Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie

If you’ve ever wanted to paint a light bulb but don’t want the hassle of painting an entire room with it, this is for you.

We’ll show you how to use Sharpie markers to create a cool sharpie-painted light bulb that will make your space look awesome!

You can practically do anything with these markers, and they’re easy enough for kids to use too. So just follow the steps below and get ready for some fun!


In the world of design, there are always new and creative ways to make your space more unique. One example is painting a light bulb with a sharpie.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to do it and other things like type of marker, type of bulb, and whether or not can you paint a light bulb with sharpie marker? So let’s get started!

Summary: Using a Sharpie to paint a light bulb is a creative way to customize and add a personal touch to your lighting. Sharpie markers come in a variety of colors and are suitable for drawing on glass surfaces, such as light bulbs.

However, it is crucial to consider that the heat generated by the light bulb can cause the Sharpie ink to fade or deteriorate over time. Additionally, there is a risk of the light bulb overheating, which can potentially lead to damage or even shatter the bulb.

To paint a light bulb with a Sharpie, start by cleaning the surface of the bulb to ensure it is free from dust and grease. Once the bulb is clean and dry, use the Sharpie to create your desired design. Allow the ink to dry completely before handling the bulb to prevent smudging.

Keep in mind that using a Sharpie on the bulb may alter the light it emits, potentially casting colored shadows or creating a dimmer effect. It is recommended to use a lower wattage bulb or an LED bulb to minimize heat production and preserve the Sharpie design for a longer period.

What is Sharpie Marker Painting?

If you’ve never heard of Sharpie Marker Painting, it is a type of DIY where you paint a light bulb with permanent markers.

You can find some people who have painted their light bulbs and made them into beautiful fixtures like flowers and trees. If this interests you, keep reading!

Sharpie Marker Painting is very simple, and you just need to pick out the type of marker and light bulb. The type of bulb matters because different bulbs will give you different effects.

For example, if you’re using fluorescent lighting, it’s best to use a light bulb that will cover the entire surface. For incandescent or CFL/LED bulbs, you can use a marker that’s slightly larger than the base of the bulb.

Can You Paint a Light Bulb With Sharpie: 7 Things You Need to Know

Many people have found that you can paint a light bulb with a sharpie. This is also a good way to add personality and style to your home.

However, if you’re considering painting a light bulb with a sharpie, there are some things you should know, like the type of sharpie, the type of bulb, and whether or not it’s worth doing in the first place. Let’s take a look at these details and more!

1. Picking a Sharpie for Your Project

A few different types of sharpies work on light bulbs, but they aren’t all created equal. Depending on what effect you’re going for, some will be better than others.

The most popular sharpie for this project is the ultra-fine point permanent marker. This is because it’s pretty easy to draw on a light bulb without making any smudges or missteps while doing so.


Of course, the next best kind of sharpie is the classic sharpie, which works pretty well and typically isn’t too bad when it comes to mistakes.

There are also some speciality sharpies that you can use for this kind of project. For example, gold and silver sharpies will work well on light bulbs and neon colors like pink and blue.

However, make sure to test the sharpie out first on a scrap piece of paper before using it on your light bulb!

2. The Amount of Time Involved

One of the main questions people have before painting a light bulb with a sharpie is how much work it will take. While this project will require some patience and effort, it won’t be as much as you might imagine.

You could potentially spend an hour or two doing this, depending on how many light bulbs you’re painting and what kind of paint and sharpie you’re using.

However, once you get the hang of it, it will go a lot faster than if you did this for the first time.

3. The Type of Light Bulb

As you might have guessed, the type of light bulb you use will make a difference in how well this project works. Some work better than others when it comes to painting on them with a sharpie.

a) Incandescent: These bulbs aren’t perfect for this kind of project. When you draw on them, the paint doesn’t actually stick to the glass.

However, if you do happen to use a sharpie on this kind of bulb and it does end up sticking, it will likely flake off with time (and leave some damage behind).

b) Halogen: These types of bulbs aren’t much better for this project than incandescent bulbs, which is why it’s best to avoid them when you’re painting your light bulb with a sharpie.

c) Fluorescent: These types of bulbs are the ones that work best when it comes to drawing on them with a sharpie. It takes some effort and time, but the paint will stick to the glass, which holds up well over time.


d) LED: While sharpies will work on light bulbs that are mainly LED, they aren’t the best for this project.

That’s because LED bulbs are sometimes made of plastic or coated aluminium, which means your paint won’t stick to them unless you use a very fine point sharpie.

4. The Kind of Marker You Use

Another thing to consider when painting a light bulb with a sharpie is the marker itself. Since sharpies come in many different colors and point types, it’s essential to choose the right one for this kind of project.

