The Life of Glow in the Dark Paint

by craftyclub

Glow in the dark paint offers artistic and innovative possibilities to enhance the decor of walls. The paint can be used for paintings, lights, signage, or to highlight walls and accessories, whether fluorescent or phosphorescent.

But, how long will glow in the dark paint last? Some accessories fade or become old over time, so how long will glow paint last? This article will discuss the possible life span of glow in the dark paint and you will learn more about it.

What’s Glow in the Dark Paint?

The Life of Glow in the Dark Paint
The Life of Glow in the Dark Paint (from Pinterest)

When exposed to darkness, glow in the dark paint (also known as phosphorescent paint) emits a greenish-blue or dull green tint. The paint produces visible light, which fades over time based on how long the painted object has been exposed to light. The paint glows because of the presence of phosphors in it.

What is Glow in the Dark Paint Made of, and How Does it Glow?

Hundreds of years have passed since the invention of glow in the dark paint. It began as a paste or paint made from minerals or phosphors having luminous properties. Phosphors are utilized in pyrotechnics, safety matches, and military applications, and their glow-in-the-dark properties have made them popular with the general public.

Strontium aluminate and silver zinc sulfide phosphors are extensively used in phosphorescent or luminous paint. Green, yellow, and blue are the only colors that naturally occur in minerals. Other glow-in-the-dark shades can be made, but they are more expensive and don’t last as long. When fluorescent dyes are added to one of the three natural tones to tint them, a wider range of colors is achieved at a lower cost.

Glow in the dark paint is both natural and synthetic. In order for the paint to glow, it should be charged up and energized. UV rays are used to recharge glow in the dark or phosphorescent paints, and they will glow in the dark without the usage of black lights, while they may also show up under black light.

How Long Can Glow in the Dark Paint Live for

Generally, in an unopened can, glow in the dark paint has a life span of three to five years. On correctly prepped surfaces, glow in the dark paint can last up to 10 years and 12 years if a sealer is applied to preserve the phosphors from decaying. The paint may be repainted or touched up when it fades or no longer recharges and glows.

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The amount of time glow in the dark paint glows each evening is determined by the quality of the paint, the amount of UV exposure it receives each day, and how thickly it was applied. Some luminous watch dials can last up to 12 hours, while others only last an hour. The same may be said for wall paint.

The duration of the light is determined by several varying factors. The durability of a product is determined by a variety of factors, including the product’s kind, intended usage, location, and situation.

Following are the different factors that determine the life span of glow in the dark paint:

  • A Fresh unopened can of glow in the dark paint

    A properly sealed can of glow in the dark paint will last at least two years before losing its effectiveness. Most paint producers nowadays spend a lot of effort into the packaging to guarantee that consumers get the best paint possible. It has been proven that some paints can last for up to five years if not opened.
  • Glow After applying

    Glow-in-the-dark paint on outdoor objects can last up to ten years. Its longevity is also influenced by the state of the surface on which the paint was put. Smooth surfaces, when combined with the appropriate powder, can last for a longer time.

    You’ll need a decent grade sealer in addition to a smooth surface and the proper powder. Because it preserves the phosphors from degradation, the sealer will help your paint last longer than intended. In the end, we won’t be able to prevent the paint from fading in the long run.
  • Glow after first-time recharge

    Glow in the dark paint can be replenished to an unlimited number of times. The length of time the paint glows is highly depending on how long it has been charged. The glow can last up to 4 hours if charged in the sun. As previously stated, the paint can last up to ten years in outdoor circumstances before beginning to fade. Nonetheless, the glow will be as good as new every time you charge the paint during the next ten years.
  • Glow In the dark paint while charging

    Natural or artificial light can be used to charge objects sprayed with glow in the dark paint. Sunlight is a natural light source, while UV torches are an artificial light source. Household lights, to be honest, will not be able to charge the glow paint effectively. The greatest option for a brilliant and long-lasting glow is sunshine. To fully charge your object with the glow in the paint, simply place it in direct sunlight for 3-4 hours. The light must be direct and continuous in order for the paint to properly charge. Shadows and light irregularity, particularly around sunset, will alter the paint’s charge and consequently the glow.

    LED lights cannot charge glow-in-the-dark paint that is supposed to be charged by sunlight. Furthermore, most of the inexpensive glow-in-the-dark paints will not illuminate when artificially charged. As a result, if you’re on a budget, sunshine will be your only source of paint charge. As a result, it’s always a good idea to double-check the charging mode and the length of time it’ll last before purchasing any paint.
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Glow in the Dark Paint for Walls

Glow in the dark painting
Glow in the dark painting (from Pinterest)

Today’s market is flooded with high-quality glow in the dark wall paints. They can be phosphorescent, fluorescent, or a combination of both. Some are water-based, while others are solvent-based, and the majority are applied with a brush.

How to Paint on a Wall with Glow in the Dark Paint

The size, position, and technicality of what you want to illuminate will determine whatever method you use. Furthermore, the technique of application is determined by the desired result. Here are some pointers for using glow in the dark paint on walls and other items.

  • Lighter backgrounds

    Lighter backgrounds are ideal. The majority of the glow we see is caused by light reflection, which means that lighter colors repel light while darker colors soak up light. Because glow in the paint emits light, it will bounce off the white surface and towards the observer when painted on a lighter background. The contrary is also true: when light is painted on dark surfaces, some of it is absorbed and does not reflect back to the spectator. 

    Glow in the dark paint that has been charged for at least 30 minutes and placed on a lighter background will glow for a long time and brightly. If the paint is applied to a dark background, it will shine brighter when the light is turned off, but it will fade rapidly.
  • Use less paint

    When painting, start with a very thin coat. You can add additional if necessary. Smooth and cool coloring can be achieved with thin coats of paint. It will be difficult to achieve an evenly painted surface with thick coats of paint. It is preferable to apply multiple thin layers of paint rather than fewer thick applications.
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DIY: How to Make Glow in the Dark Paint

To make glow in the dark paint, the steps are as follows:

  1. Choose powder

Purchase phosphorescent powder from a local craft store or hardware store, or you can buy it online. It comes in a variety of pigment colors and texture combinations. Check to see if the powder is suitable with the type of paint you want to use, whether it’s water-based or oil-based.

  1. Choose paint

This is the paint you’ll use to blend with the phosphorescent powder. Choose an acrylic clear or transparent paint, if you want your paint to be unnoticeable in light. Choose an acrylic paint in a color you prefer if you want the paint to be visible in light.

Check if the medium of your paint is suitable for your phosphorescent powder. If you want to utilize a water-based medium, for example, you’ll need coated glow powder.  You can use normal or glow powder which is uncollated in oil based medium.

  1. Place powder in bowl

Fill a bowl with phosphorescent powder. One part powder to five parts paint is what you’ll need.

  1. Pour paint in bowl

Pour your paint medium in a slow, steady stream over the powder in the mixing bowl. Stir the mixture carefully. To achieve a thinner consistency, use more paint.

Because the powder will not dissolve in the paint, stir until the mixture is completely blended and there are no lumps.

  1. Use your paint

The majority of glow in the dark paints should be utilized right away. Your new mix may not have a strong life span, depending on the powder/medium combination. As a result, only mix what you’ll be able to utilize within an hour. If you wish to keep your paint, pour it into a well-sealed container and stir it thoroughly before using it again.


Glow in the dark paint comes in a variety of characteristics. We hope you now know all there is to know about glow in the dark paint, how long it can live, and how to create it.

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