Introduction: Reverse Glass Painting

About: I’m a self taught artist, homeschooler, wife, 3 dogs....sometimes I travel the comic convention scene selling my fan art. Living in the humid weird southeast United States. I always have something brewing! …

I was inspired to make this piece after seeing a beautiful print of roots in a catalog.

The 36” square framed print cost almost $1000! My piece is much smaller at 9” x 12”.

The shadows on the wall from the painted roots are enchanting. It looks 3 dimensional as you walk past this piece of art. I think this technique would look wonderful on 3 or 4 frames hung in a group. This project could be done on any size glass and frames.

I’ve included PDF patterns of the 3 painted layers that will work in 8”x10” to 9”x12” frames


For this project I used.....

  • 2 9” x 12” double glass frames
  • multi surface paint in brown and gold
  • black tape
  • glass cleaner
  • rubbing alcohol
  • rags, paper towels, cotton pads or cotton balls
  • small paint brushes

Step 1: Getting Prepared

Your acrylic paint must say MULTI-SURFACE in order to adhere to the glass properly. It's generally easy to find in the craft paint section of craft stores and big box stores.

Take the glass out of the frames and clean thoroughly. Use your glass cleaner on both sides of the glass. Then wipe the side of glass you'll be painting on with rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad or ball. This will remove any oil or residue left on the glass so the paint will adhere properly.

Print the root patterns or find inspiration online

Step 2: Painting

Paint on glass with a very dry brush. Pat the paint brush dry on a paper towel after cleaning off paint. Make sure the brush is quite dry again before dipping back into the paint.

Place glass on printed pattern paper. Make sure the side you cleaned with alcohol is facing up to be painted on. The glass stays put nicely. There is no need to tape anything down

Use a chisel edge brush and a fine lining brush to create wiggly roots. Try to keep your hand up high and off the glass

Begin with gold highlights on the bark area of the tree. Paint freely and have fun. Things aren't precise in nature!

Paint 3 pieces of glass this way using a different root design on each

Step 3: Assembling

Dry paint overnight

With a couple of lint free rags carefully buff out any fingerprints. If you have been very neat and careful you won't have fingerprints to clean up like me!

DO NOT rub the painted areas of the glass!!!

Make 4 tiny puffy squares from black tape. These will be used to create air space between the glass layers.

The painted side of the glass is the BACK side that will face the wall, not the viewer.

Place the frame flat on a towel or blanket on the table.

Place the first piece of glass in the frame with the painted side up

Place one black tape square on each corner of the glass.

Place the next piece of glass in the frame on top of the tape squares. The two painted pieces of glass should not be touching each other.

Place 4 more puffy tape squares on each corner of the 2nd piece of glass. Now you can lay on the 3rd piece of glass with the paint facing up.

You can see in photos a close up of my tape pillows between the layers of glass.

Close the tabs on the frame to hold the glass in place and hang to display.

Glass Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Glass Speed Challenge