How to paint with Glow in the Dark Paint to
Achieve a Professional Look
You can use our paints like you would any other acrylic paint. In
most cases, you can simply paint it on. Keep in mind that our
product is a solvent-based acrylic, which means that it will strongly
adhere to almost any surface. These instructions are here only for
the users that have advanced projects that justify additional preparation
and sealing steps.
If you are starting with a surface that has a good paintjob already in
place, then you can skip the steps below regarding the sealer and base
coat. Simply make sure that the surface is clean and smooth.
Like any paint, 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
Color Base Layer
Our paints come with our without a daytime pigment.
Products without the word "daytime" in their title are mostly clear
when applied. This means that any color underneath of the paint will
show through in a lit room. In the dark, the glow color will only
Products with the word "daytime" are almost opaque during the day and
therefore the base color is masked.
Here are two examples:
Standard red paint covered with Ultra Green Glow in the Dark Paint is
red during the day and glows green at night.
Standard Purple Paint covered with Daytime Orange Glow in the Dark
Paint is mostly orange during the day and glows orange at night. Of
course like all paints, some of the purple might show through during the
day and make an ugly color.
Therefore, your next step is apply your color base coat. Light or
white colors smooth out the glow appearance at night and improve the
transparency of the "invisible" glow paints during the day. Darker
colors work, but the contrast will sometimes make the "invisible" paints
more noticeable. Once again, we suggest water or solvent based
paints for this layer.
The majority of the time, our lab technicians prefer Krylon Bright
White High Gloss Spray Paint for this layer. It is inexpensive, easy
to manage, and looks great.
The glow layer is the easiest part. You simply need to choose a
glow in the dark paint that matches your taste in color and brightness.
Multiple, thin, even layers give the best appearance. If brushing or
rolling, use a wide brush for the most consistent look. We suggest
that you use a black light to expose light spots.
Our experienced technicians
add thin layers until they achieve the intended brightness level. This
typically takes 2-4 thin layers.
Air gun and Airbrushing Glow Paint
Important: When using an air gun or airbrush, you should wear a
respirator designed for this purpose.
To get the best performance out of a solvent-based paint in an air
application, you need to increase the drying time slightly or it will
literally dry in the air.
Our lab technicians accomplish this by
adding 5-10% acetone or other solvent-based paint thinner to the paint.
Done properly, the paint should 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.
In the labs, we primarily use Paasche "H" external mix air brushes with a #5 tip.
This brush is great for beginners and only costs $45 for a complete kit
minus an air compressor. It is also easy to clean and maintain.
Zinc or Silicate based Glow in the Dark Paints usually do not need a
sealing layer. Aluminate based products like the Ultra, High, and
Daytime series have their longevity and durability greatly increased with
a sealing layer.
For this layer, choose a clear solvent-based paint that has no
UV-filtering additives. We highly recommend Krylon Crystal Clear
Spray Paint. It is inexpensive and available at many local stores.
It is also available in gloss or matte to match your tastes. For a
higher end product, you can also use our clear medium for this layer.
If you follow these recommendations, you should be able to apply an
automotive quality finish with very little cost and minimal work.
Of course I must stress again that if you are just interested in
painting stars on your ceiling than all of these steps are unnecessary.
We love to see pictures of projects. If your paint job turns out
well, please send us a photo.