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DIY Blacklight Paint

Things You'll Need:

  • Liquid laundry detergent (with a whitening agent)
  • Spray bottle
  • Paintbrushes and sponges
  • Water
  • Protective eyewear


Arrange blacklights around the room to be sure that there is enough light to display all of your decorations. Cover windows and turn off all other light sources when using blacklights.


  • Wear protective glasses to prevent getting spray detergent in your eyes. Do not leave laundry detergent where children and animals could ingest it.

A blacklight is a high-frequency light source that causes fluorescent materials to glow when placed under the light. A colorful, glowing decoration scheme can create a festive, visually interesting setting for a social gathering. Blacklight decoration is especially popular for Halloween events and 1960s-themed parties, but blacklight decorations can be enjoyed anytime. There are a number of commercial products available for decorating with a blacklight, but you can easily create your own fluorescent paint with a few household materials.

Measure and Mix

Purchase a commercial liquid laundry detergent containing a whitening agent. Avoid using "gentle" detergents designed for delicate fabrics, as these do not contain the necessary ingredients and will not produce a glowing effect under a blacklight.

Mix a solution of one part detergent to one part water in a plastic spray bottle. This mixture will add a subtle glowing appearance to surfaces.

Use undiluted detergent to paint the room and make objects glow brightly under the blacklight.


Paint the undiluted detergent on nonporous surfaces, such as plastic, glass and tile or disposable surfaces such as poster board using a paintbrush or sponge. Create designs, words, shapes and pictures that will glow under the blacklight.

Spray the diluted detergent mixture on windows, mirrors or plastic sheets to create a subtle glowing effect over large areas.

Dip black yarn or string in laundry detergent and let it dry. Wrap the string around objects and hang it back and forth across the ceiling.

Wash white clothing, curtains and other fabrics in brightening detergent to make them glow more intensely under the blacklight.

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