How To Paint Frosted Glass: Step-By-Step Guide, Tips & Hacks

Frosted hurricane glass - Image by Welcome to the Woods

Frosted hurricane glass - Image by Welcome to the Woods

Frosted glass is a great way to add privacy and elegance to any room. You can use it on windows, doors, cabinets, or even furniture. Painting frosted glass isn't as complicated as you might think.

To make a DIY frosted glass without using etching cream, start by cleaning your glass thoroughly. Next, add your stickers or decals to mask areas you don't want to frost. Apply your frosted glass spray paint in two or more coats. Remove the stickers, and your DIY project is ready. 

Read on to learn how to paint DIY frosted glass, plus tips and hacks to make it easier for those who'll do frosted glass for the first time. We will also answer some of your frequently asked questions.

How to Paint Frosted Glass

Frosted glass jars after removing the mask - Image by Christmas Crafts

Frosted glass jars after removing the mask - Image by Christmas Crafts

What You'll Need

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Prepare your glass surface

If you're upcycling glassware, remove all traces of wax, grease, or grime by washing them with warm, soapy water, then let them dry. Cleaning a new glass jar is easier. Spray it with rubbing alcohol, then wipe it with tissue paper.

2. Add your mask for design

You can use decal stencils or cut stickers from static cling window film for the design you want for glass jars.

3. Spray with frosted glass paint

Bring your glass outdoors before spraying it. Add a light coat of spray paint, then let it dry before adding another coat. For glass jars, one to two coats are enough to give it a frosted effect.

4. Remove the mask

Once fully dry, remove the sticker carefully. Your glass jar is now ready to use!

Here is the video showing how to paint frosted glass:

How to Frost a Glass Window

Frosted cabinet door - Image by GardenFork

Frosted cabinet door - Image by GardenFork

While you can use a static cling window film to add more privacy to a room, it does not have the same allure as a frosted glass effect. Follow these instructions to make a DIY frosted glass and achieve that etched glass effect for your cabinets, windows, or doors without using glass etching cream.

Things You'll Need


1. Remove the glass pane from the frame

  1. When adding a DIY frost effect to a used bathroom window or door, remove it from the window casement, door frame. You may leave the glass tabletop on or remove it as well if it has a wooden frame.
  2. Some crafters forgo this step. Instead, they carefully add painter's tape to cover the edges of the window or door frame.

2. Clean the glass pane

  1. Cover the table you're working on with a few sheets of newspaper to protect the glass. Make sure it is on level ground.
  2. You may need to soak it with a glass cleaner or wash it with warm soapy water, then use a glass scraper to remove stubborn grime. 
  3. Use old newspapers to remove the first layer of dirt or grease, spray more glass cleaner, then give it another go of old newspapers before wiping it down with a lint-free rag.
  4. Before adding a mask or spray paint, allow your glass to dry thoroughly.

3. Tape the glass

  1. Tape the glass to a flat surface, the outer surface downside on the table to protect your frosted glass from outdoor elements. You may also skip this step if working on small pieces of glass.

4. Mask the glass

  1. This step is unnecessary for windows and doors unless you want to add a design to your window. Use craft paper or stickers cut from static cling window film to attach to your window so that it won't leave any adhesive marks.
  2. For glass tabletops, you may use craft paper or painter's tape for delicate surfaces if you're going for a trim effect.

5. Spray paint your glass pane

  1. For larger glass surfaces, decide how much of the frosted effect you want before spraying. For more privacy, as when frosting a bathroom window, go for two coats or more. 
  2. Let it dry before adding another coat after adding two to gauge if you need another coat.
  3. You usually frost it for a decorative etched glass design for a table, so you don't need more than one coat as long as you applied it evenly.
  4. Don't be tempted to overspray in one go. It is easier to correct if the glass is still transparent than when it is almost opaque.

6. Remove the painter’s tape

  1. Remove the painter's tape and the stickers carefully once the paint is dry. Do not attempt to touch the paint before its recommended drying time to avoid any damage to it.

