Stained Glass Painting with Oil – the Brushes You Need

The essential brushes for painting glass with oil

Yes, everyone starts by painting glass with water.

But, when you are fairly confident with using paint and water to trace and shade, you’re definitely ready to start with oil.

Oil is for everyone – not just for the “professionals”

You see, water doesn’t get you very far (despite what all the other books say or don’t say).

At some point you will hold yourself back unless you work with oil.

You can mix oil with glass paint, for example Reusche tracing black).

You can also mix oil with silver stain.

Here’s the list of brushes you must have to paint with oil on glass:

  1. A matting brush
  2. Various short-haired tracing brushes
  3. Various round-headed badger blenders

What you can do with oil (and not with water)

The main benefit of oil is, unlike water, it dries slowly. This means you have more time to do whatever work you want to do.

Once you’ve worked a little with paint and water, you’ll immediately see how wonderful this must be.

And, if you’ve ever tried to paint with stain and water, you’ll be overjoyed to discover the ease and beauty of using stain and oil.

Why you need these brushes

First up, be absolutely clear, you mustn’t mix up your oil-based brushes.

That is, you need one set for your tracing paint and another set for your silver stain.

Otherwise you’ll contaminate the result and probably destroy your work.

Simple as that.

You’ve been warned. So let’s continue.

Oil-based stained glass painting

Here we’re talking about painting with oil on top of unfired water-based glass paint.

And if you don’t know about this, you need to.

See, doing this will let you shade like you’ve never shaded before.

Imagine being able to push your shadows wherever you want them.

Imagine being able to make them as light or as dark as you wish … as large or as small as you wish.

Imagine being able to correct and adjust things until you’re absolutely happy.

Welcome to the world of glass painting with oil

Now as with water-based paint what you don’t want to be doing is starting out with tracing! That would be madness. No, what you must do first is paint a light wash of oil over the entire surface of the unfired glass.

And that’s why you must have a matting brush like this to apply the wash of oil:

A perfect applicator for oil-based stained glass painting

A perfect brush for applying a light wash of oil to the entire surface of the glass

Then you take a small round-headed badger blender like this:

Perfect for oil-based paint and also silver stain

A lovely brush to smooth away any wrinkles in your oil-based wash

… and smooth away any minor wrinkles in the oil-based wash.

Amazing but true:

This will barely disturb the unfired water-based paint beneath!

After that, you’re ready to use your tracing brushes to add shadows wherever you want them.

And then you take your round-headed blender again and move and soften the shadows however you want.

If you haven’t seen this video before, sit back and watch it now:


Another bonus for you: here’s the start of the three-part mini-series about oil-based stained glass painting.

Advanced glass painting tools

Oil-painting brushes from PELI Glass

Some of the professional oil-painting brushes from PELI Glass

So that you don’t need to waste time shopping around, PELI Glass has collected all you need and put it in a single kit for you:

  • A 1 inch matting brush to apply the wash of oil
  • Two round-headed badger blenders (sizes 2 and 4) to shade and soften your paint
  • Three short-head sable tracing brushes (sizes 2, 4 and 6)
  • A palette knife

The Advanced Glass Painting Collection from PELI contains the brushes and tools you need for oil-based glass painting and also for oil-based silver stain (to avoid cross-contamination, you need a separate kit for each).

You can find PELI Glass here and ask for the “Advanced Glass Painting Tools“.

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