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)

Top Hometalk Projects

Step-by-Step Painting Techniques You'll Want to Try!
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
18 Ideas to Keep You From Feeling Blue
31 Creative Ways To Fill Empty Wall Space
20 Ways To Incorporate Mosaics Into Your Home
Use Ribbon To Decorate For Christmas With These Last Minute Ideas!
30 Ideas To Make Your Office Look Great
Marybeth Santos

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Lori Vaughan Boren
    Lori Vaughan Boren
    on Jun 3, 2020

    What do you use to set the ink? Do you bake them? Set fire to them? Spray them with a sealant?

    • Steph
      on Jun 17, 2020

      I used a spray glaze which is a seal it like from a spray paint just a clear glaze turned out beautiful

  • Viv
    on Oct 23, 2020

    Glazed or unglazed tiles? I have unglazed at the moment.

  • Joan Bradley
    Joan Bradley
    on Mar 7, 2021

    Can I use this method on metal???

Join the conversation

3 of 40 comments
  • Mimi Lafeurs
    Mimi Lafeurs
    on Aug 29, 2020

    Easy project for kids. Probably can be sprayed with acrylic paint finishing spray to set the color and so they won’t get ruined

  • Peggie
    on Sep 7, 2020

    Can this be done on a canvas for kids to keep and hang

    thanks for your time and for sharing this easy craft for my grandkids.

    • Dianne Whitehead
      Dianne Whitehead
      on Mar 15, 2021

      I am a reader of this project, not the author, but I know an answer to your question. Yes, you can use alcohol inks or Sharpies on canvas if you prime it first. To prime a canvas, paint on two coats of Kilz 2. This will seal the canvas, making it nonporous, which you need for alcohol ink. You can also order Yupo paper (a plastic paper) to paint on.

Your comment...