One day, I went to a museum for kids with my nephews. In the museum there was a dark room that had a remote flash at one end and on the other end of the room the entire wall was glow-in-the-dark! My Nephews(and myself) loved the glow-in-the-dark room and making silly silhouettes of themselves. After we left the museum, I thought to myself "I think I can make my own glow-in-the-dark wall". The main problem of this idea is that I live in an apartment. I am pretty sure that my landlord would not like it if I painted one of the walls glow-in-the-dark.
So, I came up with this idea. A portable glow-in-the-dark "wall"(aka the Glow Board). This is a wonderful gift idea to give to your children, grand children, or to someone who loves glow-in-the-dark things.
The purpose of this instructable is for you to learn how to make your own glow board! So let's get started!
Step 1: Materials
Let's start by getting the materials that we need to make the Glow Board. You will need:
- Cardboard(I used a 40x28 inch Tri-Fold Display board).
- Newspaper(for protecting the surrounding area while painting).
- Gloves(to protect your hands from the paint).
- White Primer spray paint.
- Glow-in-the-Dark spray paint(I used Rust-Oleum brand but any brand will do).
- Gloss paint(optional).
- Camera flash, an ultraviolet laser pointer or any gadget that makes ultraviolet light.
Step 2: Prep and Paint
Before painting, make sure that you are in a well ventilated area and the cardboard is clean(no dirt, dust, etc). Put the newspaper around the edges of the cardboard so you can protect the area while you're painting. Also, make sure you wear gloves (unless if you want glow-in-the-dark fingertips).
-Start with 1-2 coats of white primer spray paint. This will allow the glow-in-the-dark paint to stick to the cardboard. Why did I use white? The glow works better on a white(or a light color) surface than a dark color surface.
-Wait for the primer paint to dry completely before starting on the glow-in-the-dark spray paint!
-After the paint is dry, apply 2 coats of the glow-in-the-dark spray paint. If you want a brighter glow, apply more coats onto the board.
-Wait for the paint to dry completely before testing the glow.
-(THIS IS AN OPTIONAL STEP) after the glow-in-the-dark paint is dry, apply a full wet coat of gloss spray paint. Make sure that this type of paint does not block ultraviolet light. This should protect the glow-in-the-dark paint from scraping off.
Step 3: Testing(or Playing With) the Glow Board.
The best place to "test" your glow board is in a room that has very little to no light when the lights are off.
Use your ultraviolet light instruments to test your glow board! You can use anything that emits ultraviolet light. Fortunately for me, I have a ultraviolet laser and an old camera flash to "test" my glow board.
If the glow is good, then the glow board is ready! If you are not satisfied with the glow, go back to the "Prep and Paint" step and apply more coats of the glow-in-the-dark paint.
Step 4: Things to Consider While Making the Glow Board.
Things to consider while you're making this Glow Board:
-Why cardboard? I have considered using stretched canvas or even a large canvas backdrop. These items can be quite expensive so I went for cardboard which is the cheapest route.
-Size of cardboard. I like the display board that folds out because it can stand up on its own. Also, when you're done playing with the glow board, you fold it up and put it away.
-Gloss paint. When I tried this gloss paint, it somewhat worked. I thought it would give it a nice, thick shine on the board but it had a granular texture. This could be either that I didn't put a good wet thick coat or not enough coats. This is why I said that the gloss paint is optional.
-Spray paint vs regular paint. I have considered using a roller/paint brush but spray paint seemed to be faster way to paint at the time. If the painting surface is larger, then I would suggest using a roller or a paint brush instead of spray paint.
I'm sure that there are more topics concerning this instructable. So please leave comments on this instructable if you have any questions, your thoughts on it, or some positive criticism on how I could improve.