Glow in the Dark Painting Tips

The Basics

Glow in the Dark paint is made by mixing Glow in the Dark Powder with clear (transparent) water or oil based mediums. Glow Powder only works when mixed with clear mediums. Reason is because it works by absorbing and giving out light. This is only possible with transparent mediums. Opaque mediums like coloured paints do not allow light to pass through. When glow powder is added to coloured paints, they will not glow in the dark.

 

Water based or Oil based paints

The choice between water or oil based glow in the dark paints depends mainly on the surface to be painted.

Water based glow paints can be used on most surfaces except metralic ones like iron, steel or anything that rusts.

Oil based glow paints can be used on most surfaces except plastic, leather or other soft materials.

 

Basic Glow in the Dark Painting Tips

Glow in the Dark Painting can be fun if it works. If it does not…. here are some tips on getting the best from your glow in the dark painting project.

 

  1. Paint on a White or light coloured background.
    The glow is brighter when painted on white surfaces.

  2. Painting should be done in the dark and under a UV Black light.
    Since the glow effects are meant to be seen in the dark, it is best to paint in the dark and under a UV Black Light. If not, the painting may look even under normal light, but patchy when it glows in the dark.

  3. Apply as many coats as required, to achieve the required glow brightness.
    Best way is to switch off the UV light after every coat and wait for patches (dark spots) to appear.

Waterbased Glow Paint

We often get asked as to whether water can be used since it is very transparent. The answer is NO! because water is not a medium as it evoporates. You need to use clear Oil or Water Based mediums like solvent, epoxy or acrylic.

slg 1 gl sslb 1 gl s

Also take note that not all glow powders can be mixed with water based mediums. Only SLG-2W and SLB-2W are water soluble pigments. The rest will oxidise when mixed with water based mediums.

Can we paint Glow Paint over an object to make it glow?

Glow Paint is semi transparent. The moment it is painted over an object, it covers the colour and characteristics of the object to a certain extent. True effect of the transparency comes after the paint has dried.

What this means is that immediately after painting, Glow Paint looks more opaque than it really is. It gets more transparent as it dries, slowly revealing the surface beneath. But it is still not fully transparent.

Glow in the Dark Painitng

How Many Coats Of Glow in the Dark Paint?

 

The image below shows how a surface would look like after varying number of coats. Actual results may vary depending on the painting method. For example, brush painting produces a thicker coat when compared with roller painting.

Glow Paint after 1 coat

First Coat

How the painted surface looks once dried with only one coat of Glow Paint.

Glow Brightness 25%

Glow Time 1.5 ~ 2.5 hours

Glow Paint after 2 coats

Second Coat

How the painted surface looks once dried with Two coats of Glow Paint.

Glow Brightness 50%

Glow Time 3.5 ~ 5 hours

Glow Paint after 3 coats

Third Coat

How the painted surface looks once dried Three coats of Glow Paint.

Glow Brightness 70%

Glow Time 5.5 ~ 6..5 hours

Glow Paint after 4 coats

Fourth Coat

How the painted surface looks once dried with only one coat of Glow Paint.

Glow Brightness 95%

Glow Time 7 ~ 10 hours

Conclusion

As can be seen from the images above, you would need to apply at least 3 to 4 layers of paint for a smooth and even surface, with a bright glow.

The image on the right shows 1coat of glow paint over an existing image.

After the paint has dried, it becomes clear. Only the glow powder particles are opaque. But because it is only the first coat, the glow powder only forms a thin layer over the existing bacgrounfd image.

There are some guidelines that should be followed in order to get the best from your glow paint. You can read more in Glow in the Dark  Painting Instructions.

Family Handyman, does provide more detailed instructions which can apply to glow in the dark painting as well.

1 coat with background painting