This Instructable will show you how to make your keys glow in the dark. Completing the entire process will take anywhere from 30 minutes to eight hours depending on your drying method (a fan is optional). The actual painting process that requires work is less than 10 minutes.
Estimated Cost: $7.00
- Key ($2.50 at Walmart)
- Glow in the dark paint ($2.00 at Michael's or any craft store -- non-toxic)
- Basic small paint brush
- Paper plate (or another surface)
- Paper towel (optional)
- Fan (optional)
Step 1: Prepare Items/Workspace
Remove any items that are not part of this project from your workspace. To further protect your workspace, place a paper towel underneath the paper plate to intercept any dripping paint.
CAUTION: Since we are working with paint, be careful not to get paint in your eyes and keep the paint away from small children. If paint gets on your skin, promptly rinse it off with soap and water.
Step 2: Paint the Key
Squeeze a small amount of paint onto the paper plate (or your surface of choice). 2 inches (in diameter) should be plenty.
Before painting, you should realize that we will only be painting the top half of the key. Any portion of the key that goes into the lock should not be painted.
Now we are ready to paint the key. Normal brush strokes do not work well on the surface of the key. If you try to brush the paint onto the key, the brush will wipe the paint straight off of the key. To avoid this, we will simply place the tip of the brush into the paint and then touch the surface of the key.
After lightly tapping the key with the paint brush, there should be a small dot. Repeat this process until the top half of the key has been covered in paint.
Step 3: Let the Paint Dry
This is the longest step in our process. Place the key wet side up on the paper plate.
If you have a fan, place the fan near the key and turn it on. Be sure not to use too much power as it may cause the paint to run off of the key.
If you do not have a fan, then be patient as the key dries. This could take around 2-4 hours.
Step 4: Paint the Other Side
After the first side has dried, we will paint the other side.
Flip the key over and place it back on your painting surface. Remember to only paint the top half of the key. Use the same process used in step 2 to paint this side of the key. After applying the paint, use the same process in step 3 to dry the key.
Step 5: Complete the Project
After the second side of the key has dried, you are free to use your glow in the dark key!
If the key loses its glow, a quick flash of light from a camera (or something similar) can help restore the strength of the glow.
If there are any spots on the key that could benefit from a second coat, you can repeat these instructions to do so. A key could benefit from a second coat of paint if the paint is thin and the key does not glow well. However, one coat of paint should be sufficient.