Craft Product Review: Overview of Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid


One of the biggest hush-hush buzzes this year at CHA was the debut of Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid. (Remember my foray into the secret locked room to get a sneak peek?) Now, however, the secret is out, the products are on the shelves- and in the hands of yours truly!

Now, there are SO many products in this line that I’m going to have to break them down into a whole series! Today, though, I thought I’d give you the 101 on the line of paints, which promise to work on multiple surfaces without special preparation. Here’s how they are described on the website:

Transform everything from curtains to glassware to flower pots with the first multi-surface craft paint available! Martha Stewart Crafts, premium acrylic paints provide superior coverage for all fabric, wood, glass, ceramic, plastic, and metal craft projects.

Offered in a range of beautiful colors and five high-quality finishes: satin, high gloss, metallic, pearl, and glitter, inspired by her original glitter colors, Martha’s craft paints resist fading and wear, are ideal for indoor or outdoor use, and even safe for dishwashers.

This paint comes in a staggering 160 colors in the aforementioned five finishes. (And they are certified non-toxic, too.)

Now, I did get to see  a swatch of the finishes at CHA- and they looked amazing- but nothing beats a good old SWATCH TEST! (I am nothing if not consistent.) I used a piece of cardboard box to see just how well the paints covered with one, two, and three coats:

Another view of the swatch so you can really see the difference between High-Gloss and Satin finishes.

As you can see, all but the Glitter covered well in just two coats. Since the Glitter paint is the odd man out, let’s first talk about the Satin, High Gloss, Metallic, and Pearl paints. All of these have a creamy, smooth texture and are the consistency of hot fudge. There is almost no odor, too.

The Glitter Paint is, of course, a “gritty” texture suspended in a transparent base. My favorite was “sugar cube”- swoon- which featured a lightly tinted lilac base with super-duper iridescent glitter! The glitter is actually a fine grit- and comes in both “bright” and “iridescent” versions.  Did you notice that the Glitter Paint I used on the swatch test is green, but looks purple in the second view?

Yeah. It’s awesome like that.

The base is lightly tinted and transparent- perfect for letting the glitter shine through!

I can best show you, though, on these snowflake samples.

The top snowflake is unprimed/unsealed, and has one coat of Glitter paint. You can barely see any color in the paint itself- which allows the maximum sparkle to come through! The second one is base coated with Satin paint on one half, with some of the same Glitter paint layered on top. I love that they complement each other, and the glitter base is light enough to let you layer the paints for a really customizable look!

Now, I wanted to play with the satin and gloss paints a bit, so I base coated this birdhouse. The blue is satin finish, the red is high-gloss. (By the way, I LOVE this red- it’s the best hue of red I’ve ever used. Seriously.)

You also can really see the difference in sheen after just 2 coats. I’m also happy to report that the High Gloss paint isn’t tacky to the touch after it’s dry- although it’s hard to tell by looking at it when it IS dry! I decided to embellish the little birdhouse with all of the finishes of paint- gold metallic trim, high-gloss black stripes, glitter to accent the roof, and pearl green stems & grass.

I used the fine tip to draw the leaf accents.

Now, we expect acrylic paint to work well on porous surfaces like paper mache, cardboard, and wood. But the Martha Stewart Paints are also listed as a great paint for non-porous surfaces. Time to put that to the test with a little bit of stenciling on a glass ornament.

I used the adhesive “Holiday” stencils.

I used the Gold Metallic paint on the “Merry Christmas” stencil- I literally used a craft stick to spread the paint on. I let each coat dry in between, using glitter paints for the snow flake and pine trees. I finished it off with “Sparkle Texture Effect” to act as snow (more on that product later this week!) Here’s my finished ornament:

Super cute, right? But what is more impressive is that I tried to flake off the paint with my thumbnail- you know, just to see if it would lift up. And it didn’t! Furthermore, I read on the package that if you let it cure (air-dry) for 21 days, it will even be dishwasher safe in the top rack. Wowza!

I also used a number of tools- sponge brushes, paint brushes, and stencil brushes- and they all cleaned up easily with just a drop of hand soap and tepid water. I love that the paint covers well but still has easy clean-up. Score!

