How Long Does Glow in the Dark Paint Last? (Explained)

Glow-in-the-dark paint is one of the greatest options for people who wish to give something a distinctive and glamorous appeal. This paint can be used on a variety of surfaces and can bring any imaginative notion to reality.

As we know, this is a special paint, and its cost is much more than traditional paint. Besides, it takes a lot of effort to apply it on different surfaces. That’s why people want to know how long glow-in-the-dark paint lasts.

Well, this is a tricky question and cannot be answered directly. It involves various factors, and to understand it well, you must go into some detail. So, let’s talk about this painting in detail for your better understanding.

How Long Does Glow in the Dark Paint Last (Explained)

What is Glow in the Dark Paint?

Glow in the dark is a luminous paint called phosphorescent paint. This paint is infused with the chemical compound phosphorus. It absorbs the light from the source and then glows in the dark. It glows a greenish-blue or dull green color in the dark.Rust-Oleum 214945 Glow in The Dark Brush On Paint, Half Pint , Brown 7 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)

Although this paint has been around for a long time, its popularity has grown exponentially in recent years. This paint has a wider use on different surfaces such as walls and ceilings for decorative use, to mark escape paths in aircraft, children’s toys, and Halloween costumes.

How does Glow in the Dark Work?

To understand the glow paint’s lasting capacity, you must understand how glow in the dark actually works. Well, all the functionality in it belongs to phosphorus particles in it.

Phosphorus is a substance that soaks up ultraviolet light from a source such as sunlight and then releases that energy as actual visible light, which creates the glow.

This certain glow in the dark has to be charged with UV light before they glow at night. The phosphorus particles in the paint need exposure to a UV light source for 3 to 4 hours to create a glow at night.

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How Long Does Glow In The Dark Paint Last?

Glow in The Dark Ceiling Stars Stickers, Realistic 3D 332 Glowing Stars & Dots for Walls | Decals Decorations, Kids Bedroom Decor for Boys and Girls

As I mentioned earlier, the life span of glow-in-the-dark paint depends on various factors. But the most important component on which its glow depends is its phosphorus particles.

These particles will eventually lose to soak up UV light, and as a result, the glowing period will be decreased first, and then the glow will also be decreased gradually.

But this is a general cause of decreasing glow; the lifespan of glow also depends on several factors. The durability of the glow depends on its brand, the surface on which it is applied, location, and situation.

The Glow of Unopened Can

If the paint is not exposed to light, its phosphorous particles will remain unproductive. How long the unopened can be used depends on its expiry date. But a well-sealed can of glow-in-the-dark paint is usable for at least two years.

Glow after Applying On the Surface

The lifespan of glow mainly depends on the surface you have applied this paint. On a smooth surface like a wall, it may last up to 10 years.

Glow after Exposing to UV Light

After exposing the paint to UV Light should glow for up to 4 hours. But the glowing time depends on how much time you have exposed it to UV light. As mentioned earlier, the glow of the dark paint can last up to 10 years. After that, although you provide the proper UV light, the glow time will not last long.

Charging of the glow in the dark paint

You can change the objects painted with luminous paint by natural light to glow at night. If you want to decorate your wall and ceiling with this paint, the windows should be in a position where maximum sunlight can spot on the paint.

The paint will require 3 to 4 hours of sunlight to charge. But remember that the sunlight should be direct, consistent, and rising.

You can also charge it with artificial light, but it will not charge it efficiently compared to natural light. Sunlight is the best for the brighter glow at night.

How to Choose the Best Glow in the Dark Paint

Well, there are no special guidelines for choosing the paint. It mainly depends on your usage.

  • If you want to use it permanent or long-lasting on something, use its acrylic-based version, which is also waterproof.
  • The temporary water-based paint is suitable if you want to use it on the body.
  • If you want to paint an object, you can use spray cans. But if you want to paint a wall with different designs, we recommend you use its tubes. They are quite easy to use and also affordable.

You Can Try These Glow-in-the-Dark Paints On Indoors and Outdoors:

UV NEON Black Light Sample Poster Paint Acrylic Set 10 x 15ml (1/2oz) Pots Free Black Light Key Chain and 1/2oz Medium ThinnerUV NEON Black Light Sample Poster Paint Acrylic Set 10 x 15ml

Glow in the Dark Paint, 0.68 fl oz (20ml), Aurora Bright Green, Non-Toxic, Water Based, by SpaceBeamsGlow in the Dark Paint, 0.68 fl oz (20ml)

DayGlo Fluorescent Solvent-Based 215 Series Brushing Enamel Paint (Quart, Fire Orange, 215-14)DayGlo Fluorescent Solvent-Based 215 Series Brushing Enamel Paint


How to increase the lasting capacity of glow-in-the-dark paint?

Normally, the lifespan of glow-in-the-dark paint is approximately ten years if the sunlight is projected properly.

But you can increase its lasting capacity by adding a clear coat of sealer to the paint. It will slow down the process of breaking down the phosphorous particles, and as a result, the life span will increase to 12 years.

Is glow-in-the-dark paint safe for kids?

Just like other paints, glow-in-the-dark paint is safe for kids. This paint is safe unless it is ingested. Besides, the essential precautions are necessary as other paints are required, such as gloves for hand protection, goggles for the eyes, and a mask for inhalation protection.


So, the average life span of glow-in-the-dark paint is almost ten years. Other factors are also involved in its lasting capacities, such as the surface on which it is used and the sunlight provided to the painted object.

But, it mainly depends on the breaking process of phosphorus particles in the paint. You can add a coat of sealer on the painted surface to increase its lifespan. The sealer will slow down the process of phosphorus particles breaking, and the paint’s life span will be increased to 12 years.

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