If you’ve already got a sharpie on hand that you want to use, then go for it!

However, if you’re considering picking up a new sharpie to use on your light bulb, you’ll probably want to go for an ultra-fine point sharpie.

This is because it allows the paint to flow more smoothly onto the glass of your light bulb, which makes it easier for you to draw without making mistakes.

5. How Much Experience You Have

This kind of project will be a little more challenging than painting a wall or some other item that you wouldn’t be able to turn upside down.

However, as long as you have some experience with sharpies and the effects they can create, this project should go smoothly.

If you don’t have much experience using a sharpie, then this project might be more challenging than you think.

This is because sharpies can sometimes run or drip when in use, which means they could get all over your hands and clothes if you aren’t expecting it.

So if you’re not comfortable with using a sharpie before, take some time to practice on some scrap paper before trying the real thing!

6. The Lifespan of Your Light Bulb

Once you’re done drawing on your light bulb with a sharpie, it’s time to consider what kind of lifespan your design will have.


While the paint will stick to the glass and hold up over time, it won’t always look as good as when you first did it. This is because sharpies tend to fade after some time (especially on light bulbs kept in a lit room).

If you want your design to last as long as possible, it’s best to apply two coats of paint. This is because the first coat will fade over time, but the second one won’t after it dries.

Even with this precaution, though, you may notice some fading after some time has gone by.

7. Is It Worth Doing?

Finally, another important question that you might want to ask yourself before painting a light bulb with a sharpie is whether or not it’s worth it.

In some cases, the answer will be yes because you’ll end up with a unique and artistic piece of lighting.

However, this isn’t always the case, which is why you should think carefully about whether or not this project will work well for you!

Few Ideas to Paint Lightbulbs with Sharpie

Painting lightbulbs with Sharpie markers is a great way to add fun and creative flair to your space. Here are some ideas on how you can use Sharpies to paint lightbulbs:

  1. Create a galaxy or night sky effect by randomly doodling stars on the outside of bulbs.
  2. For a more subtle effect, create thick strokes along the edges of the bulbs in different colors for an ombre effect.
  3. Paint stripes, polka dots, or other patterns on the outside of the bulb for a more abstract look.
  4. Use bright colors to create an eye-catching design that will stand out in any room!
  5. Glitter and metallic Sharpies can also be used to achieve a unique look that shines when illuminated.

Directions: How to Paint a Light Bulb with Sharpie Markers

Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Marker

Sharpie has recently manufactured three different marker types explicitly designed for use on non-porous surfaces, like plastic. These include Ultra Fine Point, Fine Point, and Chisel Tip.


Step 2: Choose the Right Color

Sharpie has about 400 different colors, which could seem intimidating to someone trying to decide which color to use.

That being said, if you’re not confident in your color choice, it’s best to start with something neutral like red or blue.

Step 3: Prepare the Light Bulb

Wash and dry the bulb to remove any dust particles or other impurities that could interfere with the adhesion of the paint.

Step 4: Paint the Light Bulb

It is vital to hold the sharpie as vertical as possible as you move it across the surface of the light bulb. This will allow for a more precise application and prevent the paint from pooling along the bottom of the bulb.

Step 5: Let It Dry

Once you are done painting, place the light bulb in a safe location where it will not be touched or bumped into anything else.

This is also an excellent time to allow ample time for your Sharpie marker to dry before use.

Tips on Using Sharpie Markers:

1. When choosing a design for your light bulb, use something simple. This way, you’ll be able to see what you’re doing, and it will look better when completed.


2. When working with sharpies, start out using the broad point markers (for thicker lines) and finish with fine point markers (for more refined lines).

3. Before painting the sharpie, paint onto the light bulb, clean off any dust and dirt.

4. To avoid a messy paint job, rather than dipping the marker into the glass cleaner spray bottle, hold the marker at a 90-degree angle from the light bulb and spray lightly with an even coat of glass cleaner.

This also helps prevent any paint from seeping down into the socket section of your light bulb.

5. When the paint is still wet, lightly wipe off any smudges with a clean paper towel or rag.

6. After the paint is completely dry, turn on your light. If any parts of your design are rough or unfinished looking, use a small piece of sandpaper to smooth out those areas before turning on the bulb.

7. When you’re done, place the light bulb into a lamp or light fixture to show it off.  

Precautions and Warnings:

1. Sharpie is made with alcohol-based ink, which means it will burn fast if exposed to an open flame.

If the paint on your bulb begins to flake or chip, do not attempt to touch up the paint with another Sharpie. Be sure to put a light bulb guard over the burned-out bulb before disposing of it.

2. If you want to change out your paint with a new color, wait at least two days for the paint to dry before removing the clear tape from around the edges of the light bulb.


