How To Paint Bottles With Acrylics: A Cheap And Easy DIY Craft Project

Ethnic-inspired painted bottles

Painting on bottles with acrylics is a creative and exciting art form. It is very easy to make, and you can use different techniques to paint your glass bottles. 

You could use a design stencil or something more freeform, like using your fingers or pouring paint over the bottle and then wiping off what you don't want. Whatever method suits your fancy!

Well, here are a few tips on how to paint your old bottles using acrylics to make a unique painting for your house or as a gift!

What You'll Need

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Clean the glass bottle

Clean the glass bottle with glass cleaner, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. You can also wash it with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid.

If the bottle has a label, you can soak the bottle in warm, soapy water or activate the glue using a heat gun so you can remove the label easily.

After washing, rub the glass bottle with a clean paper towel or lint-free rag to remove any watermarks or prints from your hand before painting.

2. Paint the base coat

Apply the base coat or background to your glass bottle. The base coat is the paint you apply before painting the actual design and is not visible to distinguish the two. For base coats, use white for lighter paints and black or gray for darker paints. 

On the other hand, the background is visible to the viewer and contrasts the painting, so it pops out. If the painting is dark, use a lighter background and a dark background if the painting is light.  

3. Add the details

After adding the base coat or background, add the details. You can use several styles for your painting - mandala, landscape, still life, anime, etc. 

You may also use 3D outliners for dimensional effects on your glass bottle paintings. 

4. Embellish the painted glass bottle

Decorate the finished project with charms, seashells, rhinestone, beads, abaca rope, feathers, or burlap

Painting Bottles with Acrylics

Night and Day Landscape on Glass Bottle

Night & Day Landscape on Glass Bottle
Night & Day Landscape on Glass Bottle - Image by
Content Arts

This glass bottle depicts the night and day landscapes. Use painter's tape to delineate these paintings. You can add a fairy light inside the bottle. The unpainted line along the side of the bottle makes the light inside visible.

What You'll Need


  1. Clean the glass bottle with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.
  2. Line opposite sides of the bottle with painter's tape, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.
  3. Paint your day landscape on one side of the bottle and the night landscape on the other side.
  4. Seal the glass bottle painting with a clear acrylic spray.

Dot Mandala on Wine Bottles

Dot Mandala on Wine Bottles
Dot Mandala on Wine Bottles - Image by
Lydia May

Dot mandala is one of the easiest yet most complex designs because you need to create a proportion for your design. However, it does not require special tools since you can use a pencil, Q-tip, or toothpick to make your mandala pattern. 

For this project, you will paint inside the bottle to keep it smooth on the outside. 

What You'll Need


  1. Mix acrylic paint of your choice and flow medium into a plastic cup. Mix well.
  2. Pour the mixture inside the bottle, then swirl the paint inside to cover all the sides.
  3. Once dry, see if there are translucent areas inside the bottle. Add more acrylic paint and flow medium mixture to achieve an even coating. 
  4. Add the mandala pattern on the bottle using the makeshift tools or the dot stylus. It is best to have a printout of the reference image, especially if you're new to mandala painting. 
  5. You may seal the glass bottle painting with a clear acrylic coat. 

Glittered Silhouette on Painted Wine Bottle

Glittered Silhouette on a Painted Wine Bottle
Glittered Silhouette on a Painted Wine Bottle - Image by
Kashmira Art

Get inspired with this fairy-themed glass bottle painting that's nice enough to hang outdoors to add muted lighting on your porch, especially when entertaining friends.

What You'll Need


  1. Paint the bottle with white acrylic paint after removing the label and cleaning it well. 
  2. Cut out the fairy silhouette printed out of thick cardstock while waiting for the bottle to dry. 
  3. Apply glue on the cardstock cutout and add glitters of your choice.
  4. Cut out stars from glitter paper using a star puncher (or any pattern you like. 
  5. Glue the stars on the bottle. 
  6. Wind a length of beading cord (use the same color as the glitters) around the lip of the bottle. Use glue or hot glue to secure the beading cord around the bottle opening. 
  7. Snip off any excess cord. You may also add a loop of yarn to hang your lamp. 
  8. Drop a string of fairy lights into the bottle for a lovely night light or outdoor lantern. 

