Glow Paint Recipes
Our glow crystals are suitable for both indoor and outdoor painting applications. They can be incorporated onsite and applied directly to the surfaces concerned. Suggested mediums include any clear enamel or acrylic based lacquer or polyurethane. A 15% to 40% pigment to paint ratio is recommended. Multiple coats will increase the afterglow effect. A higher ratio of pigment in the medium will cause the mixture to glow brighter and for the glow to last longer. However, there is a point where too much powder in a medium will cause it not to function properly. For example, clear paint with 80% pigment glows very bright, but one will not be able to apply it onto the painting surface.
Our glow in the dark crystals make great glow in the dark ceiling murals and can be easily mixed with a variety of clear mediums and applied. The most popular use of our product is to paint stars and galaxies on ceilings. This type of mural is often called a star-scape or star field.
We recommend our brightest Natural and Ocean glow crystals as these are bright during the first hour and continue to glow all night. If painted thin and consistent, they are mostly invisible during the day. Natural Green is the brightest and makes a great impression. It is bright for about an hour and glows all night. Ocean Blue is also very bright and has a color that is relatively close to real stars. It also is bright for about an hour and glows all night.
We suggest that you paint test paper to learn the techniques before working on your ceiling or walls. Use inexpensive standard paint to learn the techniques. Once you are confident, do a few tests with actual glow in the dark paint. Most of these techniques are relatively easy to learn and can be done by almost anyone without any art experience.
How much glow in the dark paint do I need?
It varies depending on how thick the paint is applied and the density of stars or objects. In general, it would require about 1/4 liters or 1/2 pint for an advanced star scene.
Recommended Painting Materials
Interior wall paint, white
UV (Ultraviolet) black light
Recommended Mediums and Resins
Fiberglass, Polyurethane, Enamel, Lacquer, or Acrylic Emulsions
It is recommended that you use the clearest medium possible, as a colored medium will diminish the afterglow effect. Avoid mediums with high acidity and use a clear, viscous medium, or add dispersion or anti-settling agents to a less viscous one to minimize settling of the pigments.
As our glow crystals are of high density and do not dissolve in medium, they must be mixed well before use. Stir well prior to application, with constant stirring to ensure proper suspension. Applying additional layers of paint and glow crystals will increase glow intensity. A final clear overcoat will protect from humidity, and achieve a glossy finish.
- Use the clearest medium possible.
- Avoid mediums with high acidity.
- Use a clear, viscous medium, or add dispersion or anti-settling agents to a less viscous to minimize settling of the pigments. Our glow crystals are of high density and do not dissolve in any medium. They must be mixed well before use. Stir well prior to application, with constant stirring to ensure proper pigment suspension.
- A non-porous, clean, smooth surface produces the smoothest look after painting. If your surface is rough or porous, you should consider a sealer or primer coat and possibly some sanding. The exact steps and materials to accomplish this will differ depending on the surface type. For best results, visit a local hardware store for advice specific to your surface. We would suggest that you stay away from oil-based products for the primer coat. Water or Solvent base works well. Apply a final clear overcoat as protection from humidity, and to achieve a glossy finish.
- Make sure the wall you plan to decorate is clean and dry.
- Apply an opaque white undercoat of paint onto the surface.
- Mix well a quantity of glow crystals with a suitable medium.
- Paint on a white or light background. With stencil in place, apply mixture onto area. Let dry. Use black UV (Ultraviolet) light for better control of the application process.Apply a minimum of 2 coats to achieve a smooth effect.
- At night, turn on lights in room for 15 minutes and then switch lights off.
- Paint only on dry surfaces free from wax, dust, chalk, etc. Sand old glossy surfaces. Etch metal surface before applying.
- Use a white, or light color as a background for best glow effect. If painting on wood, apply a layer of white primer paint first.
- Multiple layers of paint will produce longer and brighter glow effect. If brushing or rolling, use a wide brush for the most consistent look.
- We suggest that you use a black UV light to expose light spots and also to observe your work as you create it.
- Apply multiple thin layers to achieve the intended brightness level.
- Apply a final clear overcoat e.g. a high gloss epoxy protector to protect the material from humidity and to improve gloss.
- Allow one hour for drying. When spraying allow 5 min drying time between passes and one hour set up time between coats.
- Use several coats to achieve a smooth finish.
- Thinning is usually not required.
- Drying is usually from 30- 60 minutes. Ready to handle in 3-4 hours. Re coat in 2 hours.
- Use brush conditioner or mineral spirits for cleaning.
Glow longevity and durability will be greatly increased with a sealing layer. For this layer, choose a clear solvent-based paint that has no UV-filtering additives. Durability depends on many variables such as humidity, surface type, and base paint.
When using an air gun or airbrush, you should wear a respirator designed for this purpose. Adding 5-10% acetone or other solvent-based paint thinner to the paint will ensure that the paint will impact the surface wet and dry within seconds. If it is hitting the surface dry, add more thinner. If it is running, add more paint.
UV filter additives
Some paints contain an additive that blocks UV light from passing through. Unfortunately, these UV filters also hinder the ability of our glow in the dark powder to charge up. Depending on the specific type and quantity of additive, the effects on the glow in the dark powders differ. Some types of UV filter additives do not result in a diminished glow at all. However, some types will completely eliminate the ability for pigments to charge up. Try to find a medium that does not have UV filters. If that is not an option, test small amounts and compare brightness and charge times to pigment glow levels.
Color pigments and Clear Paint
Like UV filters, standard color pigment used for paints is specifically designed to block light. Therefore, if any color, including white, is in your paint medium, it will both increase the charging time and lower the brightness of the glow. We highly recommend that you use clear mediums. If you use any other translucent or opaque medium, test it on small areas first.
Our glow in the dark crystals do not dye the paint medium to which it is mixed into. Our glow crystals have a high density and they like to sink to the bottom of thin or fluid mediums. This causes two problems: Firstly, you need to shake the medium for an extended period before each use and during use. Secondly, if your application of the paint is not consistent and thickness of the dry paint varies, then this will show up when you turn off the lights, with thicker paint areas glowing brighter. Thicker mediums have less of a problem because they naturally provide support to the particles.
A proper paint needs to contain additives like heavy-duty suspensions. This is microscopic webbing that creates a cradle for the pigments. Effectively, this distributes their weight and allows a properly mixed medium to stay mixed properly. It also nicely hides any imperfections during painting and unnoticeable "touch-ups" can be added.
As you increase the number of paint layers, you also increase the number of glow pigments in every square inch. This has the positive effect of increasing the glow brightness. But, this will also make it increasingly visible during the day.
Shelf-Life and Lifespan
When applied, the glow in the dark paint can recharge many times. Like any paint, lifespan depends heavily on the environment. You can greatly increase the lifespan of a paint job by applying a proper sealer and keeping the surface clean. In most cases, the lifespan will be determined by the sealer coat. If a proper sealer coat is chosen, we suspect that the paint would easily last 10 years outdoors in regular conditions.
In a sealed container, the glow crystals should last a very long time. If kept properly sealed and in a dark area, you should expect less than 5% glow degradation over 10 years. The most important thing is to keep it far away from moisture and dampness. If you plan on long-term storage, consider using disposable desiccant bags in the sealed container.
Life of unopened or sealed paint
If the glow in the dark paint is maintained in a sealed container, it should remain stable and usable for at least 2 years without any performance degradation. The important point is to protect the contents from air and humidity.
Painting Over A Star Field
If for some reason you want to get rid of your star field, it can be easily painted over with standard indoor house paint.