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Can You Paint Candles? [And How To?]

Candles create a lovely home ambiance, but if they’re not the right color, you might wish to paint over them. Is that possible? For your convenience, we brought you the answer.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

You can indeed paint over candles using acrylic paint, chalk paint, spray paint, or even food coloring. If you give the paint several hours to dry, then you can light the candles safely.

In today’s guide to candle painting, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to paint a candle using the mediums described above. There’s lots of great information to come, so make sure you check it out!

Lit candles on a small plates at a spa, Can You Paint Candles? [And How To?]

How To Paint Candles With Acrylic Paint

Beloved for its fast-drying properties, acrylic paint features pigment that’s suspended in a stabilizer, defoamer, silicone oil, plasticizer, and acrylic polymer emulsion.

Whether you want to paint the candle from its figurative head to toe or paint appealing details like flowers or fruits on a candle, here’s how to do so using acrylic paint.

Two white and gray candles for a stunning spa

First, gather these supplies:

  • Stencils (optional)
  • Acrylic paint in the colors of your choosing
  • Paint sponges or brushes
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Candles

1. Clean The Candle

To help the acrylic paint best stick to the waxy candle, take a lint-free cloth and pour some rubbing alcohol on it. You can also dip the cloth into the rubbing alcohol.

Wipe down the candle and allow it to dry. The candle will be more absorbent after the rubbing alcohol cleaning, which will make painting easier.

2. Begin Painting

Now it’s time to flex your creative muscle and paint with acrylics! There’s no wrong way to do this, so have fun.

Click here to see this acrylic paint on Amazon.

As mentioned, you can use a stencil for ultra-detailed designs or freehand it. You can also work exclusively with paint brushes of varying sizes or use a paint sponge here and there. It’s your creation, so it’s your choice!

3. Allow The Acrylic Paint To Dry

You’ll recall that acrylic paint is fast drying, so wait about 10 or 20 minutes for a thin layer and up to 30 minutes for a thicker layer to fully dry.

If your painted project looks good with only one layer of paint, then you’re done. Should you wish to add another paint layer, at least let the first layer of acrylic paint dry first.

4. Display Your Candles

Once your candles are fully dried, you can display them around the house or even burn them!

How To Paint Candles With Chalk Paint

Two candles and other spa relaxing aesthetics on the side

Another option you have for painting candles is to use chalk paint.

This water-based paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including candles. You should prepare a topcoat, as chalk paint can flake just the same way that writing with street chalk in the driveway can.

Chalk paint is inexpensive though, which makes it an appealing option for decorating your candle.

Before you get started, please gather the following supplies:

  • Sealing wax or topcoat
  • Chalk paint
  • Clean rags
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paint brushes
  • Candle

Now you’re ready to begin!

1. Clean The Candles

As you did before, use rubbing alcohol and a clean rag to wipe down the entirety of the candle with the rubbing alcohol. This will allow the chalk paint to adhere that much better.

2. Prepare The Chalk Paint

Chalk paint can be a bit of a difficult beast to work with, so please check the included instructions on whether yours needs to be mixed with something.

In some instances, chalk paint should be thinned using water. You’ll only need a tablespoon of water for this (or two at most). The information should be clearly printed in the instructions, so defer to those.

Click here to see this chalk paint on Amazon.

After all, if the chalk paint is too thick, it will be gloppy and hard to work with. If the paint is too thin, it will run very easily and make a huge mess.

3. Paint Your Candle

It’s once again time for the most fun part–painting! While you could always use a paint sponge for chalk paint, paint brushes are the more highly recommended tool.

Paint on the candle as you wish, and take time to enjoy the process!

4. Add Another Layer Of Chalk Paint If You Wish

If your chalk paint is thinner, another downside is that it can come out on the candle very thin. You’ll want to paint another coat ASAP.

That said, sometimes one coat suffices, so that’s up to you. Chalk paint dries in about an hour, so be sure to allocate the appropriate amount of time before painting on another layer.

