Stars and Space Murals
The most popular use of our product is to paint stars and galaxies on ceilings. This type of mural is often called a starscape or star field. As with any hobby, each person prefers a different method. Here are all the tricks we know. These techniques and our products are used by many companies to provide this as a professional service to homeowners.
PAINT AND COLOR CHOICE
For the beginner, we suggest our Ultra Green or Ultra Blue Glow in the Dark Paints. These paints are bright during the first hour and continue to glow all night. If painted thin and consistent, they are mostly invisible during the day.
Ultra Green is the brightest glow in the dark paint sold anywhere and therefore makes a great impression. It is bright for about an hour and glows all night. Ultra Blue is also very bright and has a color that is relatively close to real stars. It is also bright for about an hour and glows throughout the night.
If cost is a concern for you, you can use the economy green glow in the dark paints. These are similar to our Ultra Green product, but are bright for about 15 minutes and have a total glow time of about two hours.
For more advanced projects, you can choose from our entire line of glow in the dark paints. Some of the very best nighttime ceilings and murals will use literally every color we have to represent planets, meteors, aliens and spaceships.
We suggest that you paint test paper to learn the techniques before working on your ceiling or walls. Use inexpensive standard paint to learn the techniques. Once you are confident, do a few tests with actual glow in the dark paint. Most of these techniques are relatively easy to learn and can be performed by almost anyone without any art experience.
"How much glow in the dark paint do I need?" is a common question and a hard subject to address. It varies depending on how thick the paint is applied and the density of the stars or objects.
In general, I would suggest a 1/2 pint for an advanced star scene. You may also wish to enhace it with 1/2 fluid ounce bottles of constrasting colors.
The following method is the most popular way to create a glow in the dark star:
Choose a variety of cheap brushes that have synthetic bristles. Pick a brush and bend its bristles away from the center at 90 degree angles so that they form a flat surface that is perpendicular to the brush. Dip a brush into the glow in the dark paint. Wipe off the excess paint back into the container.
Squash the paint brush straight down onto the surface that you intend to paint. This will cause the bristles to spread out and form the patteren of the star. Lift the brush straight back up. This creates a realistic looking star on the surface. Since the bristles will never move the same way, each star will be unique. Different sized brushed creat different sized stars.
Start with the same technique as above. Instead of lifting the paintbrush, drag it along the surface releasing pressure as you go. This will create a star head with a trail that follows.
If you want a dense pattern of little dots, use sponges to apply the paint. Craft or hardware stores sell a variety of sponges specifically designed for different paint effects. Look for a sponge that will create a density of dots that match your tastes.
METEORS, MOONS AND PLANETS
Typically, these items are relatively larger than the stars. Purchase a sponge that is in the shape of a circle but that also has a flat bottom. You can also make one yourself with a kitchen sponge and razor blade.
The best meteors use more than one color of glow in the dark paint. For multiple colors, apply the color with the highest glow brightness first. To create, dip the sponge in the glow in the dark paint and lightly stamp it onto the suface that you wish to paint. Allow it to dry. Now dip the sponge in the second color and lightly stamp it over the first. This should create a textured, multicolored circle that surprisingly looks like a meteor, moon or planet.
How much pressure to use with the sponges is a learned skill. A quality meteor should show equal amounts of both colors, without having any non-painted areas. I personally use more pressure for the first color and then lighten up for the second.
For a meteor with a tail, first create an appropriately sized comet. Then follow the instructions for the meteor to cover the head of the comet.
For advanced users, you can give more of a 3-D round look by adding a modified sponge to the technique. The first color is applied using the standard round, flat-bottomed sponge. For the second and succeeding colors, you need to make a specialty sponge. Choose a sponge similar to the round sponge above. Use a sharp razor blade to shave a mound out of the flat bottom. You are basically rounding the surface.
Use this special brush for the second color. Now when you stamp with this brush, the center is denser than the outer edge which creates a 3-D rounded look. This technique is for advanced users and will take some time to master.
The best glow in the dark star field technique that I have ever seen was something I call the 'changing meteor.' It is a meteor that uses glow in the dark paints of different durations to create a comet that literally changes as you watch it. If you contrast it against a bright, long duration star field, it is truly an amazing effect.
First, paint a star ceiling with Ultra Blue Glow in the Dark paint for your stars, comets, and galaxies. Find a one-inch painters brush. Dip it in economy green glow in the dark paint and create a large comets as described above. Then create a standard meteor using the standard and rounded sponge technique.