How to Paint Votive Candles

Written by samantha hanly
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There are two ways to paint votive candles and other candles. One method uses wax; the other uses artist acrylic paint. Both methods require a steady hand and a good eye for detail. Because votives are small candles, fine lines and small designs will look best; avoid big paintbrushes and thick lines. Tiny flowers, fine-lined fleur-de-lis, hollyberries, snowflakes and anything that can be painted well in miniature will look best on a votive candle.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Artist acrylics
  • Paper plate or meat tray
  • Fine paint brushes
  • Soft rag
  • Soap and water
  • Egg poacher or small double boiler
  • Paraffin wax
  • Plastic bag
  • Hammer
  • Candle dye

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    Artist Acrylics

  1. 1

    Plan out design ahead of time on paper. Practice painting on the paper before painting on the votive candle.

  2. 2

    Use tubes of artist acrylic paints. Do not dilute. Squeeze the thick paint onto a paper plate or clean styrofoam meat tray.

  3. 3

    Choose the finest size paint brushes. Dip the tip into the acrylic paint, and paint your design on the votive candle.

    If you make a mistake, clean immediately with a soft rag, water and a little soap. Artist acrylics are water soluble.

    Allow the candle to dry overnight.

    Wax on Wax

  1. 1

    Use an egg poacher to melt small amounts of wax and dye. If you use a four-egg poacher, you can melt four different colours to paint your design on a votive candle.

  2. 2

    Place paraffin wax in a plastic bag. Hit with small hammer to break into small pieces.

  3. 3

    Melt wax in egg poacher. Add candle dye in desired colours. Test the depth of the colour by dripping a little wax on a white paper plate. If colour is too light, add more dye.

  4. 4

    Plan out design, and practice painting with wax on paper first.

  5. 5

    Dip the tip of fine paint brushes into the hot wax. Work quickly because the wax will cool.

    It is difficult to correct mistakes when painting wax on wax. Work quickly andcarefully, and incorporate any accidental marks into the design.

Tips and warnings

  • Never mix candle-making equipment and food preparation equipment. An egg poacher used to melt wax must be reserved for that purpose only.

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