Can Candles Be Painted? (And Glass Candle Holders?)

colorful-burning-candles
Source: Canva

Candles are a popular source of lighting. Initially, they were used for glowing at night, but they are now used to enhance the house’s aesthetic charm with advancements in technology. And yes, you can decorate candles in various ways. 

Unlike before, candles are now available in different kinds. A good example is the conventional pillar candles. They are relatively convenient and can adjust anywhere around the house as long as the surface is reliable to place a candle. 

Candles also come in jars, which enhances the lighting process, as well as safety. Simply lit them up in the jar and snuff it out anytime you want to put off the flame. Like conventional candles, candle jars are convenient and easy to handle. 

While most candles produce a sweet smell when lit up, the design is relatively impersonal. So if you were planning to gift a friend a candle, you might want to customize it a bit. You can do this by painting the candle. So can you paint candles? Let’s find out: 

Can Candles Be Painted? 

Yes, candles can be painted; however, it can be a daunting prospect. The waxy surface alone makes it impossible to apply the paint on. The traditional craft paints available in the market are also challenging to stick to the candle surface. 

And because candles are highly flammable, you cannot apply the paint first on paper then stick it to the candle. Therefore, it’s best to use a solution specially designed for candle painting for complete effectiveness. 

How to Paint a Candle?

Preparation

Onto a lint-free cloth, dab a little amount of rubbing alcohol, and wipe down the excess rubbing alcohol to get rid of the oils captured on the surface. You will also need to remove a bit of the sheen from the surface. 

This process is vital to enhance the painting and adherence to the wax. For efficiency, mix a small amount of candle-painting and acrylic paints. It will be best to combine these two in a disposable container and then use a paintbrush to stir them adequately. 

Painting

Once you’re done preparing the mixture, use an artist’s brush to paint the candle to your preference. Allow the paint to dry before adding another layer of paint. You might also need a stencil to give your candle an aesthetic design.  

Alternatively, use the painter’s tape to complete the task. When using the stencil, make sure to secure it carefully against the wax and use a painter’s brush to apply the acrylic paints through the stencils’ gaps. After that, remove the stencil to display the design. 

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For complete effectiveness, you will want to utilize unscented candles. This is because scented candles often contain essential oils that alleviate the candle’s receptivity of the candle’s surface, making it challenging to paint. 

Also, refrain from painting areas close to the wick; instead, paint the candle’s outer sides. This will help prevent the candle from melting, as well as the chemicals from enacting flames. 

Consider carving your designs near the pillar bases to give your candles a more varied appearance. You can also incorporate an awl or a conventional clay-carving tool to enhance the design. After that, rub a little amount of acrylic paint to get rid of excess paint. 

Spray Painting

Unsurprisingly, spray painting is the most effective way to paint candles. If you don’t want to undergo the challenges and intricacies involved in painting, simply paint the candle. For efficiency, a painter’s tape is essential, after which you can tape off at least a third of the candle. 

You might also consider tapering off the wick and then use sprayable milk paint to paint two-thirds of the candle’s bottom. Alternatively, make use of acrylic paint to complete the task. If your preference is to obtain an intricate design, carefully taper off the candle. Polka dots, monograms, and painted stripes are some of the different techniques you can try out. 

And because the paint isn’t going to stick correctly to the candle, it’s best to apply an appropriate amount of color to the candle. Also, since you want to obtain a glossy surface, you will want to feel the candle’s sides before starting. If there is wax sticking out on the candle side, consider scraping it off for a smooth painting process. 

Make sure to keep the sides of the candle as smooth as possible. It is also worth noting that the bigger the candle, the easier the painting. Again, you need to understand that painting candle jars are nearly impossible. Most importantly, you need to keep the paint away from the candle flame, especially the alcohol-based. This is because it can easily ignite a fire and cause severe damages.  

There are many other ways by which you can paint your candles; however, you need a bit of experience to get the job done. You will need to spare some time to learn how to paint the candles. Of course, you will get it wrong a couple of times, but you will learn how to paint the candles in the right way with continuous practice. Just ensure that you are consistent to facilitate the learning process. 

That said, your candle designs will depend on the clarity of the stencil. For that reason, it is recommended that you diligently work on the stencil before you can begin painting to come up with intricate designs.

Stencil builds the foundation of the painting, and as such, you need to be more accurate. Also, there is no need to fret if you accidentally apply a thick layer of paint, as you can always get rid of the excess paint and repeat the process. 

