Painting lightbulbs

donnas_gwNovember 4, 2012

I have read that to help the paint adhere to the bulb, you have to clean it first with rubbing alcohol. I did that and gave the bulbs their first coat of paint. I waited about 48 hours before applying the 2nd coat. When I was applying the 2nd coat, the first coat started coming off. I am using a 1" wide sponge brush, if that matters. The only way I know to keep the paint on is if I use a primer on the bulb first (no rubbing alcohol). Am I the only person that has this problem?

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Why not try a search on the bottom of this page on the subject an answer or two might pop up hope so

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Donna, I paint on light bulbs all the time. I always clean with rubbing alcohol but I don't do anything special after that. However, you could use a primer - spray or brushed. I don't. I simply sponge my paint on. I use either a cosmetic wedge or a regular sea sponge. I have no time to wait for them to dry so I use my hair dryer. Although, if a spot is heavier and doesn't dry as fast as the rest of the bulb you run the risk of it coming off. Dark colors I use two coats, light may take as many as three - thin coats, not thick. After I paint the bulb I always finish with several coats of varnish, Triple thick or regular. Here are a few photos of my bulbs,
Have fun,

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 10:18AM
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WOW....I would NEVER paint a lightbulb like these. Painting just isn't one of my skills, unless you call painting a wall a skill LOL. Wanted to ask you, when I did a search on painting lightbulbs, I came up on one of your posts where you said you put caps on yours. I would be interested in learning how to apply a toboggan. Is that hard to do? What do you use for the toboggans? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:56PM
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Those are beautiful, painting fool!
I like the idea of recycling light bulbs, but I'm not talented at painting like that.
Good luck Donna and have fun!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 7:17PM
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FlamingO in AR

I painted some lightbulbs to look like cardinals and others like penguins. Both times, I made a wire hanger for each clean bulb and hung them outside and sprayed on a coat of flat base coat. That gave them a tooth for the acrylic paint to grab onto. Then I sponged on my real base coat, using a sea sponge. That meant I wasn't rubbing them with a brush. It worked really well.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 7:31AM
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I have been painting a long time but you can still do a cute Santa with small dots for eyes, rub the cheeks with cheek chalk (or regular cosmetic blush) and paint the beard with a pale gray paint. Then spray them with a acrylic varnish. I have seen some darling ornaments like this. Or you could even try cutting out a picture of Santa and modge podge it to the basecoated bulb. There are so many possibilities. I agree with FlamingO, sponging on is the best way to cover your glass bulb. I have used sea sponges (my favorite), hold hold sponges, car sponges and cosmetic sponges. Just be sure to wrap a wire around it to hang to dry or you will need to sit and blow dry it. I usually blow them dry because I have no patience to sit and wait but I also use a drying board when I am doing a dozen or so at a time. I have attached a photo for you that shows a simple face. You won't know if you can do it if you don't try -

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I love your Santa!!! Is that a clay pot (hat) and empty thread spool (face)?? I just might try and do one of these, but I am not good at doing the facial features. I am not that good at painting.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:17AM
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It is a wooden spool and a wooden pot, both found at the craft store. The wire is inserted through the hole on both and curled. The spool would be Red, the face would be - flesh paint, black for the eyes (you could do just dots for the eyes - I use the end of my brush to dot eyes). The blush could be red chalk - a small old brush swirled in the chalk, dusted off and then swirled on the cheeks. And just white paint for the beard. She used a separate mustache but you could just paint that on. It would take a flat brush about 1/4", and a round brush, maybe a 1 or a 2 round. These cost about $2.99 at the craft store but with your 40% off coupon even less. You wouldn't have to paint the green stripes, you could leave it white and add a name. Try it, if you run into trouble, post a note to me and I will help.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:03PM
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