DIY glow in the dark paint

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Glowing paint in the dark looks just incredible, giving a huge scope for imagination when using it. Consider in this article the principle of operation of such a paint, its characteristics and give advice on choosing. We will sound the technology of making glowing paint at home.

DIY glow in the dark paint

Composition and principle of action of glowing paint

Luminescence is the ability of materials to glow at nightfall or when an artificial light source is turned off. This effect can be given to any object by treating it with a special luminous paint, which is also called phosphor, luminescent, fluorescent or self-luminous paint..

DIY glow in the dark paint

Enamel accumulates light energy during the day, and then continuously releases it in the dark. The duration of “work” of such paint without extraneous illumination is about 8-12 hours. The cumulative glow process is a continuous cycle and can be used for several years.

The glow of the paint occurs due to the presence of a special component – a phosphor (luminescent pigment). The luminous powder adapts well to the environment, is frost and heat resistant, has stable chemical and physical properties and a long service life – more than 30 years. It is used for both outdoor and indoor work.

DIY glow in the dark paint

The phosphor is combined with a transparent carrier, usually an acrylic, alkyd or polyurethane-based varnish. The standard proportion of components is 1: 3. The type of varnish does not affect the brightness of the glow, but this criterion largely determines the scope of the paint and the durability of the coating.

Scope of reflective paints

Luminous paints have a wide range of applications.

1. The material is in demand when creating a luminous effect in the interior, for decorative finishing of ceilings, walls, applying art painting, in the design of interiors of cafes and nightclubs.

DIY glow in the dark paint

2. The original design of furniture, paintings, interior items.

DIY glow in the dark paint

3. For body art and the creation of glowing makeup and manicure.

DIY glow in the dark paint

4. Decoration of artificial or live flower arrangements.

DIY glow in the dark paint

5. Textile dyeing: advertising clothes, stage costumes, backpacks and bags (this dye can withstand up to 50 washes).

Glowing paint: application, characteristics, DIY making

6. For wooden fences, gazebos and window frames.

7. Application in silk-screen printing – advertising stickers, posters, notepads, etc..

8. Bicycle and auto tuning: glowing discs, caps, calipers, bicycle spokes and frames, protective helmets, spectacular drawings on the car body.

9. Creation of warning signs and workwear.

DIY glow in the dark paint

Varieties of glowing paints and features of their application

Glowing paints can be roughly classified according to the main parameters.

The type of active ingredient (luminescent pigment)

Fluorescent paint, glowing in ultraviolet rays: such paint will not glow by itself, the fluorescent effect disappears after turning off the UV lamp. This type of paint is very often used in the design of exteriors, club rooms and car tuning..

Glowing paint: application, characteristics, DIY making

Acrylic varnish is most often used as a base, which makes the coating safe for health. The pigment can have different colors, the most impressive look is red, green, pink and yellow.

Luminous (luminescent) paint based on a phosphor: the dyed product glows in the dark, giving off the accumulated energy of the sun. To “recharge” such paint, 10-15 minutes of bright daylight or artificial lighting is enough.

Glowing paint: application, characteristics, DIY making

Reflective paint starts to glow when rays of light hit it. Mainly used for territory designation, road markings, reflective elements and signs. This enamel significantly increases the level of safety in industrial plants and roads..

Glowing paint: application, characteristics, DIY making

Phosphorescent paint contains active pigment – phosphorus, dangerous to human health. Phosphoric paint is used for car decoration and interior decoration. They try not to use it in the interior, and replace it with paint with a phosphor..

Glowing paint: application, characteristics, DIY making


Colorless (translucent) in normal light, they are practically invisible, have a slight whitish tint. In the dark, the paint glows blue or yellow-green.

Colored paints are visible in daylight and emit light in the dark. Colored enamel often contains phosphor and fluorescent pigment, which allows it to show its properties under UV rays and in complete darkness..

The composition of paints and the presence of special components are determined by the purpose of the enamel:

  • paint for PVC surfaces and plastics – contains polyurethane-mineral resins that improve adhesion of materials;
  • colors for flowers are made on the basis of water-acrylic dispersion, which does not harm plants;
  • heat-resistant paint for processing metal and glass surfaces – contains polyphenyl resins (maximum permissible temperature exposure is +500 ° C);
  • paints for the aquatic environment – a durable water-repellent polyurethane varnish is used.

Comparative characteristics of glowing paints from different manufacturers

The technology for producing luminous paints is quite simple and does not require expensive equipment. Therefore, today a large number of large and small enterprises are engaged in the production of luminescent and fluorescent enamels. Let’s compare the products of some of them:

Noxton LUMINOVATOR Luminofor
luminescent paint fluorescent paint luminescent paint fluorescent paint luminescent paint
Scope of application painting of metal, wood, glass, plastic, flowers, textiles, for body art painting of metal, wood, glass, plastic, flowers, textiles, for body art decorative work on paper, fabric, plaster, natural stone and primed metal painting of metal, wood, textiles, PVC
Basic colors green, blue, yellow, red, blue, orange, pink white, yellow, red, blue, orange, green, pink blue, green, yellow, red, white light green, red, yellow, blue, purple
The basis depends on the purpose of the paint water-soluble acrylic base waterproof base acrylic
Packaging 0.5 / 1 / 3.5 / 10 l 50/100 ml 100 ml 250 ml
Consumption 12-14 l / m2 (one layer) 100 g for 1-1.5 m2 250 g / m2 10 l / m2
Storage conditions paint for metal: -30 ° С … + 40 ° С; for glass: -10 ° С … + 40 ° С; from +5 ° С to +30 ° С in a place protected from sunlight no more than 30 ° С

How to make glowing paint with your own hands

You can prepare the dye mixture yourself. To work, you need the following components and tools:

  • phosphor;
  • varnish suitable for the type of coating;
  • solvent for varnish;
  • glass or ceramic containers.

DIY glow in the dark paint

The sequence for preparing glowing paint:

  1. Pour varnish into prepared container.
  2. Add luminescent pigment. The amount of phosphor will determine the brightness of the paint and the saturation of the glow, the indicator ranges from 15-50%. The optimal proportion of pigment is 30%.
  3. In order for the phosphor to be better distributed, a little solvent must be added to the composition. The amount of solvent should not exceed 1% of the total mass.
  4. Stir the paint until smooth.

This technology produces transparent enamel. If desired, you can add color to the composition, which will give the desired shade of the surface.

Tips for applying fluorescent paints

DIY glow in the dark paint

To obtain a uniform and saturated glow of objects during painting, you must adhere to the following rules:

  1. The surface of the product must be clean and dry.
  2. The paint must be thoroughly mixed before use, as the phosphor particles precipitate over time.
  3. The second coat of paint must be applied after the first has dried. The interval between painting must be at least 1-1.5 hours.
  4. The brightest glow will be on a solid white surface, a dark base absorbs more radiated energy, therefore, when painting some products, it is recommended to pre-treat the surface with white soil.
  5. When working with phosphoric paints, you need to take care of personal protective equipment: glasses with side screens, gloves and a respirator. Painting should be done in a well ventilated area.

DIY glow in the dark paint

Thanks to the unique properties, luminous paints have found application in a variety of areas, and you can prepare the coloring composition yourself – it is enough to adhere to the specified proportions and simple technology.

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