Can glass table tops be painted?

Can glass table tops be painted? In short, yes. You just need to get the preparation right. This means thoroughly cleaning the glass, priming the surface and using high quality products. Painting a glass table top may seem like a bold move but the payoff can be brilliant. In the perfect example of upcycling, a tired and dated table can be completely revitalised and made to look chic or modern.

When painting a glass table top, you can paint either the underside or top surface depending on the finish that you would like to achieve. Painting a light layer underneath the glass is the subtler option as the glass above lessens the effect. However, you’ll need to choose a shade that complements any tint already present in your glass table top. Such tints tend to be blue-green in colour.

Preparing The Surface

Before you get stuck in with the paint and let your imagination run wild, you’ll need to prepare the glass table top. If possible, remove the glass from the rest of the table and place it on a surface where it’s unlikely to be scratched. It’ll be far easier to paint once separated and you won’t need to worry about damaging the wood, metal or plastic. If the glass cannot be removed, cover any at-risk sections of the table top in masking tape.

Oil and impurities can prevent paint from adhering to the glass so it’s important that they’re removed to the best of your ability. We recommend that you use your normal glass cleaner, whether that’s a shop-bought product or homemade solution. It just needs to remove any lingering dirt, grease or stubborn fingerprints. Make sure you don’t use any abrasive sponges or clothes as they may damage the glass.

The non-porous nature of glass means that many paints will struggle to adhere to the smooth surface. To help the situation, we recommend that you apply a bonding paint primer. If you’re painting the top of the glass table top, you could also very lightly scuff the glass with a coarse grit sandpaper.

Choosing Your Paint

For quickly painting a large surface area, spray paints tend to be the go-to option. As well as being easy to use, they don’t leave behind any obvious brush marks. Just make sure that you are even in your application or you’ll end up with some unsightly blotches. The recommended distance to hold the can is normally around 30cm away from the glass but you should always follow the instructions provided.

To create something truly special, why not try a mirror spray paint? Applied in several layers to the reverse of the glass table top, this remarkable paint can transform it into a beautiful mirrored surface. You just need to be extra careful about cleaning the glass as the spray will lock in any dirty fingerprints or smudges forever and spoil the effect.

Sealing Your Painted Glass Table Top

Stop your paint peeling off in future years by applying a thin layer of polyurethane varnish on top of the dried painted glass table top.  This particularly varnish is known for its durability, making it ideal for a frequently used glass table top. In addition, it is water-fungus, mildew and heat resistant and available in several finishes.

At Glass and Stainless, we can elevate your glass table top further by etching a bespoke design into the surface. This would look wonderful with a complementary shade painted on the underside of the glass. Get in touch today to discuss your design and specifications.