Glow in the dark paints have been on the market for around 100 years but have only been used more extensively in the past 40 years. So, where would you use this type of paint? If you are planning a kid’s or Halloween party, school project, craft ideas, or just want to have some fun then the best glow in the dark paints are the answer. They are effective when painted on the face or body or can also be applied to many other surfaces as well. In this article we will be helping you through the maze of products, to get you the right paint for your project.
- 1 Glow in the Dark Paint Explained
- 2 Types of Glow in the Dark Paints
- 3 Top Brands for Glow in the Dark Paints
- 4 Tips When Buying Your Best Glow in the Dark Paint
- 5 Application Process for Glow in the Dark Paint for Walls
- 6 How to Create Your Own Glow in the Dark Paints
- 7 Tips When Creating Your Own Paint That Glows
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
Glow in the Dark Paint Explained
Like all other products there are hundreds of different types available, so how do we choose the best glow in the dark paint. Before you buy this type of paint you need to learn a bit more about the variety of paints available.
Here are a few that are available on the market:
- Neon Paint: These paints are not technically neon but only glow the same as a neon light
- UV Reactive Paint: This product will only glow when subjected to a black light and will not glow without it, and is also referred to as fluorescent paint
- Day-Glow Paint: This just means that the paint will also glow in the daylight
- Glow in the Dark Paint: This type of paint needs to be charged by exposing it to a regular light source before it will glow. They have small phosphors crystals that get charged with UV light almost like a battery, and when charged they will glow brightly. It will also glow when exposed to a blacklight but the black light will not be able to charge it. The glow will not be very effective when used on small and detailed surfaces
So, now that you know what to look for, we are going to continue and cover in greater detail how to purchase your best glow in the dark paint.
Types of Glow in the Dark Paints
You get many varieties of glow in the dark paint, each specially formulated to be applied on hard or solid surfaces and are excellent glow in the dark paint for walls, ceilings, and metal. Others can be applied to different types of fabric and then some can be applied to the body and face. Recently there has also been released washable glow in the dark paint for cosmetic use like make-up. There are two formulations or types of glow in the dark paints which are water-based and glow in the dark acrylic paint. These two options may not appear to be different, however, where you can apply them, and their performance varies greatly. These need to be properly understood if your project you have in mind is to be perfect.
Water-Based Glow in the Dark Paint
This type of paint is water-based and therefore has several advantages:
Glow in the Dark Acrylic Paint
This type of paint is chemical-based and is a good glow in the dark paint for walls and other solid surfaces. Here are some of its benefits and disadvantages:
- Specially designed for outdoor use
- Fade and UV resistant
- Produces harmful fumes and is not so eco-friendly
- Difficult to clean up or off and requires spirits to remove
- Do not use on the body or face
- Takes a long time to dry
- Tends to be expensive
Top Brands for Glow in the Dark Paints
Glow in the dark paints can be used for numerous types of projects, but you need to consider a few things before you go out and buy. The main thing is the type of surface you want to paint. This is important, as they are not universal and not all brands can be used on all types of materials. You also need to think about the strength of the glow, and for how long you want that glow to last. So, for these reasons we are going to define our choices to two main areas:
- Paints formulated for use on fabrics and solid surfaces
- Paints that are specially made for use on the body and face.
Best Overall Glow in the Dark Paint for Solid Surfaces: AURORA Bright Green
The Aurora Bright Green Glow in the dark paint manufactured by Space Beams is one of the best outdoor glow in the dark paint products available and is for use on fabrics and solid surfaces only. The product can be applied to several different surfaces such as metal, wood, plastic, glass, rock, fabric, and more, and is effective when applied indoors or outdoors.However, it is not recommended for use on the body or face. With just one strong charge of around 10 seconds, using a UV flashlight or direct sunlight, it can hold a charge for 12 hours. If properly cared for, you can keep charging and it will last for many years.
