clean your paintbrush - this time you can soak in just the pink soap and water solution to remove the crackling medium residue.

Step 5: Embellish with Gold Relief Outliner

Once the cracking effect is dry, you can now embellish your glass jar with gold relief outliner.  Using the outliner, follow the lines of the paint to create a random pattern or decorate it in anyway you want.

I’d love to see what you create - share it with me on Instagram - just tag me @DivineNY. 

Upcycled glass painted jars using Pebeo Vitrail Glass Paints

If you are in the NYC area, I do host glass painting workshops in the Michael’s Community classroom on 6th Avenue - check out my Workshops page to see when when my next class will be!


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