Can You Paint A Light Bulb With Sharpie? [Full Guide]

Yes, you can paint a light bulb with Sharpie.

It is safe to paint bulbs with permanent markers, but it will usually shorten their lifespan.

Sharpies are available in over 40 different colors, so you can easily pick your favorite color. You can mix colors to create striking shapes and patterns on your light bulbs.

If you’re looking to brighten up your room with some custom painted bulbs, you’ll find it very easy to do so.

What do you need to paint led light bulbs or incandescent bulbs?

You’ll need at least one clear or white bulb of 40 watts or less, a Sharpie or special heat-resistant paint, and your own creativity.

If you don’t want to lighten up the bulb, you can reuse old light bulbs to make a variety of unique decorations in your home. Just use any bulb and paint type to recycle old bulbs into new decorations.

Decorated bulbs are perfect for a room where we spend our relaxing hours, such as on bedroom bedside tables, in the auxiliary lamps in the living room, or even in children’s rooms.

paint over light bulbs

There are several types of paint to decorate light bulbs, you just have to make sure that they are permanent and suitable for glass or plastic bulbs, but they can also be decorated more easily (in my humble opinion) with the permanent Sharpie markers, and it is somewhat easier to draw with a Sharpie.

Just go for it and draw or paint whatever comes to your mind and, if you do not like it, you can erase the design or color of the bulb with alcohol, there will be no permanent damage or a side effect, just trust your imagination and inspiration to redecorate your bulbs using a Sharpie.

The nice thing about using Sharpies instead of paint is that the bulb can easily be wiped off with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol.

So if you’re not happy with the newly painted bulb, and want your old bulb back, just wipe the bulb clean.

Sharpie Permanent Markers For Light Bulb, Fine and Ultra Fine Points, Assorted Colors, 72 Count


As you can see, it is possible to give a twist to the decoration of our home without spending a lot of money, you just have to let go of your creativity, put it into the bulbs and make real works of art.


What kind of paint can you use on light bulbs?

You can use watercolor or heat-resistant glass paint.

Avoid oil paints.

Heat-resistant paint is the best choice, the addition of heat-resistant chemicals means the paint won’t break down or change color when it gets hot.

If you are using water-based paint, make sure that the bulb is a LED bulb, because they don’t heat up like incandescents, and water-based color will evaporate off the bulb if it gets too hot.

Before you start painting, you should know that the bulb will be dimmer after you paint it. And depending on the opacity of your chosen paint, painted bulbs will be dimmer than non-painted bulbs. If your paint is extremely opaque, the light can useless for lighting purposes.

paint on light bulbs

How to paint a bulb


  1. Remember to unplug your LEDs before you begin painting and ensure that the paint is fully dry before you plug them back in.
  2. Clean the bulb: It is necessary to make sure that the bulb is in perfect condition to proceed with its painting. To do this you can clean it with a glass cleaning liquid and a cloth or rag that does not leave any fibers on the bulb. It is important that you dry it well before starting to dye it.
  3. Once the bulb is clean:
  • You can use a clear bulb or a white bulb. You can paint on one that is white, but with a clear bulb, the transparency of the light bulb will make the colors more natural.
  • To make it easier to paint, attach the base of the bulb to the table so that it stands freely. If you do not have a clamp, you can adjust the bulb and paint one side at a time, rolling it over after the paint dries.
  • For landscape paintings, paint the background first in the color you want, and then paint the landscape layer as you would with any paint.
  • You can choose to use small templates to create patterns and objects that you cannot do freehand.
  • And also keep in mind that light bulbs are fragile so you have to draw without pressing them too much.

Using a Sharpie is one way to make your lighting stand out! Be prepared to receive a lot of praise for them.

You’ll be surprised how much your home ambiance can be changed by this simple DIY trick.