So let’ talk nitty-gritty. Right now the paints & accessories- even some cool starter sets- are available at They are also rolling out the displays in Michael’s stores– my local one has the products, but not all are set up yet. The prices are really varying right now (especially at HSN, where you can find some great introductory specials) but on the average it’s under $1.99-$2.99  per 2 ounce bottle.

Considering that it works on so many surfaces, and has SO many gorgeous colors and finishes, it’s really a good paint. And when I tell you about the different mediums you can use it with (coming in a few days) it’ll really blow your mind!

Feel free to leave me questions in the comments section & I’ll do my best to answer them for you!

Disclosure: Samples provided for review. Please support CTD by using the affiliate links below! 

About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. jengd says

    Thanks for the review- sounds like some great stuff! I probably wouldn’t have looked at it twice before this review, just thinking it was more acrylic paint in a tube. I’ll definitely have a look now.

  2. Dawn Ritchie says

    Awesome review. Michael’s just sent out a coupon for 40% off the paint, so I’m going to try to snag some!

  3. shannon says

    I just don’t know why we have to have MORE paint! MORE glitter etc etc. I mean there are 3 major companies right of hand that do this… and then to know it is made by Plaid for her…why? I think SHE should have endorsed Plaid.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. manda - says

    Thanks for posting your review. We picked up some Martha Stewart Plaid paints the weekend and have been anxious to use them on some glass. Orders keep us from really experimenting and the one chance I had was foiled by three noisey kids. Go figure!

    But from what I have used of it, it is extremely creamy. But not in a bad chunky thick FolkArt kind of way which is so nice. It is … as silly as it sounds “dreamy” to paint with. I’m curious about mixing the colours to make different hues. Of course, the same finish with the same finish.

    Very pleased to have seen your review. Thank you agian!

  5. says

    I’m curious about how well this works on fabric. I just saw it yesterday at my local Michael’s when I was in search of textile paint. I ended up buying the fabric medium to mix with a different paint I had for a certain project, partly because I liked the color I had better than the colors available (I was looking for a sort of champagne color; the color range IS really nice) and partly because it seemed weird to use it on fabric… Michael’s also didn’t have the prices for the paint on the display so I wasn’t sure just how expensive they were! Looking forward to your other posts on this stuff. :)

  6. says

    I am eager to hear if anyone has tried these new paints from Martha on slide tins? I cover the tops of these with textured polymer clay, but don’t like the look of the shiny unpainted silver-color tin against the earthier clay top. Have tried several paints supposedly designed to cover metal, but not satisfied with results which are streaky and tend to peel off. I do rinse the tins in white vinegar (found this advice on one craft site), but didn’t really seem to help.
    I was about to buy Rustoleum automotive paint (another recommendation), when I stumbled across the announcement for the Martha paints. It seems impossible that one formulation would cover so many types of surfaces, but then again, she is Martha!

  7. chrsiti says

    what is the name of the red high gloss paint you used? it is a beautiful red and I’d love to pick some up!

  8. Brian says

    Ok, so what if you don’t have 21 days to cure on glass? Is the satin paint able to baked on like other glass paints? Need to know soon for wedding favors that I am making. Thanks for your fast response!

  9. says

    If you don’t have 21 days for the MS paint to cure, then I’d go with an enamel paint that is indicated for glass painting that can be cured in the oven. Plaid manufactures the “Enamels” paint line that works this way. Good luck!

  10. Rae says

    Hi – I picked up some of this paint to paint some cake stands that I picked up at the thrift store, but now I’m worried it isn’t safe for direct contact with food. Is there any type of clear gloss that is food safe that I could cover these with? Thanks so much!

  11. Robyn says

    I bought several colors of the Pearl finish and the Glitter finish at Michael’s on sale. Using the MS adhesive stencils, I am finding that the Glitter finish does not cover as well as I would like. I then colored in the image with Stickles and the coverage was much better. The stencils are very delicate and did not clean up with water, spray stamp cleaner or StazOn cleaner. Martha recommends a cleaner that I will have to buy on the next trip. I am not sure if I will keep the glitter paints. Perhaps using several layers, allowing drying time in between will help. I wanted to use them in card making, but I think Stickles and Smooches are better suited for paper.

