How to Paint Light Bulbs

How to Paint Light Bulbs- Let’s Get Creative

Painted lightbulbs are the new in-thing. They transmit colors and patterns onto the walls and ceiling when you turn the lights on.

This is a great way to create a different effect in your room or you want to add some fun to the kid’s rooms.

Painting light bulbs is cheap and easy to do. You can use working lightbulbs, or you can even paint ones that don’t work anymore and hang them in the sunlight or over your bed for some fun décor.

If you have a bunch of lightbulbs sitting in your cupboard and want to add some excitement to your room, why not create art on the walls and ceilings with them without actually changing the wall color or painting the ceiling.

You can even consider painting lightbulbs to hang on the Christmas tree or make easter bunnies out of them and hang around the house during the Easter holidays.

Both kids and adults can have some fun painting light bulbs, but how do we actually go about it?

How To Paint Light Bulbs?

First, check if the light bulbs work. Use bulbs that are clear and are 40 watts or less. Frosted or clouded bulbs won’t give you the same effect. Once you have the bulbs ready to paint, you need to prepare the bulb for paint. You need to remove any grease or dust from the bulbs using a solvent like methylated spirits. Now you want to stand the bulb up so you can paint it, which can either be done using an egg carton or using some tac that you can push the bulb into, allowing it to stand up straight. Using a clean, new brush and glass paint that is not water-based, you are ready to paint. Do not use water-based glass paint as once the bulb creates heat, the water-based paint will evaporate.

Painting Light Bulbs With Dipping Paint

You can choose the bulb style you like; some have a tear shape to them, and others are more of an egg shape.

Like above, you will need to prepare the bulb for the paint by cleaning it with white spirit. You can use painter’s tape and place it where you would like the paint to stop.

Grab some small bowls and place the paint colors of your choice into the bowl. If you plan on dipping the bulb in completely, ensure you have it deep enough for the size of the bulb.

Gently and carefully dip your bulb into the paint to where you marked it with the painter’s tape or all the way in if you want the whole bulb just one color.

To dry, you can tie some string around the bottom and hang it, or you can place it back into the socket as long as you keep the light switch off until the bulb dries.

Can You Paint Light Bulbs With Food Coloring And Elmers Glue?

Bulb painting with this mixture should only be used for display purposes and not for actual working lights.

This is another simple process for painting light bulbs, and you can do this by adding three drops of food coloring into one teaspoon of Elmers glue along with ½ teaspoons of water.

You can go ahead and change the ratios if you prefer the color darker or lighter. All you need to do again is wash the globe, apply the paint, and let it dry.

Should I Only Use Glass Paint?

Glass paint is the best option when it comes to painting lightbulbs. The paint is different from just normal house paint, and it isn’t water-based.

Glass paint is actually made to handle the heat that comes from the bulb when you turn it on and have it going for a few hours.

Glass paint is easy to come by you can buy it from local hardware stores and craft shops, and you can find some great glass paint varieties and colors online too.

It is important not to use acrylic or oil-based paints and even kid’s paint as they are not heat resistant and can actually cause the light bulb to explode or cause a fire.


Now that you know the different ways to paint light bulbs and the right paint to use, you can let your creative side go to work.

You can create a new hobby or even paint bulbs and sell them for occasions like Easter and Christmas.

Even when a bulb blows out, instead of throwing it into landfill, make a new statement piece for your home with them.

Painting light bulbs work well both inside and outside of your home, and when painted in different colors and patterns and emitted onto the wall and ceiling, it looks pretty and colorful.

Frequently Asked Question About How To Paint Lightbulbs

Can I Paint My Light Bulbs With Sharpies?

It is perfectly safe to paint light bulbs with permanent sharpie markers, but it can shorten the life of the bulb. Sharpies come in over 30 colors, so you can get pretty creative.

Is It Safe To Use Bulbs That You Paint?

If you use the correct paint and technique it is. Ensure you check the glass paint to ensure you can use it on the globes that are going to be in use.

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