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My experience with Folk Art Enamel Paints for glass.

The Plaid company  Folk Art Enamel Paints are created specifically for painting non-porous surfaces (any glass, metal, ceramic).  Folk Art Enamels are non toxic and dishwasher safe (once cured).  Before they are dry, the paints can be cleaned up with soap and water which makes working with them easier. This is a completely different type of paint so do not mix or use water with these like you would with acrylics. Additionally, the manufacturer directions say to bake finished items in oven for 30 minutes at 350° or let dry for 21 days to cure completely.  After which the piece becomes dishwater safe if put in the top rack of dishwasher.

Here is a list of the Folk Art Enamel Paint colors that I had to work with:

  • 4001 Wicker White
  • 4017 Lemon Custard
  • 4132 Parisian Pink
  • 4120 Soft Apple
  • 4025 Cobalt
  • 4133 Lipstick Red
  • 4032 Licorice

So what products work well with these, well there are the Plaid Enamel brushes, the Enamel peel-and-stick stencils and the daubers.

Plaid Folk Art Enamel Brushes

The kit came with Folk Art Enamel brushes which have special soft bristles for using with the enamels so you get better results when using them to paint on non-porous surfaces with the enamel paints. They look and feel like the one-stroke brushes but they serve a different purpose.  Look for the light green color (instead of the dark green) on the handle in the painting section of the craft supply stores.

Plaid Folk Art Enamel Peel-and-Stick Stencils

The kit came with these fun floral and the butterfly stencils.  They have a sticky back and stick to glass, ceramic, and other non-porous surfaces.  They are re-useable at least 20 times.  The packaging recommends cleaning them between uses and store them on the mat provided in the packaging.  You can use the Plaid daubers  or the special paint brushes with these stencils, which makes using them easier to use.  

Plaid Paint Daubers Set

The daubers are helpful when using the peel-and-stick stencils.  The daubers can be used to apply the paint onto the non-porous surface. The package has several different sizes so you can achieve a variety of results. 

Testing the colors
The first step was to check the colors to see how they look on a opaque glass surface.  The white background really makes the colors pop.

I also wanted to see how these paints would look on black ceramic, so I painted some of the colors onto the plate surface and was pleasantly surprised to see how well they showed up.

The third sample shows how the colors look on glass.  This give me a chance to see which ones were opaque and which were a little more translucent.

The fourth sample shows the same glass surface on a light source.
This sample really shows how opaque the black and white colors are.  The other colors are more translucent and will show brush strokes if I do not apply the paint properly.  I think the white background shows the beautiful colors off the best, however, the paint looks good on all the surfaces (depending on my brush strokes).

First Project

My first project is to paint a simple picture frame.  I just wanted to see how the paint, peel-and-stick stencils, and the daubers would work on a simple frame.  The first thing I did was wash the surface of the frame and let it dry.  Then I cleaned it again with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils that might have been on the surface.

I covered the frame with some painters tape so I could measure out the lines for the background of the frame.  Then I painted in the white lines.  I removed the tape while the paint was still wet.  Then I painted in the pink.

I used the multi flower stencil from the floral collection (30459).  I placed it on the frame, making sure to press down to secure it before painting the surface of the photo frame.

I used the daubers to paint in the stencils, starting with the yellow followed by
the pink.
Once I removed the stencil I realized the design was too small to work with the large strips that I had previously painted onto the frame.  Thus, I decided to wipe off the paint and start over with a different stencil.

Additionally, there is a small learning curve with the peel-and-stick stencils.  You should practice on a different item with a similar surface until you get the results you are looking for.  Basically it is all about how you load the paint onto the dauber or paint brush.....and how you apply it to the surface.  Truly the simplest results are by utilizing the traditional tap technique.  Just tap onto the surface, the first tap will be translucent.  However, if you want a more opaque result, then you can keep adding layers of color.  I also found that by using white (which is a more opaque color) first and then layering the other colors on top of the white, I got results very quickly.
Repainted with larger flower stencil.

