Glass Bead Gel: How To Use Glass Bead Gel For A Beautiful Raised Stencil Effect

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I am now officially obsessed with Glass Bead Gel! Have you tried this product yet? I was looking at options for creating a raised stencil effect and found glass bead gel. And well, now I think I want to use it on every piece of furniture I paint!

Glass Bead Gel: Creates Beautiful Raised Stencil full of texture

Glass Bead Gel is a water-based product that contains tiny glass beads in a gel base. It dries to form a durable, raised texturized finish. It is really quite pretty and fun to use and certainly adds a unique look to your makeover projects.

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A Few Fun Things to Know About Glass Bead Gel

  • Glass bead gel is a whitish clear product. It dries clear to opalescent unless mixed with pigments.
  • You can mix glass bead gel with other paints like chalk mineral paints or acrylics.
  • The gel can be mixed with mica powders or other pigment powders or pastes.
  • Use with any stencil to create beautiful raised stencil patterns.
  • The gels takes a few hours to dry. Once fully dry it is a very durable finish.
  • Creates beautiful shimmer and texture.
  • You can use glass bead gel on furniture, home décor, canvases, really any surface that paint products will stick to.
Glass Bead Gel with stencils and metallic paint creates beautiful shine and texture

Here is a little Instagram Reel where I quickly show the process I used for this glass bead gel application and here is a short YouTube video where I demonstrate what I did to apply this Glass Bead Gel.

What Types Of Stencils Can Be Used With Glass Bead Gel?

It is difficult to decide what stencil to use with the glass bead gel. Because there are so many great choices. I’ve seen this used with both Dixie Belle Belles and Whistles Stencils as well as the Redesign With Prima Stencils. The Stick-n-Style Stencils also work very well for this.

The only type of stencil I would avoid is the mesh style stencils. The glass bead gel would not be able to get through the mesh. So other than those types, stencil choice is wide open. However, I did do the script stencil by Finnebar that I’ll list above but it was very difficult. The small detailed design and lettering was difficult and some of the wording smudged. Thankfully I was able to fix those mistakes before they dried but it was tedious and frustrating. So I would suggest avoiding stencils with very tight detailed small patterns, at least on your first few projects.

Redesign With Prima Dotted Flourish Stencil

How To Use Redesign With Prima Glass Bead Gel-Step by Step

Next, I’ll walk you step-by-step through how to use Redesign With Prima Glass Bead Gel. It was simple to use and I’m in love with the raised finish it creates. If you’d like a little more details you can also check out the information on this Redesign With Prima webpage about their Glass Bead Gel.

Step 1: Stir and Mix In Any Pigments

The first step is to stir the glass bead gel and to mix in any pigment products you are using to colorize the gel. There are many options for this. The gel can be mixed with paints, including acrylics, and any pigments like mica powders or coloring paste.

I used the Redesign With Prima Metallic Acrylic Paint in Gold. This is one of my absolute favorite products for adding metallic shimmer to my designs. The Redesign with Prima Metallic paints are so highly pigmented. Honestly, it takes very little to add amazing metallic sheen.

I recommend using a separate container, paper or plastic bowl, to mix the glass bead gel and pigment. Stir well and set aside while you prepare your project. Next you will move on to prepare your project for the application.

Redesign With Prima Glass Bead Gel Mixed With Gold Metallic Acrylic Paint in a plastic tub

Step 2: Prepare Your Project Workspace

The next step is to secure the stencil to the surface. Decide on the best placement and tape off any areas of the stencil you are not using. You don’t want the stencil to slip or move around once the gel is applied. Choices are to tape down the stencil firmly with painter’s tape and hold securely in place during application so your gel doesn’t get under the stencil edges as you apply.

Painter's tape used to hold the stencil in place for the glass bead gel application to prevent slipping

How To Keep Your Stencil In Place

What you don’t want is smudging. You may want to consider using stencil adhesive spray. The spray is applied to the back of the stencil and then holds the stencil in place. This typically produces a nice crisp design. However, I’ve had trouble with the spray leaving a sticky residue on my furniture. This happened with this project. I had to use a Q-tip and Goo Gone to get the residue off. It was a tedious task!

I think the trick with stencil spray is to apply lightly. Let dry following your can’s label and then stick down to your surface. Hopefully this will work better for you. Also make sure you shake your stencil adhesive spray can very well before applying! I plan to try some different adhesive sprays to see works best in future projects and will update my findings.

Step 3: Apply the Glass Bead Gel to Your Stencil

Okay, next up is the fun part. One thing to remember is to have your work surface flat and horizontal. The gel will slide down if you are trying to apply to a vertical surface. For example, if you are working on a drawer front you should set the drawer with the front upward horizontally for the application.

Then, use your putty knife scraper apply small amounts of the gel to your design starting at one edge. Gently bring the gel across the stencil to fill in gaps. But do this slowly and gently. The glass bead gel has a tendency to pop up and splatter if you get in a hurry or push too hard. Next, once your stencil pattern is fully covered, gently remove any excess gel and put it back into the container.

Step 4: Lift Up Your Stencil and Be Amazed

The final part in this step by step process is the best. Holding your breath – no, I’m kidding. You can breathe! But gently starting a one edge peel the tape up and gently lift up the stencil to reveal your design. Be careful not to place the stencil back down or move it as you do this. This will prevent smudging and smearing of the design.

Leave your project horizontal and flat for at least 4-6 hours. Also avoid touching the design. It takes about 4-6 hours to dry. For good measure I generally allow it to dry overnight to be safe. The glass bead gel design will dry very hard, to a glass-like, durable finish. It is a raised, textured finish with beautiful shine.

A Few Other Notes About This Glass Bead Gel Project

The paint I used was Dixie Belle Silk In anchor. Have you tried Dixie Belle Silk Paint? It truly is one of my favorite paint lines now! Amazing stuff and now even more colors available. Anchor is a gorgeous deep black. The cool thing about Silk Paint is that is has built in topcoat and primer. If you’d like to learn more about Dixie Belle Silk Paint check out my blog post on this product line

No topcoat is required for this glass bead gel. You can choose to topcoat if you wish, but it is not necessary. For this project I did apply topcoat mainly because I wanted to give the Dixie Belle Silk a more glossy finish, but that was just my preference for this particular project. Normally I would not topcoat glass bead gel or Dixie Belle Silk Paint. And if you would like to learn more about topcoats for chalk mineral paint check out my blog post.

Choosing The Best Chalk Paint Topcoat: Wax or Poly?


Glass Bead Gel is one of the many products that is used to create a raised stencil. Two things I love about this product are:

  • You can apply plain and it is opalescent and shimmery or you can add pigments. So many options!
  • Creates gorgeous texture, shine, and detailing on your furniture and home décor.

If you haven’t tried glass bead gel I encourage you to give it try. I can’t speak for the other brands, but the Redesign With Prima Glass Bead Gel is fabulous!

I appreciate you checking out my blog post and it you’d like to see a few other related articles I’ll link those below

Also I’ll love to connect with you on social media! I hang out most on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. I’ve just started try to add some Tiktoks if you’re into that too. I’ll link those below:

I’d love to see what you create with Glass Bead Gel. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

XOXO, Abbey

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