DIY Switch Plate Covers





Introduction: 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:

– 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.





    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    37 Discussions

    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.

    1 reply

    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!

    1 reply

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

    1 reply

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

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

    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!

    4 replies

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

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

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

    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.

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


    1 year ago

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

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

    1 reply