How to Paint a Glass Light Fixture

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass light fixture

  • Paintbrush

  • Primer

  • Acrylic paint

  • Stained glass paint or Krylon Stained Glass Color


Make sure to paint the outside of the light fixture and not the inside. The colors and design will show up better this way.


The fumes from the stained glass paint and primer can be bad for your health and give some people headaches. It is best to paint outside or in a well-ventilated room.

Painting a glass light fixture is a creative way to spruce up a room. It can make a glass lamp cover prettier and more colorful or make the harsh light from an overhead light fixture softer. A light fixture can easily be painted at home with a few supplies, a little time and a design idea.


Step 1

Clean the light fixture. Before painting, remove all dust and dirt from the light fixture so that the paint goes on smoothly. Brush dust off the glass fixture, rinse it under water to remove any extra dirt and allow it to dry thoroughly before painting.

Video of the Day

Step 2

If you are trying to soften a harsh white light or want a translucent background color for your design, spray the fixture with stained glass paint. If you just want to add a nice design or detail to a glass light fixture without adding a background color, skip this step. Following the directions on the paint can, spray a thin layer of stained glass paint on the area of the fixture you want tinted. Use the paint in a well-ventilated area, and allow it to dry thoroughly. According to the product description for Krylon Stained Glass Color, the spray needs 20 to 30 minutes of drying time.


Step 3

Apply the primer. Use your paint brush to apply a thin layer of white primer to the area you want to paint with acrylic paint. Do not plan to cover the entire light fixture with acrylic paint designs because the primer and acrylic paint will not let enough light through, and your light will not light up a room. The primer makes the acrylic paint stick to the glass better. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before painting over it.

Step 4

Paint a design. Use the acrylic paint and paintbrushes to paint a design of your choice over the primer. Allow the paint to dry before putting the new-and-improved glass cover back on the light fixture.


references & resources

Lisa Chinn

Lisa Chinn developed her research skills while working at a research university library. She writes for numerous publications, specializing in gardening, home care, wellness, copywriting, style and travel. Chinn also designs marketing materials, holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and is working toward a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.