- Glows all night after a 10 second light charge (UV flashlight is best!)
- Included: Lifetime Access To The Exclusive VIP Stencils Membership
- Non-Toxic, Non-Flammable, Water Based Paint (0.68 fl oz / 20ml)
For best results, it is better if you apply it to a light background at a thickness of around 3 mm. Aurora Bright Green can give you a bright glow even when wet, but it is advisable to coat it with a layer of varnish to protect it from moisture deterioration.Aurora Bright Green is manufactured with a thick consistency which allows you to use it as is, or you can easily thin it by adding water. Be careful and only add one drop of water at a time, as it tends to thin very quickly. Once applied, it will dry within 30 to 60 minutes, however, for a thicker application it may take a little longer to dry. Certainly, this is the best outdoor glow in the dark paint.
The formulation used in the manufacture of Aurora Bright Green makes its durability and strength of glow the best on the market.
Best Overall Glow in the Dark Paint for Face and Body: MIDNIGHT GLO UV Body Paint
The best glow in the dark face paint we found is the Midnight Glo UV Body Paint. This comes in eight bright fluorescent neon colors: yellow, orange, purple, blue, pink, white, red, and green. At your party or function when the black lights or UV lights are switched on, your skin will glow with all those amazing color combinations and designs. Please avoid applying this paint near or around your eyes, as it could cause harm.
- Blacklight Reactive Paint glows brightly Under UV Lighting
- Premium Quality - Creamy Texture that Goes on Smooth
- 6 Bright Neon Dayglow Colors: Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple
The creamy consistency of the Midnight Glo UV Body Paint is similar to that of Tempera Paint, which is smooth. The product is a washable glow in the dark paint and can easily be removed by washing with water no need to scrub. However, it can withstand your bodies’ perspiration. The paint is quite easy to apply, is quick-drying, and gives your skin a bright shiny appearance. The paint is harmless and can be smeared onto the skin. However, do not let it get on your clothes, as it can cause a stain. This body paint is available in 0.75 fluid ounce and 2 fluid ounce packs with each pack consisting of 6, 7, or 8 bottles.
If you are planning a Halloween party or special function, or just want to have some fun then Midnight Glo UV Body Paint is the way to go for an unforgettable night.
Best Value for Money: NEON NIGHTS Phosphorescent Glow Pigment
The product, neon nights Phosphorescent Glow Pigment comes as a loose pigment powder and is ideal for any large project you are going to tackle. It contains 3.5 ounces of pigment powder that you can mix with any type of binder of your choice. For best results, we suggest that you mix it with a clear binder to bring out the brightest glow. A good binder can be clear polyurethane, varnish, lacquer, paints, or epoxies, which makes it the best glow in the dark spray paint. When mixing with paints a higher ratio will be required, refer to the manufactures instructions.
- Being fully charged for a few hours under direct sunlight or an alternative light source
- For our glow in the dark pigment powder, we’ve made sure that it provides a beautifully vivid glow both indoors and outdoors
- Use uncolored binders for indoor use and solvent-based binders for outdoor use
To mix the product, take one-part pigment powder and mix it with two-parts of your choice of binder. With this mixing ratio, the glow pigment powder should last you a long time and is one of the best glow in the dark spray paints. A major disadvantage is that there are only two colors: green and blue. This product can easily be used outdoors or indoors. When using it outdoors you need to follow the manufactures instructions for mixing, as you need to use a solvent-based binder. The paint needs to be charged first for a few hours by the sunlight or other light source, and then it should glow brightly with a vivid green or blue glow.
So, if you want to get the kids interested in arts and crafts or enjoy yourself with various projects, then neon nights glow pigment is just what you need.
Tips When Buying Your Best Glow in the Dark Paint
When you are about to go and purchase your glow in the dark paint you first need to consider certain key factors. This is to ensure you buy the correct paint for your project as not all of them perform in the same way. There are many different types on the market, so let us read on to find out what you can look out for when purchasing.