For my second project, I decided to paint a vase that had a cool design on the glass.  I started with the stem.

Then I filled in the rose.  I love the fact that this project was done so quickly with great results.

I read on the Plaid website that these enamel paints were great to use with the "One Stroke" painting techniques.  So decided to try the one stroke technique out on a glass surface.  I started by loading the brush with
Parisian Pink and Wicker White.  Then I painted it onto the glass.  It looked pretty good.

For my third project,

I decided to see how that technique using the enamel paints would work on a ceramic sugar jar.

So I began with the lid which looked like it could be cool with flower painted onto
it.  I used the one stroke technique to blend the two colors together to create petal.  It looked pretty good, especially since it was my first try at it.
I then used the dauber to paint the knob yellow.  Since I did not have orange, I blended yellow with red to create an orange color to finish off the lid.
I tried the same technique on the side of the creamer.
I did not like the way it looked, so I took a baby wipe and removed the flowers.  I decided to paint the rest of the jar with the yellow (Lemon Custard) and pink (Parisian Pink) enamels. 

The Folk Art Enamels are available in 38 colors.  The colors are rich and fun to work with and can be purchased at larger craft stores or on the Plaid website.  I have seen folks paint wine glasses, cookie jars, cake stands, glass dishes, cups, etc.  The designs have varied from floral to funky.  The Plaid website has some video tutorials of Donna Dewberry painting some quick & easy projects with the enamels.


  • Shake bottles well before using.
  • If you are painting a glass, remember not to paint on the rim or any area that the mouth or food could come in contact with.
  • Prepare project for painting by washing with soap and water.  Once the surface has dried, then clean area a second time with rubbing alcohol.  Allow the surface to dry completely before painting it with the enamels.
  • If you don’t like what you made, it is easy soap and water clean up to remove the paint (as long as it is uncured) so you can start over.
  • The Plaid website has all types of fun tutorials, including those by Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza as well as Cathie Filian's own daily blog (of which I am a big fan).

    Would you like to comment?

    1. I've tried other paints on glass and have been disappointed by the results as the paint was not opaque enough. I was considering trying out these Plaid enamel paints and will now try them because of your results. Thank you very much.
      Marianne, UK

      1. Let me know how they work for you. Also, the same company has a new line of opaque glass paints under their "Martha Stewart" line that is supposed to be good for glass. I haven't tried them yet, but will post the result when I do.

    2. How do you get the paint to go on smooth? I have tried the light green handled brushes, but they are too big. And the fine liner brush leaves streaks. I am painting my own design that has very intricate lines. Please help

      1. I used the "One Stroke" brushes instead of the ones that they sell for enamels. I get a better result for those. You can buy them at Michaels for a great price if you use the weekly coupon.

    3. If you cannot get a smooth line with the brushes that are recommended by the manufacturer, then you might want try the brushes from the Donna Dewberry line. They are synthetic and should give a nicer result. I use them for just about everything.

      However, it could also be the paint. Make sure you shake the bottle really well to distribute the chemicals evenly before you start painting. Good Luck!

    4. The main thing that everyone should remember while doing glass painting is that the surface of glass should be absolutely clean and the use of water proof colors to paint glass. Glass Painting is a beautiful art, if done using a proper way.

    5. I am still not clear on what you use to do the final clean up of brushes. I am a painter and I understand that between loading the brush with different colors that you can not use water. I do understand that you can use a paper towel to remove the previous color when using the same brush for another color. Do you just use soap and water for the final clean up or should I be using alcohol?
      Someone had posted to use the clear medium for clean up, but that suggestion did not seem prudent. Any suggestions on the best way to clean the brushes? Thank you!

