Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie? Why Sharpie Paints Light Bulbs Best!

Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie?
Light bulbs

Colored lights are a fantastic way to lighten up the holiday mood. Also, you can have a kick from them if you are a party person as they also bring life and excitement to a room. But, colored lights can be expensive, especially if you have a space with multiple bulbs. So, can you modify the color of the bulbs? In other words, Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie?

Yes, you can paint a light bulb with Sharpie. The product is available in over 40 colors, and thus, you can choose whichever matches your theme or preferences.

First, unplug the bulb from it’s socket/holder before you can start your process. After unplugging the bulb, you need to clean it to remove particles on its surface that can affect you process. If you want opaque look then primers your bulb and allow it to dry.

Follow the above step by applying thin layer of paints until you achieve your desired results.

In addition, it is possible to mix various colors and create striking patterns and shapes on your bulb lights.

Sharpie is a perfect strategy to transform clear Christmas lights into colored lights. It is also a simple DIY and affordable venture that you will enjoy. So, follow through with this piece and learn how to use them.

Can You Color LED Light Bulbs With Sharpie?

Using Sharpie markers is one of the affordable ways to color your LED light bulbs. Previously, people have always painted their bulbs, which was quite a process. But now, you can comfortably customize your utensils and bulbs with no additional purchases. Therefore, it is easier and cheaper than painting.

In addition, Sharpies are available in approximately 40 unique colors. Therefore, you can easily get what you want. You can even develop your creative patterns and designs and make your lighting stand out from the rest.

On top of that, unlike paint, Sharpies are easy to wipe off with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. Thus, you can easily correct your mistakes or redo the project if you change your mind.

However, Sharpies fade over time since you subject it to heat on the lightbulb. Also, it shortens the bulb’s life span. 

What Can You Paint Light Bulbs With?

Heat-resistant glass paint and watercolor products are perfect for painting light bulbs. The glass paint differs from regular paint as it is not water-based and will not evaporate when you light the bulb. In addition, glass paint can withstand high heat.

Heat-resistant paint does not change color or break when the bulb gets hot. Therefore, it remains intact for an extended period. Also, ensure that the bulb is an LED bulb if you use water-based paint. The paint evaporates off the bulb if it gets too hot. Thus, it would be best to get an LED bulb that does not heat up quickly.

On top of that, remember that the bulb will be dimmer after the painting process. And depending on the paint’s opacity, a painted bulb will be dimmer than a non-painted one. Also, the light can be quite useless for lighting functions if the paint is extremely opaque.

What Do You Need to Paint Led Light Bulbs or Incandescent Bulbs?

It would help if you had special heat-resistant paint or Sharpie, a clear or white bulb of 40 watts or less, and your creativity. Also, you can recycle old light bulbs if you don’t want to lighten up the bulb.

In addition, any paint type and bulb will help you make a variety of impressive decorations. A decorated bulb is excellent for relaxing hours, and you can have it on your bedroom bedside table. It will also serve the purpose in children’s rooms and the auxiliary lamps in the living room. Therefore, if you can paint the bulb, why not?

Besides that, we have multiple paint types to use in decorating light bulbs. All you need is to ensure that they are suitable for plastic and glass bulbs. Also, it would be best to check if they are for permanent use.

However, you will find Sharpie easier to use. You can also wipe off the markings if you make a mistake. 

So, you can wipe the bulb clean if you are not happy with the results. But, the main idea is to get a fancy pattern and color on your light bulb. Thus, feel free to choose your preferred product and do some magic.

Also, LED bulbs have numerous benefits that make them a perfect option for painting and coloring projects. Check them out!

  • The bulbs have components that help them generate life for an extended period. Unlike other bulbs, the LED bulbs have low heat levels, energy sufficiency, and durability that offer additional hours.
  • LED bulbs have high lumen output per watt and thus, turn approximately 70% of their energy into usable light. Therefore, they are more efficient than other bulbs that waste significant energy levels during the energy light conversion.
  • It only takes an LED bulb six watts to produce the same light amount as a 40-watt incandescent bulb. Also, the bulb has a lower temperature level that helps it operate more safely. Conversely, incandescent bulbs get so hot that you should keep them out of children’s reach. Also, they are popular for causing fires if they come into contact with flammable objects.
  • The bulbs emit an extremely high brightness level, and thus, wattage is not an ideal measurement for brightness. So, it would be best to examine the bulb’s lumen’s output to give a clearer idea of its brightness.
  • LED bulbs have an incredible color range and temperature level ranges without filters and gels. This attribute makes them better than incandescent bulbs, which require additions to create different light shades and colors.
  • Unlike incandescent bulbs, which heat the filament to a temperature that will produce light, LED ones generate electromagnetic lights after electrification. Also, they turn energy into light instead of heat. Therefore, operate at significantly low temperatures.
  • The LED bulbs don’t emit infrared radiations, and thus, there is no warmth to the light. They will not cause fading or heat damage to dyes and paints. So, they are perfect for heat-sensitive areas like displaying artwork spaces.
  • You can comfortably work with the bulbs in cold temperatures. They can also withstand more vibration levels and impact as they do not have filaments or fragile parts. Thus, the bulbs are ideal for areas with inclement weather conditions, temperature fluctuations, and jostling like ceiling fan fixtures. 
  • Have you ever worked with a bulb that required you to wait a few moments before you can see anything? How frustrating! But, fortunately, LED bulbs operate at maximum brightness levels as soon as you flip the light switch. They do not need time to warm up, and thus, you will enjoy instantaneous illumination.
  • LED bulbs emit light in one direction. Thus, they reduce energy consumption levels as you will not experience trapped or wasted light in the diffusers and reflectors. Also, this directional nature makes the bulb excellent for recessed downlights and task lighting.

