My grandmother has been painting holiday window displays for over forty years. And she has been using the same exact paint and process as long as she can remember.
To her, there is absolutely no substitute for bottled craft acrylic. That’s right. Just acrylic craft paint. The type of paint you find for ninety-nine cents a bottle at your local arts and craft store. There is a wide variety of colors, so you don’t have to worry too much about mixing just the right color while outside. The colors are vibrant and easy to work with. And they last.
Not once has she ever received a complaint that her painting technique can’t be washed away easily. With some regular window cleaner and paper towels, it wipes right off. There are a few key tips to remember to ensure the highest quality work possible.
The work surface has to be clean. Bring your own glass cleaner and simply wash off whatever window area you’ll be painting on. Once dry, it allows the paint to stick easier and spread better.
The image should be planned. You should know what you are going to paint before you show. Try to have reference pictures with you to ensure accuracy in design. A planned window painting job will go much smoother than an improvised one.
Outline the image first. My grandmother swears by her black magic marker for this. Draw the outline of whatever you will be painting on the window. The black magic marker wipes off very easily – just a little bit of water – so it’s easy to correct mistakes. The outline makes it that much easier to paint because you have an exact guide on the window.
Remember your painting order. Unlike a traditional canvas, blending window paint is a near impossibility. You need to remember to layer the painting properly so the whole image shows. If you are painting for an outside view from the outside, go from the background of the picture to the foreground. If you are painting for an outside view from the inside, go from the foreground of the picture to the background. This is why outlining all of the details is great. You know where you can paint without covering up another part of the picture.
Patience. Like any type of art, window painting takes time. Do not be concerned if you can’t finish a piece in one session. It’s ok. If you are being paid for the job, be honest with the employer. You’ll come back to finish it, but you can’t do anymore at that time. They’ll understand.
Window painting can be a wonderful decorative accent for any time of the year. By using simple acrylic craft paints and planning your project, you can expect great results every time.