Paint A Lightbulb To Create A New Mood In Any Room

Color-changing light bulbs are an easy way to bring a little whimsy into your home. They can be pretty costly, though, and if you're not very tech-savvy (as almost all of them are controlled by Google, Alexa, Siri, or their own app), they can be tough to set up. However, the basic effect of these lights can be achieved cheaply by simply painting your light bulbs. Even better, if you have an artistic flair and want to bring some uniquely beautiful lighting into your rooms, painting a light bulb offers you the opportunity to create a much more intricate design than a basic color-changing bulb. 

Painting your light bulbs is a fairly straightforward activity, but naturally, there are some necessary precautions. LED light bulbs are the best options as they don't get very hot when on, but incandescent bulbs of 60 watts or less also work. It's also important to wear protective eye gear, and if you're sensitive to paint fumes or don't have a well-ventilated area, it's a good idea to wear a mask over your nose and mouth as well. Further, make sure you tape off and protect the electrical connector end of the light bulb, only painting on the glass surface of the bulb itself. Lastly, disconnect the light bulb from the lamp or fixture and wait until it's cooled off before painting. 

Different ways to paint your light bulbs

If you're just looking to bring a single color to your lighting, a can of spray paint is the way to go, specifically a stained glass formula, available in hardware or craft stores. After shaking the can and testing the spray on a separate piece of cardboard, hold the can about two feet from your light bulb to avoid drips and spray slowly and evenly all around the surface. You can even use two different colors this way by spraying one side, then turning the bulb and spraying the second color on the other side. And to make the whole painting process easier, cut a slit in a section of an overturned egg carton then stick the bulb through to hold it upright. Dry for at least one full day before using the bulb.

To do some more artistic painting on your light bulbs, or if you just like the look of brush strokes, get some water-based glass paint and apply lightly. If you want a solid color background to your bulb artwork, you can spray paint that first coat then brush paint over it after it dries. For the appearance of stained glass, use black paint (or permanent markers, or paint pen) to draw borders. Then, fill in the various sections with different colors.