The goal of this work was to improve the strength of sintered zirconia (3 mol% yttria stabilized) by surface treatment, using a low expansion glass (Mg3Al2Si6O18) at high temperature. The room-temperature strength was increased by about 42% when the glass was penetrated for 30 min. There was a drastic increase in the Weibull modulus. However, the longer holding time led to grain coarsening and the excess glass deteriorated the strength. The magnitude of the strength increment was on the order of surface stress measured experimentally and thermo-elastic stress predicted theoretically. A significant contribution of phase transformation of zirconia from tetragonal to monoclinic phase on the residual stress was also found. Furthermore, compared to the as-sintered zirconia, the glass-treated sample (penetrated for 30 min) exhibited relatively higher strength at elevated temperature (750 °C) and also showed a significant improvement in the thermal shock resistance behavior.