7. Reassemble the window or door

  1. For your window or door, reassemble them with its casement or door frame. Do the same with the wooden frame for your frosted glass tabletop.
  2. Be careful when handling your frosted glass when reassembling to avoid scratches.

Here is the video showing every step:

How to Frost Glass Without Using Spray Paint

Frosted hurricane glasses decorated with decoupage and decals

Ever wonder if you can replicate the sea glass effect in your craft shop? No worries because you can, and without even using spray paint! 

After the paint dries in 24 hours, you can have a slightly opaque frosted glass with a bit of texture evident on etched glass using etching cream. Best of all, you can use different colors instead of just white.

Things You'll Need


  1. Clean your glassware (wine glass, candle holder, mason jar) with rubbing alcohol and tissue paper. Let it dry well before painting it.
  2. Prepare your supplies by flipping the paint bottles upside down after shaking them for a bit. Shaking it will mix the paint well and prepare it for painting.
  3. Leave at least half an inch on top of the wine glass to protect yourself from unnecessary exposure to toxic substances. If you're using the glasses for decors, it's okay to frost the whole glass.
  4. Add a few drops of your enamel acrylic paint on a sheet of parchment paper or palette paper, then press your dabber to it.
  5. Lightly dab the dabber on the glass, but refrain from swiping it to achieve that textured effect. Let it dry for 24 hours. Once the paint is dry, it’s like regular frosted glass. 
  6. You can paint designs or add decoupage or decal stickers to the frosted glass.

Frosting a Mason Jar With Mod Podge

Frosted mason jars - Image by Stuff Moms Have Time For

Frosted mason jars - Image by Stuff Moms Have Time For

If you don't have spray paint and no etching cream, you can still make DIY frosted glass with glue and food coloring or your stamp reinker. You can also use Mod Podge for a more durable finish instead of regular glue.

Things You'll Need


  1. Clean your glass with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or lint-free rag.
  2. Add Mod Podge (dishwasher-safe) and a few drops of food coloring into a paper cup, and mix with a popsicle stick.
  3. Pour the colored Mod Podge into the mason jar and swirl it around to coat the inside.
  4. Turn the mason jar on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the excess Mod Podge drip for an hour and a half.
  5. Bake the mason jar at 250oF for 1 hour.

Frosting Glass with Milk

Frosting glass with milk - Image by Alexandre Chappel

Frosting glass with milk - Image by Alexandre Chappel

Crazy idea, right? Turns out, it works well if you're looking for a temporary glass frosting treatment for your house. It works well and pretty easily too. Plus, you save money by using some leftover milk to create a DIY frost effect on your kitchen windows for your Christmas decor, for example. 

Do we hear some reactions to this crazy DIY idea? No, it does not have any foul odor that may attract insects.

Things You'll Need


  1. As usual, clean your glass windows with glass cleaner and wipe them with tissue paper.
  2. Pour the 4% milk into a roller basin. Note: the higher fat content creates a more even but slightly transparent frosted effect.
  3. Apply an even layer of milk with a roller, giving it two coats to have a more opaque result. Let it dry overnight. No need to add more coats.
  4. To clean it off, use any of your trusted glass cleaners and wipe it off with a rag, and you'll get your clear glass window again.

How to Remove Spray-Painted Glass Frosting

When you no longer want that spray-painted glass frosting on your table or window, removing it is a lot easier than you think. You don’t even need harsh chemicals, just a bit of muscle strength and patience will do. 

Things You’ll Need


  1. Add a good amount of glass cleaner to your frosted glass. Let it soak for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Rub your cleaning pad on one part of the frosted glass. Rub vigorously but with controlled pressure, or you’ll shatter your glass.
  3. Repeat several times until you remove the spray paint.


Did you enjoy this tutorial? We hope we gave enough DIY ideas on how to paint frosted glass using frosted glass spray paint instead of using glass etching cream. You'll get the same etching effect to your windows and doors for your house without spending much time and money. 

Do you think you'll enjoy doing projects with frosted glass spray paint? Share your experience with us. We'd love to hear from you.

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