Finger-Painted Milk Bottle Vase

Finger-Painted Milk Bottle
Finger-Painted Milk Bottle - Image by

Finger painting is an excellent way to create art without mastering a paintbrush. For details, you may need to use a fine paintbrush. Overall, the result is lovely, and you can make vases or any inspired DIY decor.

What You'll Need


  1. Clean the glass bottle and let it dry.
  2. Divide the glass bottle by wrapping the painter's tape around its middle. 
  3. Paint the upper half with white acrylic paint using a sponge dauber. Let it dry. 
  4. Remove the painter's tape and paint the lower half with red acrylic paint. You can also use any color you prefer. 
  5. Once dry, add white and red acrylic paint to a palette or any container but don't mix the colors. If you used other colors for the lower half, use it instead of red. 
  6. Make petals on the bottle using your forefinger by touching it to the white paint and then red paint. Repeat until you have covered the middle of the glass bottle with flowers.
  7. Add details using a fine paintbrush. You may add twigs, leaves, and paint drops to the bottle. 

String-Painted Glass Bottle

String-Painted Glass Bottle
String-Painted Glass Bottle - Image by
Krafts Tale

String painting is another technique you should try for glass bottle painting. This technique is so easy that even kids can do it with minimal adult supervision. 

What You'll Need


  1. Paint the glass bottle you want to use with any color you want. Choose one that contrasts nicely with the colors you want to use on the patterns.
  2. Once the paint is dry, cut a length of thread, about double the length of the area you want to paint.
  3. Drop the thread into a palette with the acrylic paint you'll use, leaving about 2 inches for you to hold.
  4. Slowly position the thread on the bottle, following a long curved line.
  5. Place a scrap of paper over the thread and pull it off. Remove the paper slowly, careful not to damage the pattern you just used.
  6. Let the first pattern dry before adding the subsequent designs. 
  7. Add more details as desired. You can also add rhinestone for more sparkle to the finished product. 

Animal Print Painted Glass Bottle

Animal Print-Painted Glass Bottle
Animal Print-Painted Glass Bottle - Image by
Crafts CM

Animal prints are easy-to-make patterns for your glass bottle paintings. You can use this upcycled bottle art to decorate your bookshelf or add a single bloom for an attractive vase. 

What You'll Need


  1. Paint the bottle with white acrylic paint. Add a drop or two of the acrylic medium to improve adhesion. 
  2. Add the leopard pattern using black acrylic paint all over the bottle. 

Stenciled Leaves on a Glass Bottle

Stenciled Leaves on a Glass Bottle
Stenciled Leaves on a Glass Bottle - Image by
Meria Prince

Here is another simple technique to try. Though this design uses leaves, you can use any stencil you want. The talcum added to the black acrylic paint mutes the glossiness, so the colors of the leaves (or any pattern you wish to) stand out. 

What You'll Need


  1. Paint the bottle with black acrylic paint and let it dry thoroughly before adding the stencil. 
  2. Add some talcum powder to a palette and slowly add black acrylic paint until the talcum dissolves in the paint. It should have a runny consistency, so don't oversaturate it with talc.
  3. Transfer your leaf pattern to the bottle using the leaf stencil and a pencil.
  4. Fill the leaves with the colors you want. Use vibrant colors that contrast nicely with the dark background. 

3D Painted Wine Bottle

3D Painted Wine Bottle
3D Painted Wine Bottle - Image by
Kashmira Art

Here is another idea to upcycle your empty bottles into beautiful art projects. Instead of just painting, stick some burlap ribbon, foam flowers, and charms for a lovely 3D wine bottle. 

What You'll Need


  1. Remove the label from the wine bottle and clean with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel.
  2. Paint the bottle with white paint with a sponge dauber.
  3. Make lines on the wine glass with painter's tape.
  4. Paint the wine glass with monochromatic colors or whatever color combination you want.
  5. Adorn the painted wine bottle with burlap ribbon and foam flowers.
  6. Glue a word charm and rivets on the bottle using hot glue.

