How to use Alcohol Inks on Switch Plates

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Add a Pop of Color to Your Home Decor with these Switch Plates and Outlet Covers painted with Alcohol Inks

This fun and easy step by step craft tutorial shows you how to paint your home’s switch plates and outlet covers with vibrant Adirondack Alcohol Inks.

Last fall, I decided to repaint my entire house. Big job but I was sick and tired of the ‘builder beige’ walls so it was totally worth it!

Now, my soft gray walls with fresh white trim look so much better. While I love my walls, I did notice they need a pop of color. So, I thought … why not try painting some alcohol ink art on the light switches and outlet covers?

Plain white switch covers are just boring and dull and artist painted or ceramic switch covers are super expensive.

I recently discovered alcohol inks and absolutely love the unique watercolor effects you can achieve. Plus, alcohol inks are super easy even for beginners to use. So, let me show you how to use alcohol inks to add a pop of color to your home.

Switch Plates and Outlet Covers painted with Alcohol Inks


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Look how I made Alcohol Ink Christmas Ornaments

You may like DIY Glass Garden Art Totem


Alcohol Ink Paint Supplies:

Supplies for painting with alcohol inks

DIY Switch Plate Covers,

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Alcohol Inks
White or Light Switch Plates or Outlet Covers
Rubbing Alcohol
Medium to thick Art Paint Brush
– Drinking Straw (optional)
Clear Acrylic Sealer
– Disposable cup or dish
– Table cover
– Gloves (optional)

– Plain sheet of paper


Prep the Outlet Covers and Switch Plates:

Cover your table with a plastic table cloth. Trust me, you don’t want alcohol inks on your table. Pour 1/2 cup or so of rubbing alcohol in your disposable cup.

Now, place a switch plate or outlet cover on the piece of paper and open all of your bottles of alcohol ink.

Paint the Plates with Alcohol Inks:

There are many different ways to use alcohol inks, this is just what I did:

Dip your paint brush in the rubbing alcohol and completely cover one of the switch plates or outlet covers. Make sure it’s totally wet.

Now, drip some alcohol ink onto the rubbing alcohol and watch it flow. You can move the ink around with a brush or blow it with the straw.

Drip Alcohol ink on the light switch covers,

Add more colors … Don’t forget the edges and the tops of the screws.

Add second color of alcohol ink

Add more alcohol ink

Seal the Alcohol Ink:

Let your switch plates dry overnight. Now, carefully carry the plates outside (on the paper) and spray them with a thin coat of acrylic sealer. Hold the can of spray as far away as you can.

The pressure from the spray will move the dried alcohol ink a little bit but the paint will blend back together before it dries. Wait the recommended time on the spray and add a second coat.

Let dry completely and you’re ready to install your beautiful DIY switch plates.

Seal the alcohol ink on the plate covers

DIY Switch Plate Covers,


Don’t you just love the bright colors? Why live with plain, ugly light switch covers when you can have little works of art instead? I get compliments on my light switch covers all the time. They are so lively and colorful on my neutral gray walls without being overpowering or gawdy.

Now that you know how to use alcohol inks, why not paint some fun and funky coasters? Great Gift idea! Just make sure to use an extra strong sealer if the piece will get used a lot.

My switch plates have held up amazingly well. The only one showing some scratches is the outlet we use to charge our cell phones all the time. The rest of the switches and outlets are not showing any wear at all.

Here is a super cool video of Tim Holtz demonstrating how to use alcohol inks:

Also see Alcohol Ink Christmas Ornaments!


Painted Outlet Covers and Switch Plates

Related Home Decor Articles

How to Make a Glass Garden Totem
Christmas Ornaments Painted with Alcohol Inks

How to Paint with Alcohol Inks. Add a pop of color to your home decor with these colorful switch plates.

How to use alcohol inks. You can decorate your walls with colorful switch plates and outlet covers!

DIY Alcohol Ink Art Outlet Covers. Add a pop of Color to your Home Decor by painting your outlet covers and switch plates with Alcohol Ink.

Switch Plates and Outlet Covers painted with Alcohol Inks
DIY Switch Plate Covers,

Alcohol Ink Painted Outlet Covers

How to use Alcohol Inks on Switch Plates


  1. Cynthia Nye says

    Very pretty. Instead of spray acrylic to seal, could clear poly be used? I’m thinking of a different application.

  2. Barb Larson says

    Beautiful, and I have a day off. I already have everything I need, I’ll be doing these this afternoon. Thanks!

  3. Toni Barnett says

    A project I can do with my grandson! He’s quite artistic and would really enjoy creating something functional like this. And I would like to make a trivet using a large square ceramic tile.

  4. Lovely. What color inks did you use for the 3 switch plate and its 1 switch plate companion? Thanks.

    • Hi there,
      Those were done with Sunshine Yellow, Sunset Orange, the dark blue and teal (I can’t find the specific name of those colors) and I believe some of the dark brown. All of mine were done with Adirondack Alcohol Ink brand.

  5. Rita O'Neil says

    I accidentally ordered Dr.Ph.Martin India ink, will this work or am I out of luck? Ty

    • I’ve never heard of those but I checked out the description and it says they work on almost all surfaces. Looks like they should work fine. Give em a tray and let me know how it turned out.
      Happy Friday 🙂

  6. Roslyn Banks says

    Thank you for your tips and tutorial. I’ve done the ceramic tiles and ready to do some plates. I’m not a “painter” but I’m enjoying the designs I’m making using alcohol inks.

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