DIY Night: How to Paint Glass Vases

How to paint glass vases

How to Paint Glass Vases

Our latest Design Improvised DIY Night was all about learning how to paint glass vases! This thrifty makeover can can bring major pops of color to your home! Who doesn’t have a few of these plain glass vases on hand?  You can easily paint three vases under an hour (plus drying time), so go raid your closet, grab some paint, and get started!

Glass vases from the thrift store

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Supplies for Painting Glass Vases

Who wouldn’t want to do a project with this array of beautiful paints?  I literally got giddy when I opened my box of them (FYI  – these easiest place to find the full range of Martha Stewart paints is at Michaels craft store).

Martha Stewart acrylic paint

How to Paint Glass Vases

  1. Make sure you start by giving the vases a good wash with hot soapy water.  After rinsing them, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol into the vase and swish around or rub inside with a paper towel.  Then turn upside down and let dry completely.  This step ensures that the paint will adhere nicely to the glass.
  2. Squeeze a healthy amount of paint into the bottom of the vase and use your brush to spread it up sides. (Note: you are painting the inside, not the outside of the vase!)
  3. Add more paint as need to cover the inside of the vase – once you start making streaky brush strokes like you are pushing around paint it is a good time to stop with the first coat.
  4. You may need to do a second coat once the paint has dried completely (I would wait at least 24 hours before applying a second coat).
How to paint glass vases

Painting glass vases

How to Paint a Vase: Some Tips and Tricks We Learned

1. Use a variety of vases

If you plan to paint multiple vases for a grouping to display together, make sure you pick a varied selection of heights and shapes to add interest

DIY Painted Glass Vases

2. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers!

If you are painting a vase with a tapered neck, it is next to impossible to get a paintbrush to reach the narrow part.  Be prepared to get dirty and use your finger here.  We found it worked nicely!

Using finger to paint inside the neck of a glass vase

3. Hold the vase up to the light

As you’re painting, it is helpful to hold the vase up to a light to easily see where light is shining through and it needs more paint.

 4. Be patient before using your vase

Make sure to let the paint cure fully (Martha Stewart paints require 21 days) before filling with water. In the meantime, you can insert a smaller vessel, like a juice cup, into the vase. Fill with a bouquet!

5. Give a vase to a friend!

These painted glass vases make the perfect handmade gift. Just fill with an inexpensive grocery store bouquet for a gift that anyone is sure to love. I love having several of these on hand for a quick teacher gift or neighbor gift.

Want more DIY vase ideas? Check these out!

How to paint glass vases

Like this thrifty craft project?

Then don’t miss my Top 10 Thrift Store Makeovers! 

How to paint glass vases


Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Transform glass vases from the thrift store or dollar store with craft paint. These painted glass vases make the perfect handmade gift when filled with a bouquet.


  1. Clean the vases well with hot soapy water. Add a little rubbing alcohol to the inside of the vase and swish around. Turn over and let dry.
  2. Squeeze a generous amount of paint into the vase. Use a small brush to draw the paint up the sides of the vase. You may even have to use your fingers to spread the paint if your vase has a curved neck!
  3. Cover the inside of the vase as evenly as you can (hold it up to the light to look for gaps). Let dry and add a second coat of paint if needed.
  4. Follow the paint instructions for curing the paint. Wait until the paint has completely cured before adding water.


This is a fun activity to do with friends. You can each take home several new vases! These also are great to have on hand for a quick homemade gift. Just fill with a grocery store bouquet!

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  1. I am painting on the outside of the vase since I'm doing designsome. I am using the Martha Stewart satin paint. Any suggestions on how I can give it that glossy finish?

  2. Pingback: Mother's Day Brunch Ideas with Martha Stewart - Design Improvised

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