The Ultimate Guide: How to Screen Print on Glass

Screen printing is a versatile technique that allows you to transfer intricate designs onto various surfaces, including glass. Whether you want to create personalized glassware or decorative pieces, this guide will walk you through the process of screen printing on glass. From preparing the materials to achieving professional results, we've got you covered.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Materials

To begin screen printing on glass, gather the following materials:

  1. Glass surface (e.g., glassware, picture frame)
  2. Screen printing frame with mesh
  3. Emulsion and sensitizer
  4. Transparency film with your desired design
  5. Emulsion scoop coater
  6. Exposure unit or direct sunlight
  7. Squeegee
  8. Ink suitable for glass printing
  9. Masking tape
  10. Cleaning supplies

Step 2: Prepare the Glass Surface

Clean the glass surface thoroughly to ensure proper adhesion of the ink. Use a mild detergent or glass cleaner to remove any dirt, dust, or fingerprints. Dry the surface completely before proceeding.

Step 3: Coating the Screen with Emulsion

Prepare the emulsion according to the manufacturer's instructions. Use the emulsion scoop coater to apply a thin, even coat of emulsion on one side of the screen printing frame. Allow it to dry in a dark, dust-free environment.

Step 4: Transfer the Design onto the Screen

Print your desired design onto a transparency film using a laser printer or have it professionally printed. Place the transparency on the emulsion-coated side of the screen, ensuring proper alignment. Secure it with masking tape to prevent shifting.

Step 5: Expose the Screen to Light

Expose the screen to ultraviolet (UV) light using either an exposure unit or direct sunlight. The UV light will cure the emulsion, except where the design on the transparency blocks it. The exposure time may vary, so refer to the emulsion manufacturer's instructions for guidance.

Step 6: Rinse and Dry the Screen

After exposure, rinse the screen gently with lukewarm water. The uncured emulsion will wash away, revealing the design on the mesh. Allow the screen to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 7: Position the Screen on the Glass

Place the glass surface on a flat, stable surface. Position the screen on top of the glass, ensuring that the design is aligned correctly. Secure the screen in place using masking tape.

Step 8: Apply the Ink

Squeeze a line of ink along the top edge of the screen. Using a squeegee, apply even pressure while pulling the ink across the screen. The ink will pass through the open areas of the design and transfer onto the glass. Repeat this process until the entire design is printed.

Step 9: Remove the Screen and Let the Ink Dry

Carefully lift the screen off the glass surface. Allow the ink to dry according to the ink manufacturer's instructions. Some inks may require baking in an oven for durability.


Q1: Can I use any type of glass for screen printing?A1: Yes, you can use various types of glass surfaces for screen printing, such as glassware, mirrors, or picture frames.

Q2: What type of ink should I use for screen printing on glass?A2: Look for ink specifically formulated for glass printing. These inks have excellent adhesion properties and durability.

Q3: Can I reuse the screen for future prints?A3: Yes, screens can be reused multiple times. Ensure you clean them thoroughly after each use to maintain their quality.


Screen printing on glass opens up a world of creative possibilities. With the right materials and techniques, you can produce stunning designs on glass surfaces. Follow the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, and don't be afraid to experiment with different colors and designs. Get ready to impress others with your personalized screen-printed glass creations!