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What Kind of Paint Can You Use on Candles?

The kind of paint to use on your candles will depend on your preferences. However, a standard water-based non-toxic acrylic paint will work perfectly fine, but with a lot of patience. To paint your candle, use an artist’s brush and acrylic paint. Then, allow the paint to dry before adding another layer to the initial color. 

Meanwhile, apply paint at a minimum to avoid the hassle of repeating the process. Also, the color is more likely to trickle below the tape. You can apply around three coats to mask the wax completely. You can also use masking tape to develop stripes on the candles and then use a sponge brush to dab on the paint.  

If you have bumpy paint edges, you will want to scrape them off using a dull edge knife. Do it carefully so that you do not interfere with the paint. However, it is essential to note that the candles will scratch off if you frequently move around with them. As such, you need to prime your candles beforehand for durability. If you do not have primer at hand, do not light them up unless you’re using a water-based, non-toxic primer.  

Can I Spray Paint Glass Candle Holders?

Yes, you can. For efficiency, spray-paint the entire top surface, put the votive on a cardboard or a drop cloth, and spray-paint the area around the case.

Meanwhile, partly paint the drop cloth so that the paint stipples on the side. Allow the paint to dry completely before proceeding to the next step, arranging the votives on the tray. Once that is done, pack the votives with candles and surround them with flowers. 

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Glass Candle Holders?

The ideal paint to use on glass candle holders is acrylic paint. You need to dilute some acrylic paint with water and mix it with the glass candle holders’ color. Using a small paintbrush, develop a pattern before the paint dries. You can do this by creating strokes inside the wet paint. Allow the paint to dry. 

Can You Use Crayons to Color Candles?

Never use crayons to color candles. The science behind this is the existing colorant of the crayons, which are obtained from pigments. Unfortunately, pigments aren’t soluble, and when exposed to a heat source, it will melt, disintegrating into small pigment particles that are available in a dispersed form in the melted wax

Upon melting, these pigments will interfere with the actual color of the wax. Similarly, candle dyes will also tamper with the wax’s original color, as they dissolve into the candle wax upon exposure to heat. 

Following the wick’s operation in a candle, there must be a melt pool to facilitate the candle flame. As the wick burns, the melted wax from the pool is drawn up through the wick. The same applies to the scent or fragrance that is released into the air when burning the candle. 

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And, since the crayons’ pigments disintegrate rather than combining, they are drawn up through the wick. However, these pigments will find it difficult to pass through the wick, unlike the melted wax. Even worse, the crayon pigments will clog your candle’s wick. 

The result? The clogged wick will prevent your candle from lighting adequately, control your candle’s hot fragrance throw, and even cause your candles to become smoky. 

So, to cut a long story short, do not use crayons to customize your candles, however, tempted you are. Instead, use dyes specifically tailored for candle making. Dyes are available in a variety of different colors, so you can choose one that fits your preferences.

Can You Paint Birthday Candles?

Yes, you can. Birthday cakes need to be colorful, so do candles. Consider painting the candles or even adding some wings to fit whatever birthday theme you have in mind. You can do this to different parties in the future. 

Place your desired number of candles on a newspaper or whichever surface you intend to spray-paint on. Spray the candles five inches away until you achieve a perfect coating. Allow the paint to dry for about 20 minutes, rollover, and repaint. Do this for both sides and let dry before use. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Can you paint over candle wax?

Yes, you can. Do this using a primer that is capable of masking the waxed surfaces. Such include Kilz and Zinsser Bulls-Eye that boast of concealing small amounts of wax debris. Use a paint roller to apply an even coating of primer over the surface entirely. 

2. What removes candle wax from walls?

To get rid of excess wax on the surface, simply scrape off. Place a damp, lint-free white cloth over the wax and apply moderate heat using an iron. The wax will cling to the fabric. Using rubbing alcohol, gently remove the residue. Alternatively, use an ice pack to freeze the wax, and then use a blunt knife to even the surfaces.

3. Is acrylic paint safe to use on candles?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on candles, but you need to be a little patient. While doing this, you need to make sure that you are not using more than enough pain because doing so means it will seep below your tape. This process should take between 2 to 3 light coats. 

4. How do you color candles naturally?

To color your candles naturally, you need to put some wax in your double boiler then melt it. Next, you need to put some herbs in a coffee filter or even a teabag. Now toss your herbal bag into your wax pot, allowing it to steep on moderate heat. Do this until you can see that the wax is tinted. 

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.