Painted bottle vases

Upcycle old glassware to make mod or shabby-chic decor.

Milk glass is opaque milky, white glass, often used for pristine bottles, vases or lamps that accentuate both modern and shabby-chic decor. It's gorgeous and easy to make. It's a fantastic use of recycled glassware and one of the easier upcycling projects. Check out this DIY project to make your own or create a special gift.


  • Glass bottles or vases
  • Glossy white spray paint
  • Newspaper or paintable surface
  • Skewers or sticks
  • Weights
  • Scrub brush


1. Scrub the glass bottles completely clean and rinse the insides. You can also run bottles through dishwasher, if you have one. Make sure all traces of labels or dirt are gone, and that the bottle surfaces are clean.

2. Prep painting area. You can either use a surface you don't mind get painted or cover with newspaper.

3. Insert skewer into bottle, handle-side out. You're going to hang the bottle out with a skewer in one hand, spray paint with the other.

4. Evenly spray paint all over the bottle. Wind, spin or lightly dab the bottle to spread paint while it's wet or make sure coverage is even.

5. Hang bottle on skewer to dry. Use a weight to hold down the handle-side of the skewer while the bottle air dries without touching any surfaces.

6. Apply additional coats, if needed. Just be careful not to overdo it or clump paint. You want the paint to be opaque and smooth.

7. Let dry completely before touching the bottles. Note that dry times vary per paint, climate and bottle surface. Give it at least a day.


  • Make several milk glass bud vases and gift with brightly colored flowers
  • Turn a boring lamp into a milk-glass masterpiece
  • Use either pristine white or bold-colored lampshade to make a statement
  • Seek bottles with unique shapes, designs or words on them
  • Turn your empty post-party liquor bottles into a milk-glass collection
  • Paint a color other than white (something lighter) for a different take