The 5 Best Glow In The Dark Paints [Ranked]
In this post we examine 5 of the best-selling glow in the dark paints.
Before we dive in, if you're looking for a luminous paint for DIY indoor/outdoor wood, glass, metal, paint, fabric, plastic applications, check out the Aurora paint. If you want a body paint, check out the UV Glow paint.
The Aurora, DecoArt, Glominex and the Astro Glow glow after seconds of exposure to light. The UV Glow is best for a nightclub environment with UV lighting.
From ceiling stars to fantasy designs, there's a world of inspiration at your fingertips- just check out Pinterest.
Customers had several tips for new users of glow in the dark acrylic paint. First, don't use as much paint as you're used to; a little goes a long way (Source).
When you do have to do an extra coat, allow for 15-20 minutes of drying time between them. Remember, extra coats add brightness.
Finally, be creative! These glow in the dark paint wall murals are only limited by your own ideas!
How The Paints Compare
Out of the paints we are looking at, though, what is the best glow in the dark paint? Well, each of these options have their merits and downfalls, so let's take a look!
Water or Arcylic?
First, these paints vary by whether they water-based or acrylic.
Water-based paints are more popular today thanks to them being generally non-toxic. Acrylic paint isn't bad for you, though, and it tends to dry faster (Source).
Options such as the Spacebeams products are water-based and DecoArt is acrylic.
There are also body paint options. On this list, UV Glow Blacklight Face and Body paint is the option to go with. These are fantastic for Halloween, parties, and even concerts! Since they are for your body, they also come in fluorescent, eye-catching colors.
It is important that you use this product and not other interior glow in the dark paints for use on skin.
The Astro Glow option is also unique since it comes with an accessories. That is a small UV light that is for "charging" your paint for when you are ready to use it. It promises to "supercharge" your paint by comparison to sun exposure! Another difference is how this paint dries.
Options like the Astro Glow glow in the dark paint dries clear. Yet, an option such as the Glowminex paints dry in their distinctive bright colors.
Best Glow In The Dark Paints For 2023
Uses For Glow in the Dark Paint
- Make sure the area you are working on is clean. Like any other type of paint, you want a smooth coat.
- Do not apply to a dark background. Prime your area with white or another light-colored coat.
- Try to do your work under a UV light. This will "charge up" the paint so it will glow later.
- Keep the number of coats around 2 or 3. Your glow in the dark paint DIY will glow this way without wasting paint. Remember, the more coats you use, the harder it is to control how smooth the paint job is.
- Leave 15-20 minutes between coats for drying.
- Spray Epoxy protector on the piece for extra durability.
- Don't be afraid to experiment to get unique results!
What You Need To Know About Glow Paint
Since we carefully selected five of the best-selling glow-in-the-dark paints, it only makes sense that we outlined some best practices for using this unique, glowing paint.
Consulting some art websites, we discovered that, in their opinion, this type of paint does require some skill and practice before you get the best outcome from it, especially if using a paint sprayer.
The first point they made is that the first few coats will look invisible to the naked eye- so get used to that!
The next tip they shared is that you should get used to using less paint than you generally apply. So when you dab some on your brush make sure that you make an effort to spread it out as thin as possible and only supplement it when absolutely required. The reason for this is it will help you to avoid bumps and raised edges that will glow brighter than the rest of your brush strokes.
You will also want to invest in either an ultraviolet flashlight or a black light so that you can spot check the evenness of your brush strokes while they are wet. As we mentioned, because this paint will be clear, and you really can't see what's going on with it with the naked eye, you'll want to check it every so often with the black light or the ultraviolet flashlight to ensure that there are no raised edges that will glow unnecessarily brighter.
Thankfully, though, as you get a hang of the amount of paint required for a smooth stroke you don't have to use the spot check lighters as frequently.
Another helpful tip is that between coats you should wait 10 to 15 minutes for it to dry. The reason for this is that if you end up waiting only 5 minutes, for example, before layering on the second coat it will actually remove the first coat's glow.
Perhaps you are painting a sign design to be highly visible- in this case, you want to achieve optimal brightness. You can reach for maximum brightness by layering on more than one coat of paint-though it's counseled that after the first three layers it won't make much of a difference.
If you're really ambitious and want to sketch three-dimensionally you can employ toothpicks and toothbrushes to create some visually arresting aesthetic effects. This is often great for replicating outer space environments. The way it works, you'll be dipping your toothbrush or toothpick into different colored glow paints and basically flicking stars on to your canvas. There are even glow powders you can use! One additional tip is if you are feeling stymied, head over to Pinterest and search for fun project ideas you can experiment with.
How To Make Your Own
The editors over at wikiHow.com even have a tutorial for how to make glow-in-the-dark paint. The way it works, you'll purchase some dark powder from an art supply store, select some clear gel or paint, add the phosphorescent powder and the paint in a small bowl, stir it up and then use immediately.
The phosphorescent powder will come in different colors and will often have different particle sizes. When you're selecting, be aware that a larger particle will make it look lighter, but provide a more speckled appearance while smaller particles will have a smoother effect, but not as powerful a glow.
There's even a strategy for using a common fluorescent highlighter mixed with water and cornstarch to create a glowing effect. This might be a fun DIY project but for more professional home decor purposes you'll probably want to buy an expertly mixed can of paint.