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)
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 21 questions
  • Sharon Emery
    on Jul 18, 2019

    Will this work on card stock as well?


    • Jill
      on Aug 4, 2019

      On regular cardstock NO, it won't work BUT it WILL work on glossy cardstock, window sheets,, overhead transparencies etc...ANYTHING NON POROUS

  • Truly
    on Aug 30, 2019

    What is the use for the finished tile?

  • Robin Hale
    on Oct 3, 2019

    Could these tiles be used outside? I am looking for a tile for the risers on my porch steps, my grandkids and i could make these?

Join the conversation

2 of 30 comments
  • Teri
    on Nov 3, 2019

    I am thinking of using these as a backsplash in my kitchen. If done correctly and sealed good will this work? Thanks!

  • Nancy Egely
    10 minutes ago

    @HandyGirl I tried epoxy, but for some reason it won’t flow evenly. I get fish-eyes, or voids when there is very little epoxy that will stick to certain areas.

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