How to Paint a Bulb

The first step is always to uninstall the LEDs from the plug before you start the painting process. Also, ensure that you allow them enough drying time before plugging them back.

After unplugging the bulb, follow the guidelines below.

  • Decide whether you want the lights to look diffused. If yes, get fine sandpaper and sand lightly over the entire bulb. But, if you only want to engage in regular coloring, proceed to clean the bulb.
  • Clean the bulb with a cloth that does not leave fibers behind and some glass cleaning liquid. In addition, be sure to assess the bulb to confirm that it is in perfect condition. Eliminate all the dust and grease on the surface to get perfect results and give it sufficient time to dry before painting.
  • You can use a white or clear bulb. But, remember that the clear bulb’s transparency will make the paint colors more natural.
  • Prepare the bulb with a paint primer if you want an opaque look. It also helps the paint to adhere properly to the surface.
  • Attach the bulb’s base to the table to help it stand freely. This move will make it easier to paint and get full coverage.
  • You can use a clamp to hold the bulb tight in position. But, you can also adjust it and paint one side at a time if you cannot access a clamp. Also, roll it over after the paint dries to ensure an even finish.
  • Use thin paint layers and cover the entire surface until no white light can shine through it. Also, allow the layer to dry completely before using the bulb.
  • Hold the bulbs gently to avoid breakage. They are fragile, and it would be best to avoid pressing them too much.
  • Landscape paintings require you to paint the background with your preferred color. Then, paint the landscape coat as you would if you had any other paint.
  • Use templates for objects and patterns that are hard to freehand.

Here’s A Video On Painting a Light Bulb:

Can You Spray Paint String Lights?

String lights will add ambiance to your outdoor spaces. You can also enhance their beauty by spraying them with paint. In addition, you can match the string lights with the graduation, baby shower, or wedding decor. Therefore, they work for any celebratory event you are hosting.

However, before you begin, cover the work surface with a drop cloth. Then place the bulbs in a safe spot away from the painting area. Also, lay the lights flat on the drop cloth and ensure that they do not touch each other.

On top of that, it would be an excellent idea to use painter’s tape to protect the bulb parts that should not get paint. For example, the inside of the bulb socket should remain clear of paint. Also, ensure that you shake the spray paint until the mixing balls begin to rattle.

Use very light paint coats about 10 inches from the light string’s surface. Ensure that the surface dries for about 30 minutes and flip them over to color the other side. Also, operate in slow and steady motions to get full coverage.

Finally, Let the strings dry for at least one hour before you add and hang the bulbs.

How Do You Paint a Light Bulb Blue?

Painting a light bulb blue is quite easy, especially if you have the basic steps on your fingertips. For instance, ensure that you unplug the bulb before painting it and dry it completely before reinstallation. In addition, make sure that the bulb is clean and use a cloth that does not leave fibers behind.

Then get your blue paint and apply one side at a time. Also, it would be best to avoid pressing the bulb too much.

Can You Put Acrylic Paint On a Light Bulb?

Yes. You can put acrylic paint on a light bulb. However, ensure that you pick a heat-resistant glass formula. The heat-resistant chemical additions do not change color or degrade due to heat.

Unfortunately, the paint may affect the lumen output negatively. The painted bulb will be dimmer than non-painted ones depending on the formula’s opacity. Also, if the paint is very opaque, the light will not be usable.

Additionally, acrylic solutions are water-based, and thus, they may burn, evaporate, or change color if you expose them to too much heat.

Even so, the paints are excellent for temporary modifications. Therefore, you can consider them for your holiday projects if you are not into a long-lasting solution.

Besides that, please avoid oil-based paint formulas as they are extremely flammable. They have a safety hazard if the bulb reaches high-temperature levels.

What Paint Colors Change In LED Lights

LED bulbs produce various colors through materials that produce photons at different wavelengths. These wavelengths usually appear as light beams with different colors. Also, the materials in the LEDs can accommodate moderate electricity, heat, and humidity levels.

Regular soft white incandescent bulbs deliver natural and warm lighting to a room. They also make bright colors like orange, red, and yellow appear more intense, while cooler colors such as blue, green, and gray will be duller.

