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Painting on Candles Is Fun and Easy

Updated on September 20, 2018
Nancy C Moores profile image

I have been painting for years. I have painted several murals for customers. Check out my how to paint candles article.

Supplies you will need.

There are a few supplies you will need. Candle any size or smell, enamel paints and quality paint brushes, these you can get at art supply stores. Lazy susan, so that you can rotate candle to paint. You can usually find the lazy susan at large retail stores like Walmart in the kitchen accessories department. You will also need small candles the ones that come in little aluminum casing these are what you put on top of the larger candles instead of lighting the candle itself. I use four (4) in each large candle. You will need two (2) plastic containers to put water in; soapy water in one to wash your brushes, and plain water in the other to rinse your brushes. Taking care of your brushes is very important good brushes can be expensive. Paper towels so that you can lay your brushes on to dry (never use a wet brush with enamel paints.) If I need to use a particular brush I have just washed and rinsed I will sometimes squeeze the bristles with the paper towel to help the brush dry faster. Styrofoam plate to put paint on these are easy to use, and inexpensive. You can reuse the Styrofoam plate, or just toss away.

Ideas for what you are able to paint on candles.

I love painting on candles they turn out so lovely. I sold quite a few. The candle can be small or large or skinny or fat, it's all in what you want to showcase. I personally like the big fat ones because there is more room to paint on. I have painted beach scenes which is great in front of a beveled edge mirror tile. You can also paint a design to match your candle on the mirror. The light from the lighted candle looks really great in front of the mirror. I have painted seashells with coral for a beach scene on candles. Grapevines with grapes in the vines with large grape leaves like the pictures of the ones I have with this article, I even added a few rose buds. I have also painted climbing rose vines around the candle with rose buds and rose leaves placed around. A friend wanted me to paint Elephants on one. At holiday times you can even do a theme of the particular holiday like poinsettia flowers on leaves. I painted poinsettia flowers on candles for my sister which look great I carried the theme onto a plate to set the candles on. There is no end to the designs that can be painted on candles. I really had fun painting on candles just like my other art projects. I can paint for hours, and time just slips away. Like always just have fun at what ever you do.

Steps to a great looking hand painted candle.

I will use a large candle as an example to paint on. Get your lazy susan, and place a piece of wax paper cut the size of the round of the lazy susan. Then place your candle on the lazy susan this allows you to turn your candle as you paint to keep a good angle on things. Put soap, a couple of squirts, in water in one of the plastic containers. Put plain water in the other container. Make sure you wash your brushes thoroughly rinse to get all paint out. Your brushes will last a long time if you take care of them. Also, always use a dry brush when using enamel paint because water changes the value of the enamel paint. If you are painting grapevines or rose vines you will need enamel colors: burnt umber, thicket, yellow, wine or berry, diazinon purple, violet, and white. Using a Styrofoam plate squeeze a dime size amount of paint of the burnt umber, thicket, yellow, and white on it of each color. Using a 3/4" size paint brush load a bit of the paint color burnt umber and yellow on the end of the brush. One color on one side end and the other color on the other side end. Then with the sharp end of the brush slide alongside of candle reload with paint when needed. Paint about 4 or 5 rows around the candle. Use your imagination and don't paint a straight line. Make slightly curved rows, and also go out of line to make branches. These lines will be underneath the other things you paint, so you don't have to be perfect make them look like vines and small vines growing out of the big vines. You can even paint over the top of the other rows. Switch out the colors with thicket and white to get a variation of these colors for vines. Look at the photo's you will see that the vines hardly show, but without them the candle will be boring.

You may have to practice painting the leaves. I took some of Donna Newberry's courses to help me with the leaves. You work on one side and then the other side of the leaf You will have to use a larger brush to paint the leaves, but with the same technique as paint the vines, You load one side of the brush with the thicket and the other side with white or yellow which ever you prefer just make sure you have a moderate amount of paint on your brush. After you get the leaf painted you run the sharp edge of the brush down the middle of your leaf to make the stem and lines that are part of the leaf. I want to say I'm sorry I just can't describe how to paint the leaves, but if you can find one of Donna's magazines or get a chance to see her show that is the technique I use the most. The grapes are just little round balls with the same two paint color method on a small brush. Just lay the brush down sideways and bring it in a circular method to one side and then go the other direction to make a circle. I didn't learn this overnight it does take some practice, but it is really worth the time. Again, JUST HAVE FUN :~D

Next have a lot of fun.

I gave you what you need in supplies but you will need 2 (two) sizes of brushes the 3/4" brush and a number 10 brush for a lot of the designs that you paint. Put some large leaves on first use 2 colors on your brush at the same time. Load the paint on each side of the brush, so that you can get good shading on your leaves or whatever you are painting. Flowers really need the two tones for shading. If you are painting flowers or the grapes make sure you put lots of little leaves around. Also, using a script brush drag some thin lines, and curly q's around too. This is just little touches that help the art look finished. There are artists that have videos or magazines if you need some assistance in learning how to paint leaves or rose buds. I have given you the basics of what type of paint you need to make your work last on candles, and some ideas of what to paint. The sky is the limit to what you can create. No matter what you paint it will be unique, and yours. So, just have lots of fun invite some friends over have a paint candles party. Everyone will love that, and kids would have a great time too. Read the directions on the enamel paint bottles,to also paint on ceramics and dishes, or mirrors too. . I have let kids paint on coffee cups for a parents gift. Make sure the paint is below the lip line if the paint is not food safe.. These are really great gifts. Have lots of fun, we all need to break lose sometimes.


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