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  • Writer's pictureMegan Weller

How to Paint a Neon Sign

Updated: Apr 4, 2021

Hey guys, it's Megan!

I've decided that it would be nice to post two videos a week over the summer, since I should (hopefully) have a bit more time. It might not be EVERY week, but I'll try my best! Last week's "bonus video" was this Neon Sign painting tutorial:

*Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through my link. See my disclosure for more information.*

For this project you'll need:

Start by painting your canvas black:

Paint your canvas or other surface with black acrylic paint.

Then, sketch out your design:

Preliminary sketch of the "on air" neon sign painting

I thought it would be cute to make one of those “on air” signs that you’d see at a radio or TV station.

I might re-do this on a scrap piece of wood or something with a more rectangular shape, since there was a lot of blank space left on the canvas.

You can use this painting technique with any word/shape you want. I found it helpful to look up neon signs for inspiration, but feel free to come up with your own design.

When the sketch is done, start painting the letters.

1: Go over each letter with your base color using a round foam brush.

How to make a neon sign - first, paint your letter with a round brush. Then, go over that paint with white to crate the neon sign tubes.

2: While that paint is still wet, dip a paintbrush in bit of white, and use it to sketch out the “tubing” of the neon sign.

I worked with one letter at a time so my blue paint wouldn’t dry out.

3: Once the letters are dry, use a small paintbrush dipped in white paint to add highlights to the left side of each letter:

Add highlights and shadows to the neon sign

4: Then, mix a color that’s slightly darker than the letters, and use the same small brush to add shadows on the right side of each letter.

Since my sign actually had two colors, I used the same technique to paint the red tubing surrounding the sign:

Finishing the neon sign painting to make diy craft room decor.

Again, I painted this one section at a time so the red paint wouldn’t dry too fast.

The highlights and shadows were a little trickier on this part, so I just looked at my reference image and kind of guessed.

For the finishing touch, I used a small paintbrush dipped in white paint to add stars in a few random places.

Painting stars with a small paintbrush dipped in white acrylic paint.

Some of them were just small white dots, and others were little crosses.

So here's how my finished Neon Sign painting turned out!

Finished Neon Sign Painting.

It might look cool if you painted over the sign with glow in the dark paint, or you could add an LED strip to the edge of you canvas.

If you're looking for more easy painting tutorials, check out this playlist!

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