5. Apply The Topcoat Or Wax

To prevent all your hard work from easily chipping off the candle, you should finish your chalk paint creation with a topcoat or finishing wax, which is also referred to as sealing wax.

Apply the stuff over the entirety of the candle, using your clean rag for buffing.

6. Show Off Your Candles

Your candles look great, so put them out for everyone to see.

How To Paint Candles With Spray Paint

Are you handy with a can of spray paint? If so, then you can use this type of paint to create painted masterpieces on your candles.

Now, we must note that you cannot paint with the level of precision and fineness that you can when using chalk paint and especially acrylic paint; it’s simply not possible with spray paint.

A beautiful centerpiece with candles, aroma sticks and a blanekt on the back

If you want to paint the entire candle a new color, then use spray paint. If you’re more interested in adding fine details, then the other paint types we’ve discussed are best.

Here’s what you’ll need for your project:

  • Spray paint
  • Tarp or clean rags
  • Candle

Now follow these steps.

1. Lay Down Tarps Or Rags

You don’t want to accidentally spray paint your walls or furniture when using spray paint, right? We’re sure the answer to that question is a resounding no.

That’s why you need to lay down some rags or a tarp.

2. Choose A Spray Paint Color

Spray paint comes in practically every color imaginable these days, so your work is cut out for you in choosing the right one.

Click here to see this spray paint on Amazon.

Keep in mind that there is no wrong answer, so have fun selecting the right hue.

3. Test The Spray Paint

To get a feel for how far the spray paint will apply, test it out a bit before you begin painting your candle.

4. Paint The Candle

Once you’re comfortable handling the spray paint, cover the candle with the paint. Spray paint usually only requires one coat, but you will get a more vivid color if you apply two coats.

5. Let The Candle Dry Before Painting Again

Spray paint requires at least 15 minutes of drying time before applying another coat, but it takes upwards of 24 hours for the paint to be considered fully dry.

Once it is, you can add your second layer. Then step back and admire your handiwork!

How To Paint Candles With Food Coloring

Okay, so technically, food coloring isn’t paint, but the way that it “paints” candles is so extraordinary that we had to include this method here anyway.

You can melt colorful wax onto your candle, giving it new life!

You’ll need the following supplies first:

  • Craft sticks or dowels
  • Gel food coloring
  • Paring knife or putty knife
  • Double boiler
  • Candle wax
  • Candle

When you’ve got what you need, you can get started with these steps.

A lit candle

1. Shave Candle Wax

Using your paring knife or putty knife, shave down candle wax into flakes, as they will be able to melt quickly. Chunks of wax will still melt, but not nearly as quickly.

2. Boil The Wax

In your double-boiler, take the wax flakes and melt them at about 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Mix In The Gel Food Coloring

Squirt in some drops of one color of gel food coloring (or several colors).

Click here to see this gel food coloring on Amazon.

Be aware that, once the wax incorporates with the gel food coloring, that its color will be diluted, so maybe use a bit more food coloring than you usually would for a vibrant shade.

4. Stir The Ingredients

Stir the candle wax with the gel food coloring until everything is incorporated.

5. Test The Wax Color

To determine if your wax color is what you wanted, allow a drop or two of the wax to drip onto a paper towel. You can always squirt in more food coloring and stir until the color is optimal.

6. Dip Your Candle

While the wax is still hot, coat the candle in the colored wax. Be sure to wear gloves to avoid burns and use craft sticks to keep the candle secure.

7. Allow The Candle To Fully Dry

It can take upwards of eight hours for candle wax to dry, so suspend the candle so the excess wax can drip and dry without interruption.

Once the wax has dried, you will certainly have one very unique candle. Now it’s time to put it on a display shelf or in a candleholder.

In Closing

Lit candles on a small plates at a spa

Painting candles is a great way to express yourself and add new life to boring old candles. Now that you’re aware of your painting methods, we hope you enjoy the process!

Please check out these other posts as well:

How to Light a Candle Without a Lighter [4 Creative Methods]

9 Types of Candle Scents [And Other Important Things to Know!]