Purpose of Use
The specific type of glow in the dark paint will depend solely on the type of project you have in mind. Some projects cover more than one surface, so you need to choose the paint that will perform best on the surface you want to cover. For example, some of the paints are for use on fabrics, others on hard surfaces, while others are for face and body application.
There are two basic kinds of glow in the dark paints, these are acrylic or water-based. The acrylic type is thick like toothpaste and easily adheres to surfaces but is very difficult to remove once dry. The water-based type is much thinner and is great to use for craft ideas and parties and can easily be removed using water. Also known as washable glow in the dark paint.
So, it is safe to say if you are looking for a permanent finish that will last you need to buy the acrylic type, or for temporary use then the water-based type is the answer.
Strength of Glow
Most of the glow in the dark paints receive their charge from direct sunlight or UV lights, and the glow strength may depend on the strength of the light source. Some users use UV flashlights to charge the product and this operation can be done in a matter of seconds. There is glow in the dark paint that gives out a strong bright glow when others provide a softer pastel type of glow. The formulation of the particular product will determine the type and strength of glow that you will receive.
Variety of Colors
Some of the glow in the dark paints have only one or two colors per pack. However, you may need to have a lot more for your project. No problem, for there are products on the market that have multicolor packs, so you need to choose the product that is right for you. Remember, the blues and greens give out the brightest glow in the dark paint while colors like reds, purples, and pinks are less striking.
The time you want the glow to last is also dependent on your project. If used on a costume that only has to last for one night then the long-lasting factor is not very important. However, if you intend your glow to last for a long time, like a design on your child’s ceiling, then it needs to last for a few years. For this purpose, you need to buy a high-quality glow in the dark paint that can be applied to a hard surface which can last for many years. This type of paint could be expensive, but you will end up with a long-lasting design.
This factor will be dependent on the size of your project so you may need to buy a bigger size bottle. The average size is a 0.75-ounce bottle, which should be sufficient to cover most of your project needs like stars on the ceiling or various craft ideas. If you are planning a party or a function then the 0.75-ounce bottle should be ample, but if you are having a group of friends around then we advise that you buy the 1 or 2-ounce bottles. To give you an idea a 1 fluid ounce bottle can be enough to cover one up to two square feet of surface area.
Safety of the Paint
How safe is glow in the dark paint? The is determined by the type of paint you are using. Some of the paints like acrylic-based glow in the dark paints are not for use on the body or face and if used can cause serious harm. Only paints labeled as glow in the dark body paints are safe for use on your skin and can easily be washed off with soap and water.
Most of the water-based paints do not have harmful chemicals and are non-toxic and can be applied to the skin but must be kept away from the eyes. However, you need to consider the condition of the skin before applying the paint, as people with skin problems like eczema need to stay away from putting this type of paint onto their skin. The different ingredients in the paint can irritate the skin.
Application Process for Glow in the Dark Paint for Walls
Applying the best glow in the dark paint is easy and can be done by almost everyone. There is some preparation if you are going to apply glow in the dark paint for walls, or onto other types of surfaces. You need to make sure how many coats to apply and various other tips, which will provide the best long-lasting glow.
- Ensure the surface is dirt-free and smooth
- Try not to apply it on a dark background, give the surface a primer coat of white or any other light-colored coat
- You need to work under a UV light so that the paint can charge which will then enable it to glow later on
- Try and keep the number of coats to 2 or at the most 3, as the paint will glow, and you do not want to waste any paint
- The more coats you apply, make it harder to control the smoothness of the finish
- Allow 15 to 20 minutes for the paint to dry between coats
- It is recommended that you spray an epoxy protector over the finished surface to give it that added durability
- Let your imagination run wild and experiment as much as you like to achieve unique results
How to Create Your Own Glow in the Dark Paints
Is it possible to create glow in the dark paint by yourself? The answer is yes, you can make your own ensuring that it is safe and non-toxic. There are certain advantages for making your own glow in the dark paint and not purchasing it from the store:
- You will be able to customize the colors you want
- By controlling the ingredients, you can ensure safety
- Less expensive
The ingredients needed for your glow in the dark paint:
- 4 tablespoons of corn starch (you can also use talcum powder)
- 2 tablespoons of cold cream (or any type of thick lotion)
- 2 tablespoons of glow pigment
- Food coloring (or homemade dye) this ingredient is optional
The corn starch acts as the binder which helps the paint adhere to your skin, and also helps to increase the brightness of the glow. The cold cream gives the paint its smoothness and keeps it from cracking or peeling. The most important of these ingredients is the glow powder, as it gives the paint the glow you are looking for.
