How to add colour to your candles

David and Zoe are excited to share their knowledge on all things colour and to help you identify the key points to watch out for when using dye!

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Melting and mixing of wax

Pros and cons

In our previous video ‘How to choose your wax’ we discussed the pros and cons of different wax types. Let’s go through both wax types again and discuss colours.

Plant wax

With plant wax you will get a candle that will burn aesthetically but it will have a matt appearance as well as the higher probability of frosting.

Paraffin wax

Paraffin wax gives a more vibrant colour than plant wax, but it can leave a concentrated ring of dye along the edge of the pool after burning. Here at Candle Shack, we have named this the ‘ring of death’. You may need to preheat your jars.


When mixing your wax and dye you need to increase the wax temperature, this is due to the dye chips having a higher melting point than your candle wax. Your mixture can get very dark, and it can be hard to see if everything is fully mixed. If you do not mix the dye in completely you will end up with dye pooling at the base of your candle and this can affect your colour saturation.


How much dye should I use?

This will depend on the colour and shade you want to achieve. You will find manufacturer's recommendations on our website. However, adding more dye than recommended can affect the performance of your wick when burning. You may also reach a point of full saturation where you are adding more dye, but the colour will not noticeably change.


We recommend validating your recipe first with no dye. This will give you your starting point for wicking your candle. As a rule of thumb, if you add colour to your candle recipe, you will very likely have to up wick. That is why, we always recommend testing.


Generally, your coloured candles will be poured at the normal temperature for each wax type. Plant wax- can cause frosting, this can usually be mitigated by experimenting with pouring temperature. Paraffin wax- will dip as the wax cools. If you are heating the tops to flatten the top, make sure the wick wax doesn’t run down and discolour your candle wax.

Paraffin wax can also cause jump lines with clear candle glasses. This can be prevented by preheating your jars or pouring at a higher temperature.

We hope that you have fun experimenting with colour in your candles!