How to Make Marbled Candles

Want to add some personality to your space? An eye-catching pair of marbled candles and vintage candle holders will add excitement to your dining room or mantle.

As a fan of all-things marbled (including cheesecake), today I’m sharing my latest discovery: a DIY swirling method that allows you to easily marble three-dimensional objects (!). With the right paint and an organized workspace, you can easily create a swoon-worthy set of marbled candles in your own home.

You will need:

  • A bucket or container large enough to fully submerge your candle
  • One set of taper or pillar candles
  • Enamel paint (I used Magic Marble brand)*
  • Water
  • Drop-cloth and trash bags
  • Newspaper (or paper towels)
  • Stirring stick (a wooden dowel, skewer, or popsicle stick will do the trick)
  • Gloves
  • Acetone-based nail polish remover or mineral spirits

*For this project, you will need to work with a minimum of two and a maximum of three paint colors. I used black and white to create the candles in this tutorial; feel free to use any color combination you’d like. Enamel paints can release fumes into the air. I recommend using these candles as decoration or lighting them outdoors several months later on a flame-proof surface such as marble or metal. Always use caution when working with fire.

Before you get started:

Enamel paint can produce fumes, and it can also be difficult to remove from unwanted surfaces. With this in mind, be sure to do your swirling in a well-ventilated area, with gloves on to protect your hands. Use a drop-cloth to protect your workspace, and line your bucket with a garbage bag if it’s one you wish to keep clean.

Tip: Nail polish remover or mineral spirits will help remove enamel paint spills, should they occur.

Finally, I recommend having a pile of newspaper and a trash can nearby when you start dipping your candles – it will make the process much smoother (and cleaner!).

Step 1: Prepare the marbling water

Fill your bucket with enough room-temperature tap water to fully submerge your candles. Shake your paint bottle thoroughly and add a few drops of your first color to the surface of the water. Repeat this process with your second (and third, if applicable) colors.

Use your stirring stick to swirl the paint on the surface of the water.

Tip: Don’t take too long thinking about the design you want to make during these steps, or the enamel paint will start to dry – potentially ruining your design.

Step 2: Dip the candle

Holding the candle tightly by the wick, fully submerge in the water using a quick, steady pace and a circular motion.

Before you remove your candle from the water, use newspaper (or a paper towel) to remove the remaining paint from the surface of the water. This will prevent a second layer of marbling to form on your candle as you remove it from the water. Remove the candle and give it a gentle shake to remove any excess water. Next steps ➜


DIY created by Clare McGibbon and edited by Aleksa Brown for

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  • Hi Katherine,

    Great question! I recommend waiting a couple of weeks before lighting the candles to give the paint more than enough time to cure. By then, water that can get trapped between the paint and the candles will have evaporated and any oils present in the paint will have most likely set.

    Hope that helps,

  • Can we light the candles even if they were dipped in magic marble enamel paint?

    • Katherine Lord