      1. I checked the manufacturers website, and they are still recommending to wash the brushes off with soap and water.

        Personally, I have enough brushes, that I did not need to worry about removing the paint to use a new color. However, I did give it a try today to see if just washing the brush and then drying it would work. I found that as long as I washed the brushes and removed the excess moisture from the brush before moving onto the next color, it worked just fine. I think the type of brush makes a difference. I use the "one stroke" paint brushes and not the brushes that are sold for the enamels. So you may want to test out the process on your own brushes to see how it works for you.

        Also, the Folk Art Enamels are a lot easier to use than some of the other enamel paints that are sold. Some of the other brands, do not recommend soap and water clean up. Additionally, I recommend reading the instructions on the bottle or refer to the manufacturer website of the brand you are using to insure you are getting the best possible results.

        Good Luck!

      2. Thank you Maria! Like you, I did initially go to the manufacturer's website, but did not find the information that I needed. Thank you again for the quick response!

      3. Try this link to see if they will contact you about the product:
        Plaid is usually pretty good on their customer service so it does not hurt to contact them more than once and ask that they have someone get back to you.

    6. Mine keep coming out translucent I am using the one stroke brushes and have tried the enamel brushes then I loaded the brush with a lot of paint and it just slides off the glass. I was them with soap and water dry thoroughly then clean with alcohol. Any idea what I am doing wrong?

    7. The colors are meant to be translucent so people can use them to paint glasses and dishes. If the paints are not adhering to the glass surface correctly, you might want to contact Plaid to trouble shoot why your paints are not working right. I used the alcohol to remove any surface residue and then heat set the paints. If you are doing the same, then contact Plaid because they should adhere to your surface. Here is a link to the Plaid site so you can contact them:

    8. I am painting some wine glasses as an engagement gift. I am looking for a white that has a metallic shine to it. Do you know of any or if you can mix enamel and acrylic?

      1. Check out the Plaid website for their folk art all purpose paints, they are good for all types of surfaces. Or you can check out the Martha Stewart line of glass paints for metallic colors.

    9. I want to paint some transparent blue glass cabinet knobs aqua. Will the glass knobs still be transparent after using this paint?

    10. It depends on how many layers of the glass paint you paint it with. You may want to look at some of the more transparent brands at your local craft store. The plaid Aqua is a little more opaque and may not give you that type of result.

    11. Does this work on metal? Atin can perhaps? (Altoids)

      1. I haven't tried it on metal but if you test it on metal, please share your experience.

        Thank you!

    12. Are there any tips on how to quickly dry paint when using glass?

      1. Depending on the paint, some of them can be heat set by baking them in the oven. Check the manufacturers directions and/or the website to confirm. I hope this helps.

      2. I forgot to mention that humidity can affect how fast the paint dries.

    13. I have received requests as to how to cure glass in the oven, so below is one example from YouTube that shows the way that Angela Larsen cures glass in her oven.
      As usual, always check with the manufacturers website for exact directions for their products.

    14. Hi can anyone help please? This past few months I have spent endless hours painting wine glasses in preparation for my xmas craft fares that start this week. I have dozens of them done. Decided to give them a freshen up (luckily) and gently washed them, I am absolutely gutted tin find the paint is washing off!! Tried to cure again as previously in oven set to 350 (175c) for 30 mins, put in cool oven etc but paint still washing off. Paints are folk art acrylic enamel for glass �������������� please help!!

    15. I'm hunting semi transparent enamel to use on metal charms. Any suggestions? Thanks

      1. You should check out the blog post by Kathy Davis on this blog at

    16. Would mixing 2 different colors affect the paint itself and how the it would dry?

      1. I blended a few together to change the hue of the color. It dried like it was supposed to. I think as long as you only blend the enamels together, you are probably fine. I would not blend the enamels with other paints from the same company or other companies. For Example, they have a line of plastic outdoor paint, that would not blend well with the enamels and could affect the outcome of the project. I hope this helps.

    17. Please help me I have been trying to paint on a beer mug that I just etched with Armour Etch and I let it dry one hour before peeling off the vinyl I used as a stencil and it pulled off the paint on the etching. What am I doing wrong?? Should I leave the paint on longer??