How to Paint Christmas Light Bulbs

Written by matt vietri
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How to Paint Christmas Light Bulbs
Painting the light bulb caps in colours of your choosing makes the decorations more personal. (Christmas lights in a wreath image by palmer530 from

Creating custom Christmas decorations puts you into the holiday frame of mind. A simple and inexpensive way to kick off the holiday season while creating a festive atmosphere within your home is to paint clear Christmas light bulb caps various colours. You can either customise exterior Christmas lights or add character to the family Christmas tree.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Red, blue and green craft non-water-based paint
  • Cardboard plate

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  1. 1

    Remove the light bulb caps from a string of Christmas lights. Clean the outsides with water and a wet rag.

  2. 2

    Secure the light bulb in place gently with a small vice grip, and begin applying the paint to the outside of the light bulb cap. Choose colours that are typically associated with Christmas, such as red, green and blue, or select more unusual colours to suit your home decor.

  3. 3

    Apply as many coats of paint to the outside of the light bulb as needed until the paint thoroughly covers the bulbs. Clean your paintbrush in a cup of water between colours. Once the outsides have been painted, place the light bulb caps onto a cardboard plate or hang them upside down and allow the excess paint to drain off the light bulb covers while they dry. If you're painting a working light bulb, use non-water-based paint.

  4. 4

    Put the painted caps back over the light bulbs after they've finished drying.

  5. 5

    Plug the light bulb strands into a power source, and string them along your Christmas tree or hang them on the outside of your home.

Tips and warnings

  • Allow the caps to dry for four hours.

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