Glass Bottle for Pet Lovers

Glass Bottle with Pet-Themed Painting
Glass Bottle with Pet-Themed Painting - Image by
Jyoshita Ghate

Try creating beautiful DIY projects for pet lovers on your empty bottles. With just a few craft supplies and a little bit of imagination, you can have fun for hours without spending much.

What You'll Need


  1. Dab white acrylic paint on the glass bottle and let it dry well.
  2. Add a small square of skin tone paint on one side of the glass bottle.
  3. Cut out a dog and cat figure to mask the shape, then add black acrylic paint around the mask.
  4. Paint the rest of the bottle with teal acrylic paint (or any color you prefer).
  5. Add paw marks all over the blank spaces on the bottle.
  6. Wrap a short length of jute rope around the neck of the bottle.
  7. Brush 1-2 layers of gloss varnish to seal the painted bottle.

Desert Scene Night Light

Glass Bottle Night Light
Glass Bottle Night Light - Image by
Vajax Artwork

Turn any wide-mouthed bottle into a dramatic night light by painting a desert scene on the glass bottle. The light inside the glass bottle seems like the setting sun in a desert background.

What You'll Need


  1. Paint the milk bottle or juice bottle, starting with a lighter color to a darker one.
  2. Draw a silhouette of a tree (or any design you fancy) on the bottle.
  3. Drop a battery-operated lamp or a string of fairy lights inside the bottle for a colorful night light.

Tips For Using Acrylics on Glass Bottles

Always start with a clean glass bottle.

Clean your glass bottles from dirt, grime, or oils from the bottle with a glass cleaner, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, or simply soap and warm water. Allow for at least 30 minutes before applying acrylic paint to ensure that the surface is completely dry. Otherwise, the moisture may lift the paint off the glass surface.

Choose the right acrylic paint.

When selecting paints, you should consider the color range and transparency. Acrylics generally provide darker colors with an opaque finish, but you can choose from a glossy, matte, or glitter finish.

If you have the budget and want your project to last, choose a more expensive brand since they usually have a professional finish than cheaper brands.

However, if you don't have acrylic enamel, you can add this medium for acrylic paint to improve its adhesion to the glass bottles. 

Use the right paint brushes.

Natural bristle paint brushes give a smooth finish, so it is best to use them since synthetic paint brushes are more rigid and leave visible brush strokes.

Use an undercoat properly.

The undercoat is vital to make your painting pop out and doesn't dull your paint color. The rule is to use a white base coat for light-colored paints and black or gray for dark-colored paints. 

Etching improves paint adhesion.

Etching also helps the adhesion factor of acrylic paint. The etching provides a textured surface for the paint to cling better. 

Painting Bottles with Acrylic FAQ

Can you paint glass bottles with acrylic paint?

Yes! However, use acrylic paint specially formulated for glass and non-porous materials. On the other hand, acrylic enamel has special additives that let the paint cling well to the glass bottle.

What kind of paint do you use on glass bottles?

You can use acrylic enamel, acrylic, and solvent-based glass paints. Always check product specifications for compatibility. However, if you're not comfortable using acrylic, you can always add a medium to improve its adhesion to glass.

Can I use Mod Podge to seal acrylic paint on glass?

Mod Podge is a versatile product that crafters use as glue, finish, and sealer for their projects. When used over acrylic paint on glass, it provides a protective layer of transparent coating. However, Mod Podge comes in several variants, so be sure to check the product specifications.

Can you use hairspray to seal acrylic paint?

If you want to seal your paint, don't use hairspray. Acrylic paints are not waterproof, and so is hairspray. The chemical composition of hairspray may also react poorly with acrylic paint and damage your project instead of protecting it. We recommend clear acrylic spray or Mod Podge instead.


Explore your creativity and try acrylic paints to create unique pieces from upcycled glass bottles. You can turn this craft into a business opportunity or a way to make lovely but practical gifts for your friends and decorate your home. 

Give it a try today with this tutorial so you can start painting bottles tomorrow!

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