How to Paint on Candles; It's Easier Than You Think

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How to paint on candles is easier than you think. Here are the instructions on how to paint candles.

I love to paint on candles. They make wonderful, heartfelt gifts for year round uses--and let's face it, everyone loves candles! I hope that you will enjoy these tips and my technique to add to your collection of crafting projects. It's also an economical way to give wonderful gifts at a fraction of the cost. So, if you're ready, kick off your shoes, grab a cup of coffee, and let's get creative. This is a list of the items you'll need.

1 candle, preferably a pillar of any height.

1 can of flat spray paint, any color.

An assortment of colors of acrylic paints.

An assortment of brushes; I like the white synthetic-fiber ones.

1 can spray-on clear coat in either gloss or matte.

Chalk in either grey or white, depending on your back ground color.



1) First of all, wipe down your candle with alcohol. This will remove some of the grease and oils from the surface; allow the alcohol to dry.

2] In a well-ventilated room or outside, spray your candle lightly with your spray paint (light coats cut down on drips and "runs"). Make sure that it's a flat spray paint, as the flat paint will allow the paint to adhere so much better; it gives the candle surface some "tooth". The first coat may streak a bit, but no worries as the second or third coat should cover it. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly between coats. Allow the candle to dry overnight for the best painting surface.

3] You can now use the chalk to begin to draw out your design. Use a light hand as the wax from the candle is a little persnickety, and you don't want to create indentations on the surface. Once your design is on, the fun can begin. (If you have the confidence to paint freehand, omit the chalk step.) Use your imagination, and you'll be amazed at just what you can paint on them. Once you're done, allow the paint to set in for a few hours or overnight.


4] To finish, spray several times (again, lightly!) with clear-coat, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. I do this about 5 times.

That's it. It's easy and fun. For those crafters who attend shows (the season is coming--and gift-giving holidays after that), this is a great item that does well. When displaying them at a show, keep them in the shade if you're outdoors. The sun is a candle's worst enemy whether painted or not--and it doesn't do the paint any favors, either. What I do at my shows is to use a step system, using little boxes to for height, and scatter some glitter or some sequins for a knock out show.


Judith Barton
Posted on Apr 20, 2012
mary marlowe
Posted on Aug 16, 2009
Posted on Aug 16, 2009