1. Wipe the surface of the candles with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth to prepare the surface for painting.
2. Using a cosmetic sponge, dab the candle with a generous coat of Candle and Soap Colors varnish. Keep the coverage even and smooth. Let the varnish dry overnight.
3. Using painter's tape or rubber bands, mask off the portions of the candle that are to remain unpainted. For the striped tapers, use 1-inch-wide painter's tape, leaving 1 inch between each taped section. For the round candle, wrap rubber bands around the candle, spacing them evenly to create six equal segments. For the plaid candle, tape off the candle vertically by alternating two different sizes of tape. Match the tape sizes to the candle size so the stripes will be even.
4. Paint the unmasked portions of the candle with acrylic paint. For the round candle, paint the segments in alternating colors. For the plaid candle, paint the wide stripes green and the narrow stripes red.
5. Let the paint dry overnight. If necessary, apply a second coat. If you're painting striped tapers, you can carefully remove the tape while the paint is still damp. For the plaid candle, let the paint dry overnight, then remove the tape and mask off horizontal lines. Paint in the same manner to create the plaid.
6. If you want the candle to have a shiny surface, evenly pat a coat of varnish over the entire candle with a cosmetic sponge.
Note: This painting technique will not work on rough-texture candles. Use only smooth-finish candles.