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How To Make A Glow In The Dark Canvas Painting

Click here to purchase our glow paint!

By now you may have seen some viral videos showing canvas paintings that transform at night with the magic of glow in the dark on YouTube or Facebook. These images are indeed magical, and in fact, anyone can enjoy creating their own glow in the dark works of art. Painting with glow paint can be even easier than painting with normal paint and even beginners will be blown away by their creations!  

In this "How To", we'll show you how you can make any picture glow in the dark by simply painting over the existing image with our glow paints. You heard correctly, our glow paints dry completely invisible when applied in thin coats so you won't need to worry about ruining the underlying image.

To get started you'll need:

First, you will need to paint your canvas with an image of your choice or find a pre-existing one to embellish. Once you have your base image, it's time to break out the glow paint!  

Painting with phosphorescent paint is typically done in one of the following three ways:

  1. In normal light
  2. With an ultraviolet flashlight in a dim room
  3. With a black light fixture (long fluorescent tube) in a dark room

For the pros and cons of each of these methods you can check out our FAQ page but for our “How To” we’ll focus on option 2.

Once the base painting is finished and dry, find a dark (but not pitch black) space to apply the glow paint. Using an ultraviolet light like our 9 LED flashlight, you'll want to charge your paint for 3 to 5 seconds before starting. Once charged, you'll be able to easily see the paint as it is applied over the existing image.  

Trace your existing painting with your glow colors of choice. You can apply the paint as you would any other paint, but we recommend that you apply thin coats for the best results. Once you're done, let it dry and voila, you've got a glowing work of art that can be recharged thousands of times! We do recommend charging your painting with a UV light to get the full effect and have it glow all night long.

All of the supplies needed to paint a glow paint picture can be found on our website and are also available in a convenient DIY Kit that has everything you'll need for your next painting party.

UPDATE: Check out our Top Ten Tips For Painting With Glow In The Dark Paint

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more glow in the dark projects like:

  • Glowing Resin Jewelry
  • Glow In The Dark Coasters
  • Glow In The Dark Sand Pictures
  • Glow In The Dark Fairy Jars
  • Different methods of painting with glow
  • And much, much more!


Please comment below with any questions you may have!

Artist: Yisha Zhao


7 comments

  • Brent

    Hi Laura, you wouldn’t want to cover the glow paint with any other pigmented paint as that will cover up the glow. Instead you could potentially do oil paint first and then apply glow paint on top of that since the glow paint is clear for the first few coats. I am not sure though if acrylic paint will stick to oil paint or not. It may but I don’t have any expertise there unfortunately.

    If acrylic doesn’t stick to oil, you could potentially find an oil paint medium (clear paint) and then add our glow powder into that to make your own glow in the dark oil paint which should stick well on top of an existing oil painting!

  • Laura

    What about for oil painting? Can I lay down glow paint first and let dry, then do oil over? Or will only work with acrylics?

  • Brent Martin

    Hi Gerry, it is best to paint with GITD paint on top of normal paint. If you mix the two the pigment from the regular paint can cover up the glow pigment and prevent it from glowing its brightest.

  • Gerry

    Two questions please: 1) Can I mix acrylic paints with Glow-in-the-dark paints and will it give a good result? 2) Or should I paint first using acrylic and then go over it with the G-I-T-D paint? Thank you
    PS I don’t have a UV light nor a black light fixture so I used Option 1 in your examples

  • Brent

    Hi Debbie, you should be able to mix the powder into the clay as long as it is malleable enough for you to get it mixed in. I can’t tell for sure but from your question it sounds like you may be asking if it is okay to put lets say pink glow powder into pink clay to make the normal clay glow. This will probably work to an extent but the opaqueness of the colored clay will block some of the glow crystals ability to absorb and emit light.

    If you want to try glow crystals with colored clays, I’d recommend trying to keep the glow powder to the outside of the piece so that it glows more brightly and so that you don’t waste powder inside the clay where it won’t be seen. So maybe roll the piece of clay in some powder to coat the outside of it just before molding that piece into the shape you want. Hope that makes sense!

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