If you have any fabric paints lying around, put them to a new use: create colorful works of art to decorate your sliding glass doors.
Decorating your sliding glass doors can be a challenge. If you use them frequently, the decorations must be placed on the outside of the door, or only on one side so that the other door can be opened. You must use light decorations as well, since they must be adhered to with suction cups on the glass. Window stick-ons are an option, but it can be costly to get enough to cover the two large surfaces, since they are usually small, most elements not visible at a distance. They can also be difficult to remove and store to be used again.
If a holiday or special day in your family is approaching, consider using fabric paints to brighten up those large doors. Your designs can be large, more visible, and much more unique. The effect is wonderful; in the day time the colors shine through the window like stained glass, and at night, the lights in the house shine outward and illuminate the paintings.
Fabric paints make a great medium for decorating sliding glass doors. Fabric paint is thicker than regular tempra paints, and don’t drip when you paint on an upright surface. They are also easier to clean up.
When painting your glass doors with fabric paints, you will want to paint it on the inside of the door. Humidity and moisture will cause your design to run if on the outside. Make sure you cover the surrounding floor with a drop cloth or old towels well (nothing you wouldn’t want to stain), because if you spill any paint on your rug, you will have a tough time getting it out. Small drops can be removed with some paint remover, but larger blotches will prove more of a challenge. Don’t wear anything you would be upset about staining, either; accidents can always happen, and the paint will not come out of clothing.
If you are confident in your artistic abilities, all you need to do is grab a few bottles of fabric paint and a couple of brushes and begin to paint your design. I have painted some stunning murals on our doors, such as the grim reaper lurking ominously with his sickle in the doorway at Halloween, or Santa decorating a tree at Christmas time. If you need to make an outline first, use a dry-erase marker; they won’t stain your glass, are light, and can be painted right over.
If you prefer, can stamp out designs onto your glass doors. You can cut out shapes from foam rubber, styrofoam, large sponges or flexi-foam sheets, which are available at most craft stores. Simply cut out the shape in the size that you desire, brush the paint onto one side of it with a paintbrush, and press it firmly to the door. Be careful not to slip or slide your cut out; simply lift it and pull away. You can create wonderful leaves for the fall, spring flowers, Easter eggs, or winter snowflakes, for example.
Don’t disregard making your own stencils out of sheets of cardboard, or purchasing stencils in the craft paint department that are generally used for wall borders. Hold or tape the stencil to the glass and, using a round brush, tap the paint on until the surface is covered. Then, pull your stencil away to reveal your design.
Remember if you are writing a message on the door, such as, “Happy Birthday,” or “It’s A Boy!” If you want the message to be read from the outside, you will have to write the letters backwards, or, if you are using a stencil or home-made stamp, turn it backwards.
Don’t be afraid to jump right in and experiment with your ideas, no matter how worried you are about your artistic abilities. The best thing about painting on your doors with fabric paints is that, if you make a mistake, simply clean the error off with a few paper towels and try it again.
For clean up, simply get into your old clothes or smock again, put a drop cloth or old towels down at the bottom of the door to cover the tracks and surrounding floor to protect the surface. You can scrape off the majority of the paint with a metal spatula or spackling knife; it will easily flake off the glass, which afterward can be cleaned as usual. You do not want a breeze to come by when you are doing this, so keep the doors shut and the fan off. You can also wash it away with a wet sponge or paper towels, if you prefer, though this will cause a great deal of dripping and take a lot of elbow grease. Again, while the paint won’t harm your glass, it will discolor anything absorbent, so don’t use anything you wouldn’t want to stain.
If you are really feeling creative, try painting your windows (keep curtains, drapes and blinds away until thoroughly dry!), or even mirrors, to match your decorative doors.