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!
how to paint with sharpies and alcohol, how to
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!).
how to paint with sharpies and alcohol, how to
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.
how to paint with sharpies and alcohol, how 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.
how to paint with sharpies and alcohol, how to
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!
how to paint with sharpies and alcohol, how to
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!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Kar34073381
    on Sep 11, 2018

    I tried it twice. The first time the alcohol didn't seem to blur the image at all. The second one I added more alcohol and it all ran together and wiped out the entire effect. How long do you wait after adding the alcohol before it gets optimal results?


  • Jewl
    on Nov 22, 2018

    will this work on unfinished wood?

  • Dawn
    on Jan 3, 2019

    *You said that you would let us know what process is advised for sealing, don't know when this was posted but the first reply was over 18 months ago. What have you come up with. I am thinking an acrylic spray or a pour on lacquer?

    *also, how long should we wait after adding oh- before expecting results/blurring?

    • Eva Hyde
      30 minutes ago

      Hi, im in the process of making tile coasters. I use Rust-Oleum gloss clear spray and also have been pouring bar top epoxy on them.

Join the conversation

3 of 19 comments
  • 19531745866
    on May 1, 2018

    This project is beautiful and I would like to try it out At Michaels there were all sorts of Sharpies and I got confused so didnt buy them today There were OIL Sharpies and WATER COLOR Sharpies Wide nib and fine nib Which would be the best choice ? Please

    • 19531745866
      on Oct 6, 2018

      A sharpie is a brand name of a coloured felt pen,. They are good quality and have alot of different kinds. like oil or water colour, etc nib sizes and colours. We have them over here in Canada, and the United States .

  • Lana
    on Sep 14, 2018

    I'm excited to try this on some small canvases I have at home, & just bought a couple sets multicolor Sharpies during Back to School sales! Just need to make sure the alcohol is 91%! Thanks for sharing!

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