How to Paint Window Stencils

By Fiona Fearey ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Soap
  • Sponge
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towels
  • Stencil
  • Spray adhesive
  • Enamel paint for glass
  • Palette (optional)
  • Stencil brushes
  • Rag
  • Dish soap

Stencils produce clean, even designs for many different kinds of decorating projects. Although most common for painted wall borders, there is no reason that stencils can’t be painted on windows as well. You will need to select paint that is specially formulated for use on glass. You should stencil on the inside of the windowpane to protect your images. If you plan to use any numbers or letters, reverse them so will read correctly from outside. When it is time to change your decorations, simply scrape the paint off with a razor blade or palette scraper.

Clean your glass with soap and a sponge. Rinse the glass with water. Wipe the area that you will be stenciling with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. Make sure the glass is free of lint and grease.

Spray the back of the stencil with a light film of spray adhesive. Allow the spray adhesive to dry to a tacky finish, which should take no more than a few minutes.

Position the stencil where you want it on the glass. Press gently on the stencil to adhere the stencil to the glass surface.

Use enamel paint from the container or mix custom colors on a palette. Do not add water to the paint.

Dip the tip of your stencil brush in the paint. Wipe the brush off on a rag to remove most of the paint. The stencil brush should remain fairly dry. Hold the stencil brush perpendicular to the glass. Gently tap the tip of the brush against the glass to deposit a thin, even layer of paint. Go over the edges of the stencil repeatedly to make sure the edge of your stenciled design is crisp and completely filled in.

Use a different stencil brush for each color. Wash the brushes frequently with soap and water to keep paint from drying permanently on the brushes.

Gently peel the stencil off the glass. Wipe off any wet paint left on the stencil with a rag. Reposition the stencil for your next design.

About the Author

Fiona Fearey has an undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree from New York University. She has been a freelance writer and editor for over five years. She has written for Pluck on Demand and various other websites. Other professional experience includes education, the arts and decorative painting.