Faux Stained Glass: Pond in a Table

5 Materials
5 Hours

I turned my rusty old patio table into a piece of colorful art I can enjoy with my morning coffee. My beloved old table was damaged by the wind, salt and moisture of the sea near my Jaffa home, and as if that wasn't enough, it got a lot of wear from my roommates as well… it was time to make it chic again!

Here's the before and after. From rusty to artsy! Here's how I did it:
Step 1: Prepare for paint

Clean and dry the surface, then sand and peel all the rusty edges.
Step 2: Tape of the areas you plan to spray paint
Step 3: Prep for top pattern or picture

Decide what pattern you want to create on the glass. Print out an example, stick it under the glass with duct tape. It’s ok to combine a few different elements. When searching for online inspirations, type in the elements you want to paint and the word “drawing”. Choose something that is beautiful to you, or symbolises something positive. I chose koi fish swimming in a pond. They symbolize harmony, yin and yang and wealth.
Step 3: Trace & draw your design on the glass

Using permanent markers, follow the lines just like in kids' painting books. Once the outlines are in place, start adding your colors.
Tip: first paint the colors then create the outlines in black.
Step 4: Spray paint.

Protect the glass with duct tape and newspaper. And protect yourself with gloves and mask.
Spray paint can be very messy, but it's fast and has good, even coverage. Read the instructions on your spray can & don’t paint towards the wind.
Here it is after the fish and the paint. But there was more to do!
Step 5: Fill in the rest of your design!

I used permanent markers, the simple, easy-to-find kind. It takes them a few minutes to dry. In that time you can apply more color and shades and allow them to blend. This will happen naturally when applying more colors before the previous ones dried.
Here it is after I added my finishing touches. After you have painted the whole surface, go over the outlines with black marker or add a touch of gold marker to the fins.

What do you think? A brand new patio table using just spray paint and permanent markers. I'm in love!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 126 questions
  • Stephanie Morris
    on Jul 25, 2019

    I'm a bit confused. Did you spray paint the top of the glass or the bottom of the glass and which side did you draw the fish and other designs? It doesn't seem clear to me even after re reading it several times. Can anyone clarify this for me?

    • Lynette Summerill
      on Feb 29, 2020

      It appears the permanent markers are left as is, without anything added for protection. I looked at some similar projects online and those were done the same way. One person suggested cleaning the glass with rubbing alcohol and let dry before painting. The alcohol was also used to “erase” any mistakes.

  • M'Linda
    on Oct 12, 2019

    Hi, first off VERY CUTE idea!!! Thank you for sharing. My question is did you paint under the glass, if not how do you keep it from getting damaged? I used the top and worry it will get damaged.

    Thank you


    • Shelley Taylor
      on Feb 28, 2020

      I think she painted on the top and if you follow her steps it confirms, to me, as I’ve don’t pop art on the back of glass where you start with the dark, then white then fill in so when you turn the glass over, all your detail shows.

  • Kim
    on Feb 28, 2020

    Love this! Did you spray a clear acrylics to seal the top?

    • Glenda
      on Feb 29, 2020

      I would probably want to do the underside, or the top if you could find a good sealer. I live in Canada and we have to leave our furniture outside during the winter so i would definitely want to seal it.

Join the conversation

2 of 449 comments
  • Nora
    on Mar 9, 2020

    too kool!

  • This is such a cute project to do! I have been trying to decide what to do for a table on my patio at the back of the house. This would be very functional and scratch my itch to paint too!!!

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