How to Make Glow in the Dark Flower Pots

How to Make Glow in the Dark Flower Pots

Spring has sprung! Birds are making their return north, lakes and ponds are beginning to thaw, and most importantly the rain is beginning to lay the essential foundation for the beautiful vegetation and flowers that are soon to bloom. What better way to accent this lovely foliage than with glow in the dark flower pots and planters.

We took to the backyard and began our glow in the dark flower pot journey with different sized pots including an outdoor water bowl. First we sanded and washed off the pots creating a clean abrasive surface for our paint to adhere to. If you are using old pots you will want to sand and clean your surface before you start, but if you have new pots sanding is optional.

Next we applied a white base coat or primer. This is also an optional step if you have a new or old pot, but having a white base coat or primer will ultimately give you a brighter glow and can help ensure an overall more uniform appearance. Other color primers or base coats may be used, but the closer to a pure white you use, the brighter the glow will appear. A white background will reflect light a lot more than darker colors. If you plan on applying multiple coats of glow paint (recommended 3-5 layers) the background becomes somewhat obsolete and priming is not a concern.

sand flower pot
prime glow in the dark surface
let flower pot dry

Techno Glow paint colors green, aqua, and blue are recommended for outdoor projects which rely solely on natural UV light. This is because they can glow brighter and longer than any other colors we carry. Initially you may have decent results with other colors, but check on them well after the sun is down and you will notice the glow just can't last into the night the way it would with green, aqua, or blue.

Apply the paint with a brush or roller in smooth, uniform strokes. An acrylic or latex paint extender may be used to improve flow and thin the paint. Keep in mind the thinner you take the paint the more likely it will require multiple layers to achieve the desired glow effect so you don't want to add too much.

If you'd like to prolong the life of your glow in the dark pot you may use a clear top coat or sealer over it. In some marine or auto sealers UV inhibitors may be present to prevent fading and general sun damage. We've found a majority of these do not affect the capabilities of the glow pigment, but there are still some that may dim it. Keep this in mind when choosing a sealer and maybe test a small area on your pot or planter before entirely coating the whole thing.

spray painting flower pots
glow flow pot waiting to glow
Glow in the dark flower pot

Make Your Own Glow in the Dark Paint

If you want to use something other than Techno Glow paint any transparent medium will do, whether it's a marine topcoat or even an automotive clear coat. Mixing the glow pigment into your chosen medium is a fairly simple process and we'll walk you through it.
 
When choosing a glow powder to mix into your medium keep in mind that since the pot will likely be used outdoors you will want a micron size of at least 50. Anything smaller than 50 microns simply won't hold a charge long enough to glow into the night. Micron sizes in excess of 50 are ideal, giving you a brighter and longer lasting glow, as long as you don't mind the abrasive textures they create due to their larger particle size.
 
Mixing Paint & Glow Powder
Generally you will mix whichever glow color pigment you choose at a ratio of 1:4 (one part powder to four parts medium by weight, not volume). You can find more information on mixing ratios on our support page via this link. Depending on how you are applying the medium to the pot you may need to thin it as well. We recommend using a brush or roller to apply the medium.
 
Using A Spray Gun?
A commercial spray gun with a strong enough compressor will work to apply a 50 micron pigment mix.  Using a spray gun means you will need to use a thin medium, such as an automotive clear coat. You may also add a thinner if the medium you're using is a thicker consistency. Thinning your medium to get the proper flow means the pigment will now settle to the bottom faster than it would in a thicker medium. You will end up constantly having to agitate your mixture as you apply it to ensure a uniform glow and even at that the coat it applies can sometimes be thin and sparse. The 50 micron powders will work fine using a strong compressor with a commercial spray gun and a large nozzle size.
 
Using An Airbrush?
Most artist airbrush nozzles are .35 or smaller making it difficult to use a 50 micron pigment. Our 15 to 35 micron glow in the dark powders are ideal for airbrushing a pot or planter with fine lines and lots of detail. Keep in mind that the smaller micron sizes do not glow as long. Outdoor UV flood lights will illuminate all our glow powders and paint day or night. UV flood lights available here.  
 
For recommendations, tips, and more info check out Product Support
 
More project photos below.

 


VIDEO: Glow in the Dark Flower Pot


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25th May 2018 Techno Glow Products

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