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How to paint your next window display

How to paint your next window display

It's no secret that window displays are vital for gaining new customers and increasing foot traffic in your store. When people walk by, the street-facing displays can make or break their decision to walk through the door.

As you dream up designs for upcoming window displays, consider the merits of using paint directly on the glass.

Why paint is a good option
If you decide to include paint in your window display, you'll find there are endless ways to do so. Beyond the different types of paint out there, it's a versatile way to add dimension to your layout. Here's why you should give it a shot:

  • You can mix and match paint colors to create the shade you're looking for. There aren't any limits on the hues you're able to use, which often isn't the case with other materials such as paper and fabric.
  • It's easy to wash most types of paint off of glass with water, window cleaner and a razor blade. However, The Window Woman explained that acrylic paint specifically made for windows may be permanent, so be sure to read the labels before you begin.
  • Don't have time to make a sign for the store displays? Simply use a window marker to write the information on the glass. Those also come in an array of colors so you can add personal touches.
  • Because you can wash the paint off, it's super simple to change your window displays. It can also be less expensive than using props, particularly for seasonal or holiday-themed designs.
  • Adding paint to your arsenal of display design tools means you have new opportunities to engage the community and your fans on social media. You may want to contact to local student groups to see if they'd like to paint a window. Extending the offer to a Girl Scout troop or art club is a wonderful way to show your business appreciates the community that supports it. Alternatively, reach out to people of all ages with your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts. Use these platforms to organize design contests, where people submit their ideas and the winner gets to make their vision into a reality.

Tips and tricks for retailers

  • Preparation: It's important to wash the surface in advance, according to the Window Woman. You can use regular glass cleaner, but steer clear of products that say they repel dust or water, because they may repel paint as well. Be sure to thoroughly wipe the windows down so there aren't any streaks.
  • Acrylic: This is a great choice for painting on glass, especially if you're planning on applying it to the outside of the window. Craft paint is just fine for the job.
  • Tempera: Another option for window paint is tempera, although it's more likely to peel off than acrylics. The Window Woman recommended tossing your older supplies and sticking with one brand to avoid flaky paint. You can find washable tempera, but it's likely to be more transparent than the non-washable variety. 
  • Writing: In addition to window markers, dry erase markers work wonderfully on glass when you want to display words rather than images.
  • Brushes: It's nearly impossible to use paint brushes on your window and have it look streak-free when the light shines on it, WindowPainting.org explained. If you're painting a large area, you can use a roller brush for a clean look. However, foam brushes are a great inexpensive option for smaller sections.
  • Removal: The paint needs to be moist if you want it to come off easily. You can use water or glass cleaner to wet the window, then let it soak in for a minute or two. Scrape the paint off with a razor blade – it should come off fairly easily – then clean the window as usual. WindowPainting.org warned that acrylic house paint is more difficult to remove, but it's also a possibility for window displays.