Steps to Follow When Making Glow in the Dark Paint
When making your own glow in the dark paint follow these simple steps to ensure the best results. Do not worry about precision when adding the ingredients, just be creative.
- Stir the corn starch and the cold cream together in a small bowl until smooth. If you intend to make several different colors, then divide the mixture into several small bowls similar to an ice cube tray.
- Now mix the glow powder a little at a time. It is recommended that you mix it under a black or UV light to charge the pigment. Turn off the lights and see how the paint glows in the dark.
- If you want to you can now add more pigment to give your paint a brighter glow. If you are satisfied with the glow you can also add more cold cream to give the paint a smoother finish, or you can add more powder to give you a thicker paint.
- Now the mixture is ready, but you need to cover it with some plastic or place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. You can apply the glow paint using your fingers, a make-up sponge, or a paintbrush.
- Remember, some of the pigments are already colored when you buy them and the color under normal lighting will be different than the color when it glows. If you want to change the color of the paint just add some food coloring or powdered paint. Just remember that adding more color pigment will reduce the glow of the paint.
- To remove the glow paint from your face or body just wash it off with some soap and water.
Tips When Creating Your Own Paint That Glows
The next time you plan a party, or next Halloween why not give the glow in the dark paints a try? Here are a few guidelines when using the brightest glow in the dark paint.
- Ensure your glow pigment is labeled ‘phosphorescent’ or ‘glow in the dark’ as this type of powder will glow in the dark under black light or even when the lights have been switched off. This type of pigment is different from those labeled “black light glow”, UV glow” or “fluorescent”
- Glow powder is supplied in various particle sizes, the bigger the particle the brighter it will glow. However, the bigger particle sizes do not provide you with a smooth finish
- The color of the particles is also important, blue and green last longer and glow brighter
- For a brighter glow apply the glow in the dark paint over a light background like white, as it will reflect the light
- Do not add water to your glow powder as it will cause it to lose its glow
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Glow in the Dark Paint Unsafe?
There are certain types of glow in the dark paints that can be harmful to your skin. That is why it is important to use the correct formulated products for application on your face and body. Always take a look at the product information before buying.
What is Glow in the Dark Paint?
The glow in the dark paint is manufactured using luminescent phosphors particles in the paint. These particles are charged under a UV light or the sunlight and can then hold the charge and glow for a certain time.
How Long can the Paint Hold its Glow?
It all depends on what type of product you are using, which can result in your paint holding its glow for up to 24 hours. Some of the glow in the dark paints that are applied permanently will begin to fade after a time, but the high-quality type of paints can last for 20 years or more.
Why Does my Glow in the Dark Paint not Glow?
These types of paints need to be charged before they can glow and must be exposed to some form of light like the sun or UV light for them to glow. If the paint is applied indoors then the ordinary indoor lighting should be sufficient to charge the paint and cause it to glow.
Is There a Difference Between Fluorescence and Glow in the Dark Paint?
Both of these paints will glow in the dark but fluorescent paints will only glow when a UV or black light is turned on them. Most of the fluorescent paints are body and face paint. Glow in the dark paint also glows in the dark but it first needs to be charged and then it can glow without the need of any light source.