How to Paint on Bottles

    by Kristie Lorette

    About the Author

    Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.


    Painted bottles are good for adding decoration to your home, which depending on the style you choose, can range from whimsical to elegant. If you are a home brewer, painted bottles can also protect your beer. Whatever your reason for wanting to paint on bottles, it is a craft project that you can easily tackle at home. Depending on your use, you can either paint a design onto the bottle or dip the entire bottle in paint and choose to add a design.

    Things You'll Need

    • Painter's tape
    • Cardboard, newspaper or sheets of art paper
    • Primer spray
    • Spray paint
    • Clear plastic sheet protectors
    • Craft knife or scissors
    • Paintbrushes
    • Glass or acrylic paint
    • Clear-coat spray paint

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    Soak your bottles in warm water so you can scrape off the labels and easily scrub away the label glue.

    Tape off the lip of the bottle. If you intend to drink from the bottles, tape off the lip of the bottle to protect the area where your mouth meets the bottle from the paint. If the bottle is full and has a cap, then tape off the cap as well.

    Place the bottle on top of a piece cardboard, newspaper or art paper in a well-ventilated area.

    Spray the bottle with primer. Allow the primer to dry according to the instructions on the spray can.

    Spray paint the bottle your chosen color. Alternatively, apply acrylic or glass paint with a paintbrush. Allow the paint to dry completely.

    Create a custom stencil by cutting shapes, letters or designs with the clear protector sheets and a craft knife or scissors. You can also use contact paper, which has an adhesive backing, or painter's tape for straight lines and geometric shapes.

    Tape the stencil to the area on the bottle where you want to paint on the design. Spray paint a different color than the bottle color over the opening of the stencil, or use acrylic paint to fill in the design. If you have the skills to paint freehand, then you do not need to use a stencil. Remove the stencil from the bottle. Be careful not to touch or smudge the wet paint.

    Allow the paint to dry overnight.

    Spray the finished bottle with a clear coat of spray paint, which is also polyurethane. This is a protective coat that helps to prevent the paint design from chipping over time.

    • Use painted bottles as decorative vases, or for serving water at the dinner table.
    • Do not wash painted bottles in the dishwasher because this will damage the design. You can hand wash the bottles with warm, soapy water, and then allow them to air dry on a towel.