  12. says

    Robyn- I think the problem is your expectation of the Glitter paints. LIke I mention in my reivew, the base is tinted- not opaque- so it’s really not meant to “cover”. It’s also a craft paint, and not really meant for paper crafting. Stickles and Smooch are absolutely better for cards, scrapbooks, tags, etc- but I do like the MS Glitter paint for adding sparkle/shine to home decor projects on wood, terra cotta, glass, tin, and paper mache.

    PS- I aso kept a tray of warm soapy water handy (a few drops of dishwashing liquid), and as soon as I used the stencils I dunked them into the bath. They cleaned up fine with a sponge if you get to them while the paint is wet. Hope this helps, -Jenny

  13. gina says

    do you know if you use the pain on ceramic mugs could they be used and washed and the paint will remain intact?

  14. says

    Gina- you can paint on glass or ceramic and, as long as you let it cure 21 days before washing, the paint will stay put. I actually ran mine through the dishwasher and it came out OK! There may be directions for heat-curing the paints, too, but I don’t have them handy. Good luck! -Jenny

  15. Carmen says

    I am wondering if it is really true that it will last on ceramic coffee mugs. I am new to all this and saw these paints at the craft store so I bought them and painted on a coffee mug i found at goodwill…now i have ‘orders’ for people wanting me to make some for them but i want to make sure the paint will really stay on. i used these on already pre-glazed coffee mugs and only painted on the outside of course. If I wait the 21 days will this cure and be safe to wash? Thanks so much! Just wondering if I needed to put some kind of sealant on it or anything?

  16. says

    Carmen- I did put the glass pieces through the dishwasher, and the regular and metallic paints came out OK. (The glitter paint was applied very thinly and it did lift a bit.) So….theoretically- YES, it will stay on, and “no” there isn’t a sealer to use (you’d have to worry about that peeling off, anyway)….so go ahead. But I would suggest that the pieces be handwashed to preserve the life of the mug! Good luck, -Jenny

  17. says

    I just finished a project and a blog post about my first encounter with Martha’s paint line. I was excited to try it and agree totally with the choice of colors, the texture of the paints and how wonderful the glitter paint is. All went well on my project until the end when I sprayed my painted project with the enamel spray to finish it and protect the surface. Yeah. um. yuck. Back to the drawing board.

  18. says

    Hmmm…. I don’t think so. Usually it’s the dishwasher that makes paint fade, but I guess we’ll have to try microwaving….

  19. Beth says

    I contacted the company and they said it was not recommended to microwave. I have been using these on travel mugs and have sold a few, but have not had a chance to test in the microwave, that’s why I asked, if you do test and get any results please let me know. Thanks!

  20. Denise Batalha says

    I just wanted to let you guys know, since I was curious and needed to get projects set and done in a few days due to my forgetful sister, I have researched and found a project using all MS products on glass (I’m assuming the same could be used for ceramics). The project had Baking directions… this is the project: . The instructions for baking are as follows: Bake Method – Allow painted item to dry for 1 hour to be sure all layers of paint have dried. Place project in cool oven, Set oven temperature to 350ºF and bake for 30 minutes. Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage. Do not place glass in hot oven. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off. Let glass cool completely in oven. Do not use for 72 hours.

    Seems similar to most other enamel products for ceramic, as I have one in particular, but for those who fear breaking anything, once it dries, it’s just a little tacky, so if you’re packaging, just be careful, otherwise, really nothing to worry about. I know from experience from using enamel on lids (I’m super impatient) and painting ornaments last year. I let them dry overnight and hung them on the tree!! I hope I was able to help!!!

  21. says

    I don’t think so. Baking just hastens the chemical process that sets the paint. I think you’d have to look at whether it’s a ceramic or plastic mug, too, to know for sure how microwaving effects the paint job in the long run.

  22. patti says

    i have been using the martha stewart glass paint…. should i be painting layers or will one layer be okay without have problems with washing off?………….the pieces that i have worked on and let dry for a week are losing paint when i wash them…………………………

  23. patti says

    oops…another question…i stopped baking glass because i was convinced the fumes were toxic. do you have any knowledge about this?
    thanks for you help, patti

  24. says

    Patti- you CAN head the glass to help it cure the paint faster, and the product is listed as “non-toxic” so it should be perfectly safe for your home oven. If you are NOT going to cure it with heat, you MUST GIVE IT 21 DAYS before washing. Good luck!

  25. Kari says

    DONT trust the 21 day cure rule. We did, and the mug I painted lost 3/4 of the paint. It was very upsetting to say the least. I’m going to try the oven cure next time, hopefully it works.

    Otherwise, LOVE these paints. The texture and the colors are just great.

  26. patti says

    thankyou for your answer about heating the glass…… you know whether only one layer of paint is sufficient. i havent read any directions about that….thanks so much!

  27. says

    Patti– whether or not you need more than one layer is dependent upon what kind of coverage you want & how thickly you apply it. Experimenting on a practice piece is always a good idea.

  28. Cheryl says

    Hello! A little late on the post, sorry. I was wondering if you have tried Martha’s paints on plastic? I want to paint some plastic Easter eggs. I am a bit skeptical about the paints staying on plastic. I will be using the eggs for an outdoor Easter Egg hunt – for as many years as my kids are interested — so the paint needs to stick on rain, shine, or snow. What do you think? Possible? I love the colours available! I want to paint the eggs the 7 colours of the rainbow.

  29. Barb says

    I Have tried painting on glass with MS paints using a stencil several times & every time it spreads beyond the stencil. I have used the tape & even the spray adhesive. what am I doing wrong? Please let me know

  30. says

    Barb, are you using traditional plastic stencils? Unless they are very very small and your surface is exceptionally flat, I recommend you use adhesive vinyl stencils. They are available in big-box stores. You can also make your own either with an electronic die-cutting machine like the Cricut OR using an exacto blade. If you don’t want to buy the sheets of vinyl, then you can also use contact paper…but watch out- it’s much stickier.

    You can also read more about the Martha Stewart vinyl stencils here:

    I hope this helps- good luck!

  31. Barb says

    I had asked about stenciling on glass and you told me about box stores stencils or a cricut. I do have a cricut when I make a stencil with my cricut do I have to take stencil off right after I paint it on or can I let it dry. Is enamel a better paint for doing this on glass? If I don’t want to wait 21 days, can I bake in oven what degree & how long?
    Thanks so much for the help

  32. Beth says

    Hi does anyone know if the High Gloss finish from MS is not toxic too? The package does not say, nor does PLAIDs website…..

  33. Anonymouse says

    Can I use this paint on fake leather shoes? I am planning to paint a pair of oxfords mint.

  34. Anonymouse says

    Also can you please tell me the color name for the satin paint you used in the swatch test? I just adore that color~ ^^

  35. alanna says

    are these paints food safe? I know they are non toxic and in my mind that means food safe?? I am painting a serving platter.

  36. says

    Alanna- I don’t know that information off-hand. I’m guessing (!) that once they are cured, the answer is yes. But contact the manufacturer (Plaid) just to make sure. Good luck!

  37. says

    HELP! I’m working with MS Crafts Frost glass paints and I need to know what to use to thin the paint down? I’m doing a project where I need to thinly coat the inside of mason jars (to be later used as luminaries) however the paint coming directly out of the bottle is way too thick. Any suggestions? I’ve tried using a paint brush however I cannot achieve the even coat, I get paint lines. :(

  38. says

    Kathy- to get the most even coverage, I’d recommend using the MS Spray Paint system for frost glass paints. And if needed, you can thin the paints with water.

  39. Paula says

    I just purchased this paint at Michaels. Wanting to paint design using small stencil on aluminum cane. Haven’t heard anything mentioned about aluminum yet. Paint does state it can be used on metals. Any feedback?

  40. ally1982 says

    I have just been using the satin and glitter paints on separate glass projects. I used self adhesive vinyl as my stencils. I allowed the first coat to dry for 1 hour and then removed the stencil to see how it looked. As i removed the stencil the paint also came away, leaving traces of the paint on the glass in parts. What am i doing wrong. I have also tried removing the stencil whilst the paint is still wet but although the paint remained it didn’t provide a clean edge. I will also need to do a few coats so this really isn’t an option. Do i need to prep the glass first with something? This is my first time painting glass so i may be missing something simple! Please help!!!!

  41. says

    Ally- don’t despair! First, make sure your surface is clean by using rubbing alcohol to clean the glass. Then, apply your stencil and burnish down the edges so paint does not seep underneath. Next, dab on your paint with a foam brush or pouncer. (Brushes leave streaks and don’t provide good coverage. You can also use a squeegee.) While the paint is still wet, carefully remove the stencil. Clean up any smears with the corner of a business card to carefully scrape away unwanted paint. Let dry 24 hours and then heat-set. Good luck!

