Glass paint should be used to paint light bulbs. This paint differs from normal paint because it is not water-based. This keeps the paint from evaporating while the light bulb is lit. Glass paint is also made to withstand high heat, which occurs when the light bulb is on.
Glass paint can be purchased from a majority of local hardware stores, mass merchandisers, craft stores and in the craft department of most department stores. Oil and acrylic paints are not safe or heat resistant and should not be used for this type of project. They do not stand up to the heat produced by the light bulb and could pose a fire hazard.
If a person is going to paint a light bulb, it should be thoroughly cleaned and dried so the paint will adhere well. After the light bulb is painted and the paint dries thoroughly, the bulb must be baked in the oven to help set the paint. It is best to let the heated bulb cool in the oven before trying to remove it, since the bulb will be easier to handle once it has cooled. After the paint has set, the light bulb is safe to use.