Introduction: DIY Switch Plate Covers

See the Original Tutorial on FiberArtsy.com

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:

– 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:

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:

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.

ENJOY!

Annette
FiberArtsy.com

Comments

author
Paulo Rogerio made it! (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.

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-26

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

author
graywoulf made it! (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!

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-26

Fun! I'll have to try that.

author
jessyratfink made it! (author)2017-03-16

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

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-26

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

author
Lynn Long made it! (author)2017-03-12

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

author
JAMESM466 made it! (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!

author
sconnors made it! (author)sconnors2017-03-10

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

author
JAMESM466 made it! (author)JAMESM4662017-03-10

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

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

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

author
JAMESM466 made it! (author)JAMESM4662017-03-09

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.

author
grueni4 made it! (author)2017-03-10

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

author
BW501 made it! (author)2017-03-09

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

author
BeachsideHank made it! (author)2017-03-06

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

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

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

author
Pernickety Jon made it! (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!

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Me too!

author
BayRatt made it! (author)2017-03-07

LOVE it!

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Thanks!

author
MarcoGhelfino made it! (author)2017-03-08

They look awesome! Good job

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Thanks so much!

author
rafununu made it! (author)2017-03-09

Do you live in an acid house ?

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

I'm not sure what an acid house is

author
XochitlA2 made it! (author)2017-03-09

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

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Share your pix, please!

author
ravenreni made it! (author)2017-03-09

where do you get the paint

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

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

author
David Catriel made it! (author)2017-03-09

wow!

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Thanks

author
maya2151 made it! (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.

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

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

author
JeannineD6 made it! (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.

author
fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

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

author
DIY stars made it! (author)2017-03-09

wow amazing perfect for a black light room

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fiberartsy made it! (author)fiberartsy2017-03-09

Interesting idea!

author
Laral made it! (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.

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