Hi, I am thinking of making a recent image I commissioned into a “real” stainglass (In a lighting box) (The original image is 6146x14173)

I am hesitating between 2 method, neither seems correct

  1. Printing the image on transparent vinyl, than stick to transparent acrylic

  2. Make each panel on a coloured acrylic (Don’t know if all the colours exist) than print on them only that part, than mask the joints by drawing over the black parts

The first seems a bit cheating/ unsatisfactory. The second I will need to modify the image by substracting the colour of the underlying acrylic which I don’t know how.

I am open to other suggestions, including making the black parts and than pouring the resin colour, but I have no clue how to do that.

  1. Paint the colors on one sheet of transparent acrylic using stained glass paints (score guidelines with your GF first) and cut a black acrylic layer for the leading lines to adhere on top.
  1. Have your image direct printed on a piece of milk plex (translucent milky white acrylic, the colors and backlighting will work better than using clear acrylic) by a professional sign shop and cut a black acrylic layer for the leading lines to adhere on top.

How thick for the black leading lines?

Maybe a bit of both.
The parts with a lot of small detail can be printed, while large area sections can be inlays. I once used inlay, with 3D engrave border and engraved photo to make a simple chunk of MDF look awesome.

I played with the acrylic as stained glass look for quite awhile and was happy with the results. I was working from scratch though, so did not include any high detail segments.
Some tips in link as well. Take a look.


I made this by engraving the “black” lines, then filled with acrylic paint before removing the rest of the masking which was fun for a design this complicated. Then colored with alcohol ink pens. First time I’d tried anything like this, looks great in the window. It’s about 5" diameter. All hail the great noodly appendage


I tried to do marquetry inlays in wood (Padauk and walnut) in the past, and it was a disaster. I lost everything trying it, so I am hesitant to go that path without having an easy way to hide the crimes/ large margins. and I like the idea of using stain glass paint, but I am afraid it will make printing over it harder.

If you search the forum for “stained glass” you’ll find quite a few very nice projects that feature a stained glass effect. Here’s one I did that might be similar to your first listed process:


I would highly recommend reaching out to Casey & Angela at Smokey Hill Laser. They can do a pantone print on clear acrylic that might work for you. They are super to work with for custom requests and everyday orders.

NOTE: They sell ($20?) a sheet with the pantones printed on the acrylic if you request it (you can’t use art pantone swatches) they are printing on a different material (acrylic and not with paint). Worth a try and they are super helpful with ideas.


That would be a purely aesthetic choice - 1/4” and 1/8” are the easiest to get.
What size do you think the light box will be?

The image is currently 20x47in if at 300 DPI.

It would be tough to get all of the detail, this way, but my daughter and I had a lot of fun cutting out the spaces between the black lines and filling them with tinted resin.

There is a little bit of a learning curve to this method, if you go this route.

wow never heard of those products.

thanks for the heads up.

though having done stained glass, I think I’d just end up getting out the cutter,the grozing pliers, and the foil tap.

but holy smokes that is a slick way to get the effect!!!

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My issue is the level of detail vs my capacity to draw fine details (which is poor at best)

exactly, and working with real glass super detail is not really going to happen. that’s what makes this paint set so interesting.

You can also sublimate directly into clear or white cast acrylic. White works better for fine detail. The image is a sublimation of an ocelot skin into 1/16" white acrylic.


I’d go with 1/8” for the black layer myself then.

You’re welcome! I’ve used the Vitrail in professional projects several times - it’s pricier but the results are gorgeous. Quality of light through the pieces is just like colored glass with incredibly vibrant colors.

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