How to Make Your Own Black Light Paint

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Black-light paint is available at most art supply stores, but you can make your own using inexpensive materials. Black-light paint, when applied, will glow under any black light.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper or plastic covering

  • Latex or rubber gloves

  • Dye-free liquid laundry detergent with a brightening agent

  • Water-based paint

  • Plastic paint bucket or other container

  • Paint stick

  • Black light

  • Paint brush

Step 1

Cover the work surface with newspaper or plastic covering. Put on gloves to protect your hands from staining.


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Step 2

Pour 1 cup of water-based paint into the container, then add 1 tablespoon laundry detergent. Stir and mix well using the paint stick.

Step 3

Test the brightness of the paint by turning on the black light in a dark room. If the paint is not glowing, add more liquid detergent to the paint.



Different brands of detergent will react differently to the paint depending on their ingredients. If your detergent does not produce a satisfactory glow, try another brand.

Step 4

Paint your posters or other items with the mixture.

Step 5

Turn on the black light to see the paint glow.


If you do not wish to add color to your black light paint, ymix equal parts detergent and water; then use the paintbrush to paint posters and other items. The glow will appear invisible until you turn on the black light. Use a wet rag to wipe the paint away.


Do not use this black-light paint as body paint; the detergent could cause an allergic reaction.

Step 6

Dispose of the paint stick and the work surface covering. Rinse the container to remove any paint.


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