  42. says

    Ps- multiple coats are tricky. You might stencil the first coat, then hand-paint subsequent coats until the desired opacity is reached.

  43. Laurie says

    Non-Toxic does NOT mnean food safe. Even a MS project calls the paint “not food friendly”

  44. Shannon says

    I have a question about the pearl and glitter paints – I want to use them to add some sparkle and shimmer to plastic frames that I’m using to make earring holders for my little girl and her friends. Since the Krylon review is terrible, I wanted to know if these paints will actually stay on the plastic? Thanks!

  45. says

    I was wondering if you had experience with the Martha Stewart Sprayable Enamel Finish? I’m ready to purchase, but want to know if it’s necessary if I’m already using the MS paints (on glass). I really need them to be durable for washing. Thoughts??



  46. says

    The MS glass paints do not need a finish to make them safe to wash. In fact, it may actually create an undesirable film on the glass. Just use the glass paints as directed, paying attention to proper curing time BEFORE you wash. :)

  47. Katz says

    Hi Jenny,

    I make metal rings (jewelry). I couldn’t find any of MS enamel paint/kits at my local Michael’s store so I purchased MS multi surface metalic paints instead. Will the paint still work on metal jewelry? Also, I use Mag & Aluminum Polish to put a nice shine on my rings. Will the paint still be there if I use the polish?


  48. says

    I’m not sure that the multi-surface MS paints will be at all like the enamels- after all, the enamels were really a kind of 2-part epoxy resin. Since I’ve never used the polish you mentioned, I certainly cannot guarantee that the two will be compatible. If I were to make a suggestion, I’d try the Vintaj patina paints and the coordinating sealer in place of the MS enamels. Good luck!

  49. MWilder says

    Hi Jenny – awesome review, thank you! I was wondering if you have tried the paint on any plastic surfaces? I’m looking for a water-based, non-toxic plastic paint and Martha’s version seems to keep coming up in google. Have you had any luck on plastic? Any help you can provide would be appreciated!

  50. Tanya Jayne says

    Hi, I’m very curious as to how the paints smell. I’m sensitive to chemicals and was encouraged by the ‘non toxic’ label on these paints- thinking they may not smell strong either or of any harmful substance .
    I have tried looking up what the ingredients exactly are and can’t find any information.
    I’m wondering if any of you who have used the paints have noticed any smell … and what it smells like.
    Do you know of any other glass paint that don’t have a smell or strong sent?

  51. says

    Tanya- these have a very mild traditional acrylic paint smell…. but I had to basically put my nose right into it to smell them. As a rule, water-based inks and paints will have a lesser odor than ones that are solvent- or oil-based. And since scents are subjective, you will probably have to purchase a bottle to sniff and test on your own. I cannot tell you if it will be strong for YOU, but for me the scent is almost non-existent.

  52. Stacey says

    There’s been a lot of chatter about food-safe paint. Does anyone know of any paint that is food safe? I’m trying to paint a platter and need something safe that will be in contact with food.


  53. says

    If you are going to serve food on a surface that you want to paint, your best bet is to go to a pottery shop that uses decorative paint that can be fired in a kiln. Once it is fired/cured, it’s permanent and non-toxic.

  54. says

    I have Martha Stewart multi-purpose Pearl acrylic craft paint. I painted the inside of a vase and it came out beautiful. My question is: can this paint be thinned with water to make it a little runnier. I found the thickness helped cover the inside of the vase that I painted but it was a little difficult to spread without the help of a brush due to the thickness of the paint. Thank you for your assistance.

  55. Cindy Cottrell says

    I’m looking for food safe paint for the galvanized metal trays I’m planning on crafting for Christmas presents this year. I would like to find a spray paint, because it is quicker. I would really appreciate a quick response because I have quite a few trays to complete. Thank you.

  56. says

    Cindy- there really IS NOT any paint that is considered consumer-level that is safe to eat from. All of the paints suggest painting UNDER glass, or only around areas that will not come in contact with food. And spray paint is CERTAINLY not considered food-safe. Ceramic paints, which are fired in a kiln, are the only approved way of adding decoration that is food-safe. Sorry to disappoint you!


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