Choosing a Medium
If you are looking for a paint medium, please make sure to read our technical article titled, Paint vs. Powder. There are thousands of products that you can use for mediums with our products. They can be plastic, wax, cement, paint, glass, or just about any other substance that can be mixed. This article discusses how to choose a proper medium and quantity for each of our products.
A higher ratio of powder in the medium will cause the item to glow brighter and 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, paint with 80% powder glows bright, but won't stick to a wall very well.
We recommend that your start with the following ratios and proceed from there. These are also the ratios we use to manufacture our paint products:
For liquid mediums in large quantities:
- 2 pounds of glow in the dark powder to 1 gallon of medium, OR
- 1 kilogram of glow in the dark powder to 5 liters of medium
For liquid mediums in small quantities:
- 1/2 ounce of glow in the dark powder to 1 ounce of medium
- Add 15% glow in the dark powder by volume to the medium
TYPES OF MEDIUMS
Your choice of powder will determine which types of mediums are compatible. Coated aluminate, zinc or silicate powders can be used in almost any medium. Non-coated aluminate powders can not be used in water-based mediums. If you see a water-based glow-in-the-dark paint for sale, you know that it is very unlikely to contain the high-end aluminates. For simplicity, all products on our site are labeled as to their compatibility with water base. All of our products can be used with oil, solvent, or wax based mediums.
UV FILTER ADDITIVES
Some paints contain an additive that blocks UV light from passing through to protect wood. Unfortunately, these UV filters also hinder the ability of our glow in the dark powder to charge. Depending on the specific type and quantity of additive, the effects on the glow in the dark powders differ. For example, some customers have reported that the UV filter additive didn't deter the glow at all. Other customers reported that it completely eliminated the ability for the glow in the dark powders to charge. So do your best to find a medium that does not have UV filters. If that is not an option, test only small amounts and compare brightness and charge times to raw glow powder.
COLOR PIGMENTS AND 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 medium, it will both increase the charging time and lower the brightness of the glow. That being said, some customers have reported success mixing with color pigmented mediums.
We highly recommend that you use clear mediums and then paint or mold any daytime colors underneath or behind of the glow layer as a base coat. If you use a medium other than clear, test it thoroughly with a small sample first.
This is a hard concept to explain. But it is the primary reason our engineered paint works so well while over-the-counter paints meeting the above requirements have mediocre performance. Therefore, it is very important to explain.
Glow particles have a high density, which means that they are heavy for their microscopic size. As such, they like to sink to the bottom of thin or medium liquid substances. Once at the bottom, they like to stay in place.
This causes two problems. The first is that you need to shake the medium for an extended period before each use and about every 15 minutes during use. The second is that if your application of the paint is not consistent, then any variation of thickness will show up when glowing. For example a typical brush will have brush strokes that are hidden with real paint, but will quickly show up with glow in the dark paint.
Thicker mediums have less of a problem because they naturally provide support to the particles. Some of our manufacturers use the separation phenomenon as a method to create a fade effect in a plastic molded item.
A proper paint needs to contain an additive specifically named heavy-duty suspension. Although you can not see it with a naked eye, this is a microscopic webbing that creates a cradle for the glow 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.