Window Painting

“Bring love and light to a long dark winter”

Have fun creating a colourful window painting using simple materials: masking tape, poster paints and a drop of washing up liquid. It’s a lovely technique which anyone can try; you can make your artwork as intricate or simple as you like!

What You’ll Need

To create your window painting, you will need:

Photo of paint in yoghurt pots, cloth, washing up liquid, newspaper and masking tape.
  • paper and pencil
  • poster paints and paint brushes
  • masking tape
  • washing up liquid
  • old yoghurt pots or similar for mixing your paints

The masking tape will be used to create an outline on the window, like the lead of stained glass. Once your design has been safely taped on, the colour will be applied. First follow these steps to make your design really special.

STEP 1: Ideas…

Quickly sketch imagery to use in your design.

Example of designs on paper including tulips, a sun on blue background

Thinking about our theme of “love and light” and the time of year, I’ve sketched hearts, blossom and spring flowers, a sunshine or even a lightbulb! Remember to keep your sketches simple – you are going to recreate them in masking tape and paint, so nice bold shapes work best!

STEP 2: Design

Use one or more of these ideas to help you create your design. They will make great cards or pictures to send to people too!

Window template - simple portrait frame on A4 paper.

This simple frame is a great starting point. You can use the central rectangle for your main design and then use simple decoration for around the edge. Play around with the shape of your frame so it is a good fit for your window.

Repeated Pattern – “radial symmetry”

This simply means repeat your pattern around a central point, a bit like petals on a flower.

Start by drawing a cross. Add one of your sketches, then repeat in each quarter. Each sketch will be the mirror image of the sketch diagonally opposite. Add 2 or 3 more sketches in a similar way to develop your design.


Draw a wavey line or a zig zag; whatever shape you like! Now sketch your shapes and arrange them around the line; perhaps they will form a pattern or maybe they will appear to be falling from the sky!

STEP 3: Now for the painting!

First, ensure your window is clean and dry, or your tape won’t stick down very well! Next use masking tape to create the entire outline of your design. To help add detail, you can cut or tear the masking tape in half. To add shapes or curves use shorter pieces of tape.

– Before you get your paints out, clear the area you will be working on and cover any nearby surfaces, particularly the window sill which may get dripped on!

– Prepare your paints! Add a drop of washing up liquid to your paints; this will help the paint to be more easliy removed later.

  • Now carefully add your paint colours onto the window. Avoid washing your brush too often by working methodically and completing each colour application before moving on to the next colour.
  • To clean your brush, rinse in a jar of clean water, then dry on kitchen towel or old cloth. Having a wet brush will thin the paint and make your colours run. If the colours seem pale, wait for the paint to dry a little then add another layer.
  • Your window painting is complete. Try putting some fairy lights in the window if you have some around – the lights will shine through the colours in the dark.

Take a look at some of our other Light Up Lockdown activities.

Gallery Oldham