How To Paint A Light Bulb?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Illumination is very important when it comes to brightening your spaces. For that reason, in this article, we will share some tips on how to paint a light bulb.

You may want different lighting options for different areas of your home or work office and there are different options you can choose from. Although getting creative with your lights is fun many people do care about the type of lights they are using and rather lights with low environmental impact such as LEDs which also consume less energy. Light bulbs can help you express your style and add warmth to your environment; they are not just the traditional lights anymore. They are also available in different shapes and designs and some are trendier than others. You also have the option to customize them to your own style and paint them especially if you’re doing the interior decoration.

Steps To Paint A Light Bulb

Step 1 : Choosing The Paint

Not all paints are the same and there are paints specifically designed for different types of surfaces. Although some may consider not safe to paint your light bulbs, it is actually safe if the right paint is used. In this case, you will need to use heat-resistant glass paints, this type of paint allows heat to escape and prevent the bulb from getting too hot which can cause it to explode. It is recommended to not use water-based paints on light bulbs as they don’t last long because of the color evaporating off the bulb because of the heat, so if you’re looking for a long-lasting solution, avoid these types of paint. Glass paints, much like acrylic paints are water-based, the difference is that glass paint is heat resistant which means the paint will last longer.

Step 2 : Cleaning The Light Bulbs

They are several ways of cleaning your light bulbs to free them from dust and dirt so that the paint is easier to apply and adheres better. You can choose to clean the light bulbs with rubbing alcohol, use a cotton ball or paper towel and gently clean the bulb with the alcohol. Light bulbs can also be cleaned with soap and water instead of alcohol, simply dampen a cloth with soap and water and gently clean the bulb, make sure the cloth is not soaking wet so to not damage the bulb, next you can let it air dry for a couple of minutes for it to dry well or use a clean towel to dry it.

Step 3 : Prepping The Bulb

Once the bulb is dry you can choose to sand or add a primer to it depending on the outcome you’re looking for. Sanding the light bulb enough will allow you to diffuse the light of the bulb meaning the brightness of the light will be reduced or softened. The other option is to gently sand the light bulb with a fine-grit of 320 for example which will allow new paint to adhere better and will not actually diffuse the bulb. It is recommended to use light bulbs that are of at least 40 watts or less as they are considered to be bright enough. Clear bulbs are also recommended instead of frosted bulbs as these will provide a better effect allowing the color to shine better through the glass. LEDs are a great option since they don’t produce much heat as conventional light bulbs making it easy to modify the lighting.

Adding a primer is also useful. The purpose of a primer is to allow the new paint to adhere better and to last longer. In this case, the primer can be sprayed on for an easy application. First, the light bulb needs to be placed into something so that it may stand still while it is being painted, in doing so you won’t damage the paint while the paint is still fresh. In this case, a small piece of tack can be used to set the light bulb on and prevent it from rolling around. Set the tack on a smooth surface and push the base of the light bulb into the tack to make it stationary and easier to work with. Then, apply 1-2 thin coats of the primer allowing 5-10 minutes in between coats for the paint to dry. Once the primer is added, allow 1-2 hours for the primer to fully dry.

Step 4 : Painting The Light Bulb

Once the primer is added you can proceed with painting the light bulb. The paint can be sprayed on or brushed on depending on what’s easier for you to work with, although both methods can be used if you’re planning to add some decorative ideas. Use a small brush so that painting your light bulb is easier and your able to reach every area of the bulb and use smaller brushes to apply details and decorate as desire. Apply 1-2 thin coats of your main color and allow 10 minutes for each coat to dry. Once the bulb is fully dry you can test it to check if you’re satisfied with the color, you can always apply more coats of paint if needed. Normally it can take 3-4 hours for the light bulb to fully dry.

The other method is to spray the paint on the light bulb. In this case, you need to cover the base of the bulb to avoid the paint from splattering or dripping over the base, you can use tape to do so. Use a spray paint that is specifically designed for glass. Spray 1-2 thin coats of the chosen color making sure the bulb is evenly coated each time and allow 5-10 minutes for each coat to dry. Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area and that you’re using protective gear such as safety glasses and masks when dealing with chemicals. It can take 3-4 hours for spray paint to completely dry before you’re able to touch it. You can apply more layers of spray paint if needed.

All items needed for this project can be found at your local hardware store or craft stores and they will assist you with making your light bulbs visually appealing and give them a beautiful shine. We hope you find all these tips helpful.

Leave a Comment