Faux Stained Glass Window

I like old windows. I have a few hanging in my house that I’ve repurposed into mirrors using Krylon Looking Glass spray.

Recently, I found some old windows for sale at an antique mall nearby and scooped up two of them. They’re HUGE! And they were just screaming for something amazing to be done with them. Jay and I did some brainstorming and decided it would be interesting to try making it look like stained glass. I found some examples of faux stained glass paint projects online, but a lot of them were either very simple or very small. This project was going to be neither.

First, I had to clean up the windows and make them look decent, which they did NOT when I bought them.

Peeling paint city, man.

Peeling paint city, man.

I sprayed them down with Citri-Strip paint stripper, which took layers of old paint off. Seriously, it was like scraping custard off the wood. Custard you can’t touch with your bare hands.

Use gloves, kids.

Use gloves, kids.

After I wiped all the residue off, I let the wood dry and then painted it. I used a sample size pot of latex paint I found at Lowe’s for $2.


Then I distressed it with a sanding block, since there were a few damaged places in the wood already.



Now for the fun part!

I bought Redi-Lead Strips and a bottle of Black Liquid Leading to seal the joints where the strips came together. I found a stylized version of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night on Google Image Search and kept it up on my laptop for reference while I laid out the “leading” lines for the design.



Completed design

Completed design

Then it was time to start adding color. I used Martha Stewart Liquid Fill Glass Paint because I liked their colors better than the other brands that were available. Since the tree in the foreground is so darkly colored, I decided to do that first and get the hang of how the paint worked.




Because of the consistency of the paint, I figured out I could drop multiple colors into one area and swirl them together to create really amazing looking patterns. (I used bamboo skewers to swirl the paint and they worked really well.)



I tried to stick to the general color scheme of the original painting as much as possible, but also allowed myself to put my own spin on it. It also helped to work with a lamp underneath the glass so I could see bubbles.


Bubbles in the paint were my biggest problem. The black paint in particular was very thin and had TONS of bubbles in it, no matter what I did. I finally settled on filling an area and then going over it with a bamboo skewer to pop all the bubbles I could find before moving on.


Here’s the finished piece.


Backlit by afternoon sunlight.




The area around the stars are one of my favorite parts of the entire piece. The contrast between the rich blue and the yellow just came out looking amazing.



I’m extremely pleased with how it looks. Once it’s dry, the paint really has a “glass” texture to it and has beautiful translucent areas mixed with more opaque areas. I’m already planning the design for the second window.


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3 Responses to Faux Stained Glass Window

  1. Hurky McDerperson says:


    I mean, uh. Awesome. Nice job. Or whatever 😀

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  2. Haley says:

    Whoa, damn! (looks at my own doodles) You’re making the rest of us mortals look bad.

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  3. Irene says:

    can you hang the picture outside

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