Back in the summer of 2004 my wife and I happened upon an exhibit at the Phoenix Home and Garden show for star murals. We took our seat inside the exhibit, the exhibitor turned off the lights and then my jaw hit the floor. I’d played with glow in the dark paints as a kid but I had no idea where the technology and application of it had gone. Unfortunately we moved to Dallas a few months later but we talked about flying the guy out to paint our rooms. Well time passed and a year later my wife brought the subject up again.
This time I spent several weeks Googling for as much information as I could find on glow in the dark paints and painting star murals. A little time after starting my research I found that I’d opened a Pandora’s Box and had begun my quest to paint our own ceilings.
What a ride it’s been. I’m far from the naive consumer I was back on 2004. I’ve learned that what can be demonstrated in a showroom, while truly majestic, will not last more than ten minutes after turning out the lights. I’ve found that not all glow in the dark paints are even. Some will glow all night and some will glow for just a couple of minutes. Some companies claim that their glow in the dark paint glows for days but if you read the small print you’ll notice that they glow for several minutes then the remainder is what they refer to as “after-glow”, a dull glow many hundreds of times duller than the initial glow. I’ve used solvent based and water based glow in the dark paint, with all sorts of applicators from brushes to toothpicks and spray bottles to airbrushes.
Most things I have done have worked to some degree. I can’t say that I’ve tried every method ever used. My focus has been on developing a method that is clean and fast without sacrificing quality. I created this guide to forward the knowledge I’ve gained onto others interested in painting their own star murals.