Also, be careful when removing sharpie paint from glass and porcelain; it may take some time and elbow grease to remove.

3. If you want to change your light bulb with a new one, do it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the paint is to dry and become permanent.

4. Sharpie paint will work on any glass or porcelain surface that has been cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Do not attempt to paint with a sharpie on a surface that has not been cleaned.

5. If the paint begins to crack or chip, you can touch it up by adding another thin layer of sharpie paint over the top and allowing it to dry for at least 24 hours before use.

6. Be sure to keep sharpie paint out of the reach of children and pets who might try to eat or drink it. It is not meant for human consumption! It may also stain some carpets, fabrics, and surfaces, so use caution when applying.

Other Type of Paint You Can Use for Light Bulb

1. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paints would not only look great on a light bulb, but they’re also easy to apply and remove from the bulb when you’re done. They’ll dry quickly and provide a long-lasting coating for your light.

2. Glow Paint: You can add an extra dimension of fun when using glow paint on your light bulbs by turning them on and off.

3. Oil-Based Paint: Use oil-based paint to get a smooth coating on your light bulb, but be sure to wear protective latex gloves when applying the paint, so you don’t get it all over yourself.

4. Spray Paint: You can use spray paint to paint a light bulb with a sharpie, but be sure it’s a nice, smooth finish you’re going for. If not, you might end up with a bumpy paint job that isn’t as attractive as it could be.


5. Pearl Metallic: This pearl metallic paint will really shine and shimmer when it catches the light just right, and it can be applied using a spray or brush. Plus, the paint won’t cause your bulb to heat up too much while it’s lit.

Can You Paint A Light Bulb With a Permanent Marker?

Sharpie is one of the world’s most varied and best-known marker brands. With such a wide range of colors, it can be easy to lose yourself in all the color options and mix up the pack in your hand.

Picking out a single color can easily feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Certain colors in the Sharpie marker range can be used to paint a light bulb and create a unique and personalized lighting system for your home.

However, when deciding to use the Sharpie marker on a bulb, you must do research first.

In this article, we have already discussed can you paint a light bulb with sharpie and how to choose a color and paint a light bulb with a permanent marker. So be sure to take a look at this full blog post.

Read Also: Can You Spray Paint a Light Bulb?

How Do You Dye a Light Bulb With a Sharpie?

Light bulbs may seem like a strange canvas for your artistic abilities, but you can paint light bulbs with Sharpie markers.

You’ll need to use several dry erase marker colors and be very deliberate when applying the colors to the light bulb surface.

For example, using blue and yellow in one section might give you green when the colors mix, but that’s okay. You can always do another coat of color over the mixed area if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Darken a Light Bulb?

There are a few ways to darken a light bulb. The most common way is to cover the lightbulb with a piece of material that blocks the light from coming out. This can be done by using a cloth, a paper towel, or even a sheet of plastic. Another way to darken a light bulb is to put it in a darkened room. One way to do this is to use curtains or drapes to block out sunlight.

Is It Ok to Color With Sharpie?

Yes, it is generally safe to color with a Sharpie. The ink in Sharpies is designed to be non-toxic and non-flammable, so coloring with them is not a major health risk. However, as with any other activity involving sharp objects, it is always best to be safe and use caution when coloring. Always keep Sharpies away from your eyes and other sensitive areas, and make sure children do not have access to them.

Is It Safe to Paint a Light Bulb?

Yes, it is safe to paint a light bulb. You should use appropriate paint and materials for the task at hand, and take necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe and successful project. Always wear protective gear, including a mask and gloves, when painting any object, and stay away from areas where flammable material may be present. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the paint and materials, and be sure to read the entire product label before starting your project. If you have any questions or concerns about painting a light bulb, do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer or your local paint store for advice.

What Happens if You Paint Over Sharpie?

If you paint over sharpie, the paint may not be as durable or resistant to wear and tear. Sharpie is a permanent marker that is typically used for drawing and writing on surfaces. When paint is applied over sharpie, the sharpie ink may become diluted and smeary, leading to a less-than-ideal finish. If this happens, it may be necessary to remove the paint layer one by one with a brush or a cloth in order to restore the original look and texture of the surface. Additionally, if the paint layer contains any sharpie ink, it may be difficult to clean off completely. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to sand down the surface before re-painting.

Final Thoughts

With all of that said, painting a light bulb with a sharpie isn’t the worst idea in the world. It takes some patience and effort, but it can be rewarding in the end when your bulbs come out looking great!

Just make sure to test your markers on paper first before using them on your light bulb, and also consider the type of light bulb you’re using and how much time this will take before you get started.

If you use those guidelines, then painting a light bulb with a sharpie can be a fun project that helps give your home personality!

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