painting christmas candles

Okla_galNovember 11, 2001

I'm just getting into painting candles and I am loving it. one question, do you have to add candle medium to your paint? I have been and it works great except if you mix up too much paint, it's just lost because you can't scoop it up and put it back into the jar. I was on the Decoart site and copied a santa pattern and directions to paint on a candle and they didn't say to use the medium. they just had the americana acrylic paint listed w/ no mention of medium. if any of you paint on candles, can you please give me some tips. thanks

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I paint on candles using candle medium because it helps the paint adhere to the wax. Otherwise paint can peel, flake, etc off the candle and I like to be sure that what I'm selling is sturdy. I use a wet palette and do a bunch of candles at once so that I'm not wasting paint/medium. With a wet palette you can keep your paint moist for many days if you decide to take a break and do something else. Wet palettes are inexpensive and well worth having, in terms of not wasting paint all the time.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2001 at 2:14PM
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I've been painting on candles for a long time and I've never used candle medium (they didn't have such a thing when I got started) :-)

I have never experienced my designs coming off. With or without candle medium, the design can still be scraped off if you try hard enough but who's going to? Realistically that's the only way it's bound to come off anyway. I've never had problems with my candle designs coming off just from everyday handling of them.

All I do is clean my candle first with rubbng alcohol to remove any dirt and oil residue and paint. The secret here is to use a high pigment paint so your paint doesn't bead up on the wax surface. I prefer FolkArt paints.

If you still want to use a medium you can probably use the same technique used with Glass & Tile medium. You paint over
the area of the candle you're going to paint with the medium, paint your design, then paint over it again with the medium to seal it. That way you don't mix paint and medium. In fact Glass & Tile medium can be used for painting on candles.

Here's a little FYI if you enjoy painting candles. This last year Plaid came out with Sparkle Podge in their Modge Podge line. You can paint your design on WITHOUT a medium then use the Sparkle Podge as an all over coat on the entire candle or just over the painted design to seal it. This stuff is so much fun! It leaves a beautiful light irridescent sparkle and like the other Modge Podge products it is not flammable. And of course you can use it for applying decals or decoupage to candles too.

I did some angel and floral candles as gifts using the Sparkle Podge and I was very pleased how they turned out. I think the people on the receiving end were too.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2001 at 8:28PM
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I painted gingerbread man and women around a cream colored candle and it turned out so pretty. everyone who has seen them thought they were molded when the candle was made. I did use the candle medium, but when I signed my project I waited a while then when I put sealer over it my signature came off so I put medium in the paint and the signature stayed. I use delta, folkart or americana. so why does yours not come off? did I try to seal too quick or what?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2001 at 1:36AM
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When making gifts, I always let the paint cure first on any project with a smooth non-porous surface that is to be handled or to be out in the weather before putting a finish on it. Not waiting until the paint dries, but letting it sit for at least 7 days. Drying and curing are 2 different things. It's the curing process that helps your paint adhere to the surface you are painting on. But I've never used any finish on my candles except lately when I might put a light coat of Sparkle Podge on and I have never had a problem. But I do wait for the paint to cure first. So I don't know what to tell you. I do know that some highly scented candles can cause a problem with paints adhereing because of the amount of oils in them. I suggest that if the medium is working for you continue using it. It's always best to stick with what works for you. Have fun! By the way your gingerbread candle sounds cute!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2001 at 2:49AM
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