In addition, we have vintage ‘Edison’ bulbs that add a warm or yellow color to a room. Vintage options are popular for rooms that do not get much natural sunlight as they complement warm paint colors. Also, sometimes they may add an amber hue, and thus, are a perfect way to give a room a warm feel.

Conversely, fluorescent lights are excellent in giving a blueish and cooler light. They also pair well with other cooler paint colors such as green, blue, and green. On the other hand, compact fluorescent lights generate either a bluish-white, neutral or warm white light.

Halogens resemble natural light and will make all the colors in the room more vivid than before. They also help to make the shift from daylight to artificial light more smooth and less jarring.

On top of that, different color effects will be a result of the light positioning. For example, lighting fixtures and chandeliers give a room lots of light and distribute it perfectly throughout the space.

Also, floor and table lamps will serve you well if the room does not get enough natural light. They add a bright touch but do not affect the wall colors. In addition, you can limit the impact of the light on the paint’s color by restricting its source to one spot.

Surprisingly, rope lights, candles, and string lights are ideal for adding a cozy and warm vibe to your space. They deliver a lovely contrasting look in rooms with dark walls. Also, they will add an excellent warm-up for light paint colors.

Besides that, sunlight also affects colors, and thus, the room colors will vary depending on the amount and angle of the sun. So, it would be best to consider natural light before choosing the most suitable color for a space.

North-facing rooms deliver a cool and bluish appearance. Also, you will find that bolder colors work better than muted colors. On the other hand, south-facing rooms have more high-in-the-sky light that delivers excellent results for warm and cool colors. Light colors will glow, while darker ones will look brighter.

East-facing rooms will maximize the east light, which is yellow and warm before noon. Then, as the day progresses, they turn bluer. So, it would be best to consider oranges, reds, and yellows for such rooms.

Conversely, west-facing rooms optimize the evening light and deliver a warm and beautiful light. In addition, the scant morning light creates shadows and makes the room’s colors look dull.

So, how do you achieve your desired color?

  • Evaluate the carpet samples during different daylight conditions.
  • Get color samples for the primed drywall paint squares and move them around the room during different daytimes. Also, ensure that you apply at least two coats for perfect results.
  • Since most contractors will not hang the lights before painting, you can get a color estimate by having a bulb on the desk lamp or floor. Also, you can get an electrician to help you hang the lights if you are so sensitive. Then, cover them during the painting session.
  • Switch on the bulbs during the day to examine how they appear and if you like the lighting. Artificial and natural light work together during specific daytimes. Therefore, ensure that you confirm that you love the lighting.
  • Evaluate the paint sheen as it affects the overall color glossy surfaces reflect light and will change how the color looks, while flat finishes are less reflective and permit the colors to appear true under bright light.
  • Please be mindful of light-colored walls as they reflect the colors of your bold carpets. For example, a bright blue carpet casts a bluish tone on white walls.

Besides that, consider the following aspects during painting bulbs.

  • Always do a test area on the walls before painting. Holding the paint swatch on the wall will not give you accurate results. Therefore, test the formula on each wall and do a two coats patch. Then, observe how it affects the natural light at different day times.
  • A darker wall gets more light than others, and you can even do a darker or lighter shade based on what suits other walls in the room. Also, get an expert’s opinion if you have some difficulties making a decision.
  • Be mindful of decor, furniture, and wall hangings as they affect how the walls absorb and reflect light. A painted empty room may feel strictly different when you add furniture.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Sharpie Flammable When Dry?

Sharpie has flammable solvents. Thus, it would be best to keep the surface away from excess heat. Also, the solvents may be harmful to your health when in concentrated amounts, and thus, ensure to use the recommended levels.

  • Is Sharpie Waterproof?

Sharpie delivers a smooth, bold, and high-quality writing experience that does not bleed through fabric or paper. Also, the ink is smear-resistant, waterproof, and fade-resistant. Therefore, it assures you of longevity.

  • Can LED Bulbs Get Hot?

Yes. The heat from the bulb’s lighting also warms the surrounding environment. So, the LED bulbs can get hot, but the temperatures are quite safe with the new technology. However, you cannot compare them with incandescent bulbs as their ambient heat is incredibly low.


Colored lights are the way to go, especially if you want a temporary touch-up to your space. You don’t need to contact the electrician because they are an easy DIY project.

In addition, they will come in handy if you want to transform a room’s appearance without incurring high costs. Thus, we need to answer the query:

Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie?

You can paint your light bulb with Sharpie. The product avails multiple colors and allows you to get creative as you mix different shapes and patterns. Also, although Sharpie compromises the bulb’s longevity, you can use LED lights, which are durable.

In addition, the process is quite simple, and you get your painted or colored bulbs within no time. However, ensure that you follow the guiding rules, such as unplugging the bulbs during the painting process. Also, it would be best to consider the sun’s angle and amount as it also affects how the bulbs will appear.