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Can Candles Be Painted? (What to Know Before Trying It)

Can Candles Be Painted? (What to Know Before Trying It)

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You can decorate candles in a variety of different ways. Candles have been used for thousands of years. In the beginning, they were used for illumination at night, but now that there are more advanced methods available, most people prefer using candles as a means of improving the aesthetic appeal of their house.

There are now a variety of different kinds of candles available in the market. You can buy conventional pillar candles, as they are quite convenient and can be placed anywhere in the house. All you need is a reliable surface to keep the candle on, and you are good to go.

Candles are also available in jars, which makes it incredibly easy for you to light them without having to worry about any issues. The candle can be lit up in the jar, and any time you want to extinguish the flame, you can just snuff it out. It doesn’t require a lot of effort, and it’s also incredibly convenient.

Most candles usually smell nice, but when you take a look at the design, it seems quite impersonal. If you were thinking of giving a candle to someone as a gift, you might want to personalize it a bit. One of the best ways to do so is by painting the candle.

However, it’s not easy to paint a candle. In fact, the slick and waxy surface of the candle makes it virtually impossible to keep the paint on.

The standard craft paints that you find in the market are unable to stick to the candle surface. Not only that, but you also can’t paint first on paper, and then apply the paper to the candle.

That’s because candles are flammable, so you are going to have to make use of a special mixture designed primarily for candle painting. So, while candles can be painted, you will have to make sure that you use a suitable solution.


Hand Holding Isopropyl Alcohol

The first step is to dab a very little amount of rubbing alcohol on a lint-free cloth. Then, you need to wipe down the sides of the candle as properly as you can with rubbing alcohol to remove the oils that have been caught on the surface. You will also need to do this to get rid of a bit of the sheen from the surface.

This process is necessary and will make it easy for the paint to adhere to the wax. Then, you need to mix a bit of candle-painting medium and some acrylic paints together.

You will want to mix the two together in a small disposable container, or on a paper plate, and then stir them with a paintbrush.


Several Artist's Paintbrushes

Then, all you need to do is paint the desired design on the candle with the help of an artist’s paint brush. You need to allow the paint to dry before you decide to paint with another color or before you handle the paint properly. If you want to get a better design on the candle, you might want to use a stencil.

You can stencil a gorgeous design on the candles by stenciling over the candle. Just hold the stencil with your free hand or make use of painter’s tape to get the job done.

You will want to secure the stencil carefully against the wax. Then, use your brush to add the acrylic paints through the gaps in the stencil. Then, just carefully remove the stencil to showcase the design.

For the best results, you will want to make use of unscented candles. There are several scented candles that contain a variety of essential oils that usually make the surface of the candle considerably less receptive and makes it difficult for the paint to stick to the candle.

Also, you need to make sure that you paint only the areas that lie on the outer side of the candle. Avoid the area that is close to the wick, as that’s where the wax is more likely to melt. This helps ensure that the chemicals and the paint remain away from the high heat generated by the flame.

If you want a more varied look, you can also carve designs right near the base of the pillar. You can consider using an awl or a standard clay-carving tool. Then, you can just rub a bit of the acrylic paint and then remove the excess paint.

Spray Painting

Closeup of Spray Paint Can

This might surprise you a bit, but spray painting is a fantastic way to paint the candles. If you don’t want to go through the intricacies and troubles, you can just spray paint the candle.

To spray paint the candle properly, you need to first use some painter’s tape and then tape off at least a third of the candle.

You will also want to tape off the wick, and then, just paint the bottom two-thirds with a sprayable milk paint. Or, you can also make use of an acrylic paint mix to get the job done.

If you want to get a unique design on the candles, you might want to taper the candles properly. You can get a variety of different designs, including polka dots, painted stripes, or even monograms.

However, you should know that the paint is not going to stick properly on the candles. You need to make sure that you use an appropriate amount of paint on the candle.

Before you get started, make sure you feel the sides of the candle. If there is protruding wax on any side of the candle, you will want to clean it out.

It’s recommended that you make the sides of the candle as smooth as can be before you get started with the candle painting. The bigger the candle, the easier it will be for you to paint.

Again, as you can understand, painting candles in jars is not possible. If you are using paint that contains a bit of alcohol, you have to make sure that you keep it away from the top of the candle, as it can lead to problems when you actually light up the candle.

Painting Christmas Candles

There are some pretty amazing ways by which you can paint the candle as well. If you want to learn how to be good at this, you will want to spend a bit of time learning how to paint the candles properly.

Don’t worry about getting it wrong the first few times; it requires a bit of experience and care on your part to ensure that the candles can be painted in just the right way.

There are some pretty fantastic candle painters out there who are able to come up with unique designs for different candles. It all depends on the clarity of the stencil, so it’s recommended that you work carefully on the stencil at first before you start with the painting.

You can always remove the excess paint from the candle if you do something wrong and then repaint it.

These are just a few things that you should know about painting candles. It’s a pretty fun way to pass the time and you are going to enjoy it quite a bit!

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lisa O'Rourke

Monday 18th of October 2021

Can't find a candle painting medium anywhere in the UK? Is there anything else I can mix into acrylic paint to make it stick? Thanks


Saturday 9th of October 2021

Hello I have fake candles battery operated that I would like to spray paint in a different color. Which spray paint do I need to purchase? Thanks for your advise


Thursday 15th of April 2021

Hi Nao,

I believe any spray paint would be suitable, as long as you have proper ventilation when you're using it. As far as lighting the candle after, I wouldn't advise it. If the paint burns, you may get bad fumes coming from it, or it may even catch on fire. It would be best for decorative use only.


Tuesday 30th of March 2021

What kind of spray paint is suitable and can the candle be lit?


Friday 26th of February 2021

Hi Victoria!

I've used the Americana (Deco Art) Paint Adhesion Medium in the past. I'm having trouble finding it right now, as it seems to be out of stock everywhere! I'd keep my eye out for that!