DIY alcohol ink switch plates are the perfect way to bring a pop of color into any room. They’re simple and fun, and no two are the same!
One of our main goals with the Teen Bedroom Makeover is to create a light-filled space in which Barish will enjoy his work time and chill time. To achieve that space, we painted the walls of The First Room to a beautiful off-white color by Behr called Bit of Sugar. Now that the walls, ceiling and trim are all white, his room kinda feels like an asylum.
In other words, it’s the perfect room for a teen, LOL.
Lest the boy go crazy from all that white, we wanted to break the monotony with little bursts of color here and there like these DIY alcohol ink switch plates I made. I told you we’d be bringing some color to your inbox, didn’t I?
Well, here we go! Today we’re proud to present the DIY alcohol ink switch plates I made over the weekend.
Slap your neutrals in the butt, cuz Handan and I are bringing Color Back!1
The best part? Creating these alcohol ink switch plates couldn’t be easier, and the results will make you feel like Monet!
While this much color may not work in all rooms or spaces, we think they’re the perfect addition to a teen room.
Are you ready to bring some Color Back?
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A quick note on alcohol inks for those unfamiliar with them. They are meant to be used on non-porous surfaces like these switch plates. They work brilliantly on glass or porcelain. A non-porous surface allows the inks to flow together and create new colors and fascinating shapes. When used on a porous surface, the inks soak in, and the chance for the beautiful watercolor-like effects is lost.
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need.
DIY Alcohol Ink Switch Plate
- Switch Plates – Home Depot sells a 10-pack of oversize plates for less than $5, or you can find them on Amazon
- Alcohol inks – Michael’s carries the Adirondack brand, or you can get a far cheaper set on Amazon
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Small paint brushes
- Small bowl
- Foil-lined tray to work on (you don’t want to get these inks on anything you value!)
- Straw for blowing the ink around (or you can just use your mouth)
- Acrylic sealant (we used Krylon Kamar Varnish)
DIY Alcohol Ink Switch Plates : The Motion Picture
Why read when you can sit back, crank up the sound and let the information flow directly into your brain box? For those who prefer to read, you’ll find a full tutorial with pictures below the video.
DIY Alcohol Ink Switch Plates: The Written Tutorial with Pictures
Alcohol inks will ruin almost anything they touch, so I like to work on a foil-lined baking tray. For the purposes of the video, I put a few sheets of paper on top of the foil, and that is what I worked on. I lined 2 other baking trays with foil to serve as drying areas for the finished switch plates. When I finished a switch plate, I lifted the paper with the switch plate still on it and moved it to one of the drying trays.
Let’s get to it.
First, I brushed the switch plate with rubbing alcohol.
Then I started adding colors. The inks do all the heavy lifting, and they interact in unpredictable ways.
You can experiment with different methods and colors. Try blowing the inks around. Every switch plate will be different and unique.
This alcohol ink switch plate is just one of 20 that I made.
I started with brown in one corner.
Next, I added some red next to the brown.
I followed the red with orange.
And then I added some yellow.
I then moved to the opposite corner and applied a few drops of indigo followed by purple.
After the purple, I put on several drops of regular blue.
And then I filled the middle with a tealish color.
Using a small brush, I covered up any bare spots. I use a few different brushes for the repair work – one for each color family, so I don’t cross-contaminate colors.
By this time, my brown had been mostly pushed off of the switch plate, so I added some more to the corner.
Ditto, the indigo in the other corner, so I added a few more drops there, too.
A few more minor touch-ups…
And then I tried to cover a small bare spot by the switch hole by adding another drop of teal.
It covered the spot, but it made its own new shape in the design. I probably should have left it alone. Alcohol ink is unpredictable!
After a short time, the inks stopped moving and the DIY alcohol ink switch plate had it’s final form.
I let them dry overnight, and then I sealed them with a spray acrylic sealant. Krylon Kamar Varnish is an excellent choice to seal your alcohol ink switch plates, though any acrylic sealant will do.
I goofed up on my first 10 by thinking I could use any old sealant. Big mistake! I sprayed that batch with Rustoleum Clear Coat, and the solvents in the spray dissolved the alcohol ink. Still, they don’t look too bad…
The best way to finish these, if you have the time, is with clear epoxy resin. I only did the one below with epoxy.
The epoxy will seal up the screw holes, so you’ll need to drill them out once the epoxy has cured.
Barish now has 4 of these in his bedroom. Here are the two by the entrance.
Once we finish his teen bedroom makeover, you’ll have a chance to see how these DIY alcohol ink switch plates play with the other elements in the room.
Here’s a look at all the rest.
Okay, so these DIY alcohol ink switch plates weren’t on the original checklist for Barish’s room makeover, but I think we can put them on there and cross them off! Stay tuned for Barish’s new daybed next week!
Teen Bedroom Makeover Checklist (for The First Room)
Teen bedroom ideas and laying out the game plan DIY alcohol ink switch plates
- Paint the walls
- Build 2 IKEA Billy Bookcases
- Build a daybed
- Hack IKEA Kallax into a TV stand
- Create an accent wall
- Buy or DIY plugin sconces
- Make wooden wall art
- Build a small chess table
- Build 2 guitar display frames
- Buy a new desk
- Change the fan
- DIY fired alcohol ink art
- Hack IKEA Laptop Stand
- Buy throw pillows
- Add greenery: faux plants, air plants, DIY air plant holders
- Metal filing cabinet makeover
- DIY Craftsman style trim
- World map wall art
- Small closet makeover
- Barish’s first room reveal
Click here to see more teen bedroom makeover posts as we continue to cross items off our checklist!
1When Handan read this part, she had no idea what the heck I was babbling about, so I guess I better explain for everyone. “Bringing Color Back” is a reference to Justin Timberlake’s song, “Sexy Back” in which he proudly exclaims that he is “bringing sexy back (yeah).” So while he gets to bring sexy back, we’ll just settle for bringing Color Back into everyone’s neutral lives 🙂
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