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How to Paint Light Bulbs [A Complete Guide]

Are you the host of a theme party and looking for a way to decorate your house with as little money as you can spend?

Or you are just another enthusiast wanting to bring some changes to your house but on a budget. 

Then painting the light bulbs is a good way to start. 

How to paint light bulbs?

Painting a light is a doable job. Painting bulbs with a permanent sharpie is possible. But it will decrease their lifespan. You can use monochromatic colors or you can mix different colors and have eye-catching colors and patterns. The light bulbs are your canvas! 

Liked what you have read so far? There is a detailed discussion waiting for you to know more on this. 

Why wait? Read along to know everything you need on painting a light bulb!

Tools You Need to Paint a Light Bulb

Before you begin the step-by-step procedure, you’ll need a few things at your disposal. Let’s have a look at them now-

Tool 1: The Bulb

Clear or White bulbs of maximum of 40 watts or less. 

Tool 2: The Paint

Sharpies that have a heat-resistant paint on them. There are a plethora of them on the market. You need to find the ones which work the best for you:

Product 1
Product 2 

And if you don’t want a scorching bright light, then you surely can use old bulbs as well. 

Old bulbs give a warmer tone to the light which appeals to be more soothing than harsh white bulbs. 

Or you can use any regular mellow warm lights to reciprocate a soothing lighting setup. 

Old bulbs can create a different ambience to the room and you can use the room for multiple purposes such as for hosting a party or only for relaxation. 

How to Paint a Light Bulb?

There are certain procedures that you can follow to have your light bulbs painted.

Step 1: Preparing the LEDs

Unplug the LEDs before you take any sort of initiative of painting and also ensure that your paintings have dried up before you reconnect them to the electricity. 

Be careful while choosing your painting. Choosing the wrong paint such as ceiling paint or wall paint will not work on LEDs.

Step 2: Cleaning the LEDs

After unplugging the LED, thoroughly clean the bulb. Make sure the LED bulbs are free of dust.

It is critical to verify that the bulb is in excellent working order. Bulbs with defects will not absorb paint properly. 

Clean the bulb with a glass cleaner liquid or a micro-fibre cloth so that no particles stay on the bulb. 

Step 3: Selecting the LEDs

As soon as you’ve completed your preparations, the real procedure begins. To dye the bulbs, Clear or white bulbs are the way to go. They provide the best results. 

Also, remember that LEDs do not burn out like traditional bulbs. 

The transparency of the bulb will make the colors look more natural. 

Step 4: Painting the LEDs

Attach the bulb to a table so that it stays stabilized. This will reduce the complexity of the painting procedure. 

If you do not have access to a clamp, adjust the bulb while painting. And work your way from one side to the other.

Before moving on to the next side, make sure the paint on the previous side has dried.

Step 5: Adding Layers to the Landscape Paintings

In the case of landscape painting, you will need to paint the background first. It can be done with any color that you want. 

After painting the background colors, you can start adding your landscape layers to the bulb. 

Step 6: Use Creativity

You can use different templates to create patterns and designs. Sometimes, specific designs and patterns are needed for creating indoor gardens and planted tanks

Step 7: Be Cautious

LED light bulbs are fragile. So ensure that you are not applying too much pressure onto the bulb while painting it. 

Using a sharpie is one of the great ways of painting the light bulb. Permanent color sharpies make interesting shapes and patterns. 

Also, there are plenty of permanent coloured sharpies available in the market. So, you will find a way to make your lights stand out. 

Also, wear protective gear as any oil-based paint is not easy to remove from hair or any body part. 

Will painting light bulbs yellow make them appear warmer?

A huge proportion of people don’t like the cool, blue-toned light that LED bulbs omit. 

And people buy them without paying any sort of attention to the correlated color temperature or CCT. 

Well, you can make the light look warmer by painting them yellow. 

Finding the right shade of yellow to paint on is the most difficult element of the procedure.

There is a big probability that the color you paint will not be the color that is emitted from the LEDs. 

If your light is extremely blue then a pale yellow shade of color might change it to a neutral color. 

Therefore you will have a balanced white color, for a warmer tone, you will need a deeper shade of yellow or you might even need orange


Question: Can you paint Light bulbs and Use them?

Answer: Yes, you can paint your LED bulb and it is completely safe if done right. Heat-resistant glass paint should be used. Also, stay away from combustible colors like oil paint or nail polish. Sand the bulb before painting to have a diffused effect. 

Question: What Kind of Paints do you use on light bulbs?

Answer: Any heat resistance color will do the work. As long as you are not using any flammable substance such as oil paint, you can use any sort of paint. The addition of heat resistance chemicals won’t let the paint break or to change its color in hot weather. . 

Question: Is it safe to paint a light bulb with acrylic paint?

Answer: You can use acrylic paint if you want it to stay for a shorter period. Acrylic paint will evaporate, burn or change color if it is exposed to heat. The opacity of the paint will likely change depending on the heat of the bulb. And if the paint goes extremely opaque, the light will not work. 


Here is your thorough guideline on how to paint light bulbs. Follow the above-mentioned steps to successfully remove fluorescent light covers from your bulb. 

Do contact a professional if you are unable to paint the bulb by yourself. 

Until next time, have a wonderful day!