Introduction: DIY Switch Plate Covers

Picture of DIY Switch Plate Covers

See the Original Tutorial on

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, why not decorate the plain ole light switch covers? 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’s DIY some switch plates.

Step 1: Supplies:

Picture of Supplies:

– Alcohol Inks

– White or Light Switch Plates

– Rubbing Alcohol

– Medium to thick Art Paint Brush

– Straw (optional)

– Clear Acrylic Sealer

– Disposable cup or dish

– Table cover

– Gloves (optional

)– Plain sheet of paper

Step 2: Paint the Switch Plates:

Picture of Paint the Switch Plates:

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. 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.

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

Step 3: Finish:

Picture of Finish:

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.




Paulo Rogerio (author)2017-03-10

Dear Anette,

I have a technique very similar to yours.
Use nail polish, acrylic paints and ice water.
The procedure is similar, but the difference is the use of the hair dryer or heater for drying. I'll dry the piece and turn it so it gets different shapes.
Try it once and you will fall in love with the technique used.
Congratulations for your work.

fiberartsy (author)Paulo Rogerio2017-03-26

Ooh, I'll have to try that Paulo. Thanks

graywoulf (author)2017-03-11

This technique works well on the rough side of clear double glue chip glass which can be bought at any stained glass supplier. You can also use the same glass and paint the rough side with different colors of metallic spray paint. Awesome effect! Let your imagination run wild!

fiberartsy (author)graywoulf2017-03-26

Fun! I'll have to try that.

jessyratfink (author)2017-03-16

These are beautiful! Now I need to look into alcohol inks :D

fiberartsy (author)jessyratfink2017-03-26

Thanks Jessy! I found them at Michaels but you can also order them online.

Lynn Long (author)2017-03-12

I have to add this to my "Must Try" list! Gorgeous!

JAMESM466 (author)2017-03-09

I have a friend who commissioned a custom glass tile back splash for his kitchen. Those hand-made tiles look very much like your switch plates. I can see a whole back splash done in plain white tiles that have been "painted" like your switch plates. Thanks for the inspiration!

sconnors (author)JAMESM4662017-03-10

I wonder if you could paint the back side of glass and install it.

JAMESM466 (author)sconnors2017-03-10

That would probably work. Just need to be careful with the adhesive. Using a rippled glass would give a nice effect.

fiberartsy (author)JAMESM4662017-03-09

That would be very cool. You'd have to have a super heavy sealer for that.

JAMESM466 (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

I was thinking about that. Either multiple coats of satin, automotive quality clearcoat or perhaps bar top sealer. Should be a heck of a lot cheaper than bespoke glass tiles.

grueni4 (author)2017-03-10

What material the switch plates you used are made of? On which kind of surface the alcohol ink will stay?

BW501 (author)2017-03-09

Can you use plastic switch plates or do you need to find painted metal ones?

BeachsideHank (author)2017-03-06

What a terrific effect and it looks so easy to do too! ☺

fiberartsy (author)BeachsideHank2017-03-09

Super easy. It's pretty much fool-proof :)

Pernickety Jon (author)2017-03-06

The effect is very attractive. I'm already wondering what other things I may be able to paint using this method. Thanks for sharing!

Me too!

BayRatt (author)2017-03-07

LOVE it!

fiberartsy (author)BayRatt2017-03-09


MarcoGhelfino (author)2017-03-08

They look awesome! Good job

fiberartsy (author)MarcoGhelfino2017-03-09

Thanks so much!

rafununu (author)2017-03-09

Do you live in an acid house ?

fiberartsy (author)rafununu2017-03-09

I'm not sure what an acid house is

XochitlA2 (author)2017-03-09

Very cool! I love them! I'm going to try it!

fiberartsy (author)XochitlA22017-03-09

Share your pix, please!

ravenreni (author)2017-03-09

where do you get the paint

fiberartsy (author)ravenreni2017-03-09

I found it at Michael's but you can also order it online from Amazon

David Catriel (author)2017-03-09


fiberartsy (author)David Catriel2017-03-09


maya2151 (author)2017-03-09

Very nice!!! Reminds me of the marbling technique that was used to decorate the paper that was used inside book covers, years ago. The colors were floating on top of shallow water and the paper was at the bottom of the water. As the paper was removed from the water, the inks remained on the paper in a marbled pattern. That is a simplified explanation!!! Will definitely use this technique.

fiberartsy (author)maya21512017-03-09

Yes! I hadn't thought of that. That's another technique on my growing to-do list :)

JeannineD6 (author)2017-03-09

I thinking this technique would be great on the back of one of my fish tanks. It would look very aquatic.

fiberartsy (author)JeannineD62017-03-09

Cool! The lights of the fish tank would give it a nice effect.

DIY stars (author)2017-03-09

wow amazing perfect for a black light room

fiberartsy (author)DIY stars2017-03-09

Interesting idea!

Laral (author)2017-03-09

Wow, I never heard about alcohol inks. It looks great and seems fairly easy. I can use this technique to 'jazz up' my homemade fidget spinners.

About This Instructable




More by fiberartsy:Marbled Goat Milk Soap (Gift Idea!)DIY Alcohol Ink OrnamentsDIY Hand Felted Journal Cover
Add instructable to: