Vase: From Plain to Fabulous

Jamie Hofmann
by Jamie Hofmann
7 Materials
1 Hour

So I was visiting my mom and saw she had kept all the clear glass vases the flowers came in over the years from the florist. So I decided to paint them. Not a new idea on this website, but I do have a few tips that might help someone trying for the first time.

Here are a the collection of painted glass vases. Now what to do with them?


I gathered up some supplies. I love to DIY so I had a lot of this stuff on hand.

clean glass vase - run through dishwasher to make sure very clean.

acrylic paint

disposable cups

Flood (floetrol)

satin clear enamel spray paint

disposable aluminum tray

popsicle sticks

Make it flow

Choose your color scheme. I chose metallics and maroon. I started with about a tablespoon of acrylic paint and put each color in a separate plastic cup. Mix your color selections of acrylic with Flood at about 3 parts Flood to 1 part paint. It should easily run off the popsicle stick.

Layering your paint

Pour your color selections into a clean, empty cup, layering the colors. Do not use up all your paint but save some for added design elements later in the painting process. Do not stir the layers.

Take your vase and place it on an empty plastic cup, upside down in the metal tray. The vase should not touch the tray. We are painting the out side. The plastic cup it is sitting on allows the paint to run off and not sit in the runoff paint. You can periodically scrap off the nips of paint on the edge of the vase with a popsicle stick. This will give you a clean edge. Slowly pour your paint on the glass vase. If you feel like your paint is stuck in a vein and not covering the entire vase, just take your popsicle stick and smear a little paint at the top of the gap. That will get the paint flowing in the empty areas.

Add some drama

I wanted some definate color stripping this vase. I used some of the reserved paint and poured lines of paint down the vase. If you feel like you are puddling paint on the bottom, this is a good time to address it. Take a popsicle stick and push the paint in the middle toward the edge. Let the paint run, frequently swiping the edge with the popsicle stick.

Cover it up and let it dry.

Once you like the design and the paint has pretty much stopped flowing off, cover it up and let it dry. I frequently check it and swipe the edge of the vase with a popsicle stick during the drying phase. This helps ensure I have a clean edge. Once it is not shiny at all, it is dry. It usually takes about 24 hours. I then spray it with 4 light coats of the clear satin enamel, giving plenty of time for drying in between each of the 4 light coats.

Finished project

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 23 questions
  • Susan Susan on Jan 11, 2020

    They look beautiful! My question is,what is that stuff called floor and what’s it for?

  • Lorna Lorna on Aug 19, 2020

    would this technique also work on ceramic vases? I have quite a few that I'd like to update with my new colour scheme.

  • Jkr22097881 Jkr22097881 on Feb 27, 2021

    Do you let the vase sit in the spill off paint until it dries? How do you cover it?

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