How To Paint Candles? (DIY Guide and Fun Creative Ideas)

If you’re looking for fun ways to get creative and express yourself, you’re probably wondering if you can paint candles.

Not only can you paint them, but you can also decorate them with unique, intricate designs. If you want to know how to paint candles for all occasions, you’re in the right place! 

Check out this guide for everything you need to know about getting started and having success with your candles. 

People enjoy painting candles for various reasons. Most like candle painting in their spare time as a way to personalize each piece. Candle painting is a great activity for those looking for a therapeutic hobby that will keep them entertained and allow them to show off their creative side. 

The benefits of painting candles are tremendous, with most agreeing that the process is good for mental health and wellbeing. If you’re looking for a way to do something fun as a creative outlet that will help you relax and unwind, painting candles is an excellent option. 

You may have regularly asked, "Can you paint candle?" The truth is that you can paint several types of scented candles and unscented candles to improve your mood and keep you busy. It's also an activity that you can do with your children at home. Scented candles often contain essential oils which may make the candle surface less receptive to paints.

While it's safe to burn hand painted candles, you'll need to make sure you’re giving them enough time to dry before lighting painted candles. 

After you’ve painted candles, place them in an undisturbed area to dry for several hours before attempting to ignite any of them. You can touch the scented candles to make sure the paint is no longer wet before you use a match or lighter to ignite them. 

Painted Candles

Can you paint wax candles? 

You can paint wax candles. However, you need to avoid the wick.

So, if you want to be cautious during your painting sessions, consider covering the wick with a bit of masking tape or a sheet of paper or paper plate. 

As long as you’re avoiding the wick, you’re good to go with painting your candle wax. 

Can you paint taper candles? 

While you can paint taper candles, there are a few things to consider. Spray paint is more difficult to work with on these types of candles. In addition, acrylic paint causes wax melts differently than they normally would without the paint. 

Therefore, it's best to use a candle wax-based paint when applying color to the taper candles. You should also apply one coating of candle wax at a time. It may take up to three layers of paint to get the complete coverage you want and need! 

Can you paint Luminara candles? 

You can even paint Luminara candles. When working with these options, it’s best to use a water-based acrylic paint.  

Can you spray painting candles? (LED & More) 

You can spray paint LED candles but should cover any opening or components that could potentially get damaged by the paint during the process. Spray painting works on some candles, but isn't the best option for every type of candle, such as taper candles.

If you're planning to use spray paint on a candle, be sure to do so in an open space, such as a garage or backyard, to avoid getting paint all over the home. It can quickly get messy when working with spray paint! 

If you’re working with jar candles, you can also use spray paint or any other type of water-based paint, such as non toxic acrylic paint. Some people like spraying the acrylic paint on, which is a great option when you want to change the color of the candle. 

However, if you’d like to add designs and patterns to your candles, it’s best to use paint brush to apply the color. 

How To Paint the Candles The Smart Way!

Painting candles is a fun activity to do in your spare time. If you’d like to change the appearance of candles you’ve purchased, it’s best to buy water-based acrylic paint, which will also keep your candles safe to light and use around the home.

If you’re going to painting candles, be sure to prep them beforehand. There is a simple process you can follow to get your candles ready for painting. 

The first thing you’ll need to do is grab the specific supplies to help you paint candles.  

Paint Designed Candles

Materials Needed: 

  • soft, microfiber cloth or lint free cloth & paper plate 
  • rubbing alcohol 
  • paint brush 
  • water-based paint 
  • painter's tape
  • candle painting medium
  • standard craft paints
  • acrylic paint paper stencils
  • clay carving tool
  • small disposable container
  • a stencil of any shapes or designs you’d like to add to the candles 

Once you’ve collected your essentials, you can get started. 

  • 1
    It all begins with applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the candles. Be sure to use a soft cloth while applying rubbing alcohol, and don't overdo rubbing alcohol by drenching the candle in the liquid. 

    Give your candle a few minutes to dry after wiping the excess paint or too much paint down to remove any potential dust or dirt, and then you can get started with painting. However, you'll need to work on one layer at a time. Don't attempt to do too many layers without allowing the paint to dry in between, or else you'll end up with a mess! 
  • 2
    Take your time to apply the first layer and then allow it to dry before pulling out your stencils and adding some designs.

    After that, you can decorate the candle to your liking, adding all kinds of intricate designs and shapes to it, depending on what you personally like best and the style you’re trying to achieve with your candles. 
  • 3
    Once you've applied your paint and have given it plenty of time to dry, use an enamel spray as a finishing touch. Again, make sure that you use a non-toxic acrylic, water-based enamel that is candle safe.
  • 4
     When you apply this sprayable milk paint to your candles, you're setting the paint in so that it won't rub off. The enamel acts as a seal coating for the paint that you've added to your candles. 
    Be sure to allow the enamel to dry before you decide to light your candles and use them around the home. Don't forget to use candle painting medium. The candle painting medium will help your paint to stick properly at the candle surface.
Bottles of Acrylic Paint

What are some candle painting decorative ideas? 

While you can achieve any look that you'd like, you can do stars and stripes for an American-themed candle, flowers with stems, hearts and stars, or anything else that you prefer.

Get as creative as you'd like. You can even look online for inspiration on designs to add to candles based on various themes and styles. Paint only the outer areas of the candles properly, not the waxy surface near the wick where the wax melts. If you want a distinctive design on them, taper them suitably.

You have the option of polka dots, pre-made stripes, or even monograms.Take it to the next level with an eclectic array of candle holders. 

Common Candle Painting Questions 

How long does it take for paint to dry on candles?

You can expect dry paint on candles after about two and three hours. The length of time it takes for acrylic paint to dry on candles will vary based on the size of those candles and the amount of paint applied. 

Can you light a candle after painting it?  

Yes, you can light a candle after you’ve painted it, but you’ll need to make sure that the paint is completely dry.

How can you change the color of a candle?  

One of the easiest ways to change the overall color of a candle is to use spray paint.

How long does paint last on candles?  

If you take the proper approach of cleaning your candles, applying paint in layers, and then sealing it on with an enamel spray, it should last for as long as you have the candles.


Now that you know how to paint the candles and how to seal acrylic paints on candles using an enamel spray, you may be ready to begin adding color and designs to candles you’ve purchased.

It’s a fun activity that allows you to customize these fixtures and then place them around the home for decorative and therapeutic purposes. You can even give your newly decorated candles as gifts to loved ones for all occasions.