How to Paint With Sharpies and Alcohol


I have a new favorite crafting project! I painted some tiles with Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol and the outcome is crazy good!
This project is super easy, especially with the tips I can give you based off of the mistakes I made.
First, after cleaning your tile with soap and water and drying it, color in the tile with coordinating colors (or try for colors that don't coordinate! My daughter did and hers came out gorgeous!).
Next, using a small paint brush, dropper or small straw, drop small amounts of the rubbing alcohol. You'll start to see the rubbing alcohol blurring the colors together. Be patient and don't drop too much alcohol. You can always go back and do a little more if you think you need to.
Your wet tile should look like the one above. If it looks like the one below, don't fret! It's an easy fix.
Just add some more color with your Sharpie and then drip the alcohol to get the blurring going again.
And if you are totally dissatisfied with how your tile came out, the paint comes "paint" comes off easily with water!
Which brings me to my next point. These will need to be sealed really well. I'm in the process of experimenting with how to seal them, so I will update with the best way of doing that!
Be sure to head over to the blog for all of the details including the mistakes I made that you won't have to!

Suggested materials:

  • Sharpies  (Michaels)
  • 91% Rubbing Alcohol  (Grocery Store)
  • 4.25 x 4.25 in Tiles  (Home Depot)

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Marybeth Santos

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 25 questions
  • Kim
    on Dec 28, 2019

    Can you do this on canvas?

  • Nancy
    on Mar 16, 2020

    Mine didn’t really turn out. You can see the lines from the marker in some places where the color didn’t blend. I used 70 percent alcohol could that be the problem? This is the one my son made. We sprayed the alcohol as well.

  • Donna
    on Apr 18, 2020

    Could these be used for backsplash? Thanks!

Join the conversation

2 of 37 comments
  • Chandra
    on Mar 22, 2020

    I can’t wait to try the tile patterns...just beautiful and different, thank u for sharing👏👏

  • Donna
    on May 12, 2020

    Thank you!!

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