Best Glow in the Dark Paint in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 17, 2022 

One of the best things about being a professional artist is that I have a legitimate built-in excuse for buying and trying really cool things, like paints, art supplies, tools, and gadgets. Without a doubt, one of the very coolest of these cool things is glow in the dark paint, so let’s have a look at which one you should get!

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If you are in a hurry, here are my top picks for the best glow in the dark paint in 2022. If you have more time, keep on reading to explore more.

  1. Glow Cubed Professional Phosphorescent Oil Paint
  2. Glow Cubed Professional Phosphorescent Oil Paint

    Best Premium Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

    Glow in The Dark Artist Professional Oil Paint Luminescent Phosphors Self-Luminous Paint Glow Cubed - Set of 10


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Golden Acrylics Golden High Flow Acrylic 5 Color Fluorescent Paint Set
  4. Golden Acrylics Golden High Flow Acrylic 5 Color Fluorescent Paint Set

    Best Premium Fluorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

    Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint Set, 5-Color Fluorescent Set | Pink, Blue, Chartreuse, Green, Orange | 1 Ounce each


    Buy Now on Amazon

Table of Contents

One of the best things about having my own art site and blog is that I get to write about all the tools. Without a doubt, one of the very coolest of these cool things is glow in the dark paint, but even though I’m just writing about it now, in fact, I’ve loved using and playing with glow in the dark paints for a long, long time.

And yes, I admit it! Even though my drawers are already filled with some of the best glow in the dark paints – more, in fact, than I need – I have, to prepare for this article, allowed myself to buy and try a few more… and maybe a new black light… and a chic little backpack… Don’t judge me! 

But let’s do judge the rather bewilderingly big selection of brands, choices, and options available and cut it down to a more manageable size, so you’re left with the best glow in the dark paints on the market today!

How long does glow in the dark paint last?

Is there black glow in the dark paint?

What’s the best glow in the dark paint?

Is glow in the dark paint permanent?

What is the difference between glow in the dark paint and fluorescent paint?

What is the difference between phosphorescent paint and fluorescent paint?

What is the best fluorescent paint?

Is glow in the dark paint safe?

What is the best glow in the dark paint for children?

Do you need a black light to make fluorescent paint glow?

What Are The Two Different Types of Glow in the Dark Paint?

Glow in the dark paint, also called fluorescent paint, phosphorescent paint or black light paint, is simply a paint that glows in the dark. Wow, I wish all definitions were that easy!

But in fact, this one isn’t that simple either, because there are actually two different kinds of glow paint, phosphorescent and fluorescent.

Phosphorescent paint (needs UV light to charge)

This type of paint needs charging, with either a blacklight (also known as UV lights or a UV-a light) or a direct sunlight. Phosphorescent paint will glow for a certain time – usually a few hours, determined by the quality of the paint and the length of time it is charged – but then the glow will fade and it will need to be recharged.

Fluorescent paint (needs UV black light to glow)

This type of paint doesn’t need charging, but does need a UV light to glow. That is, if you are not under an UV black light, it won’t glow.

So, which one do you want? Well, fluorescent paint is probably more popular, and tends to be more visible, with bright and intense glow colors, even in normal light – and when there is a blacklight it really pops! Phosphorescent paint will actually also glow under a blacklight – just like fluorescent paint – but it will keep glowing after the blacklight is gone or turned off. On the other hand, in normal light many phosphorescent paints are not very colorful, and in fact they often don’t have any color at all, only really coming to life in the dark.

Is Glow in the Dark Paint Safe and Non-Toxic?

Yes, especially if you get the best glow in the dark paint (either phosphorescent or fluorescent), it is totally safe, non-toxic and even kid-friendly. This is true of every paint on our list of best glow in the dark paints except for the spray-paint, which should be used with at least some precautions – like using it only in a place with plenty of ventilation and avoiding any direct contact. Other than that, these are all quite safe and worry-free paints.

It used to be that especially certain phosphorescent paints (like the ones you would find on old analog watch dials) used radioactive materials, but these have been illegal to use in most countries for a long time, and all glow in the dark paints now are just fine – safe, non-toxic and without radioactive elements.

That is not to say that all glow in the dark paints are great for skin, or as makeup, because they are not, and not meant to be put on skin – unless they are designed as body paint or for makeup and costumes. What’s more, they tend to be permanent, and very difficult to wash off, and so it’s not really a good idea to put them on your skin. But we’ll make specific recommendations below for the best glow in the dark paints for skin and body, cosplay and costumes – both for kids and adults.

And I should also say as clearly as possible that no paint – even paint designed to be used on the body, on the skin, as makeup or for costumes – is safe in the eyes or mouth, and paint should never be eaten.

But while these are all precautions that I really need to make clear, and you really should take seriously, you can relax in knowing that the best phosphorescent paints and the best fluorescent paints are designed and tested to be safe and non-toxic.

How Can You Find the Best Glow in the Dark Paint?

I think one of the main reasons I wanted to write this article – besides having an excuse to play with cool, glowy paint – is that there doesn’t seem to be that much really useful information out there. I kept getting the feeling that the people writing the buyer’s guides and info pieces maybe hadn’t even tried the paints, and also didn’t quite get – or explain – the difference between the different types of glow in the dark paints.

So I broke out my own supplies and, again, ordered some new ones, and had a blast… uhm, I mean, did some very serious research for your benefit. I also talked to a lot of other artists and crafters, my students, my friends, a strange woman on the bus, and read lots of reviews from verified customers who have bought and used different brands of glow in the dark paint.

And this is the result – a reliable list of the best glow in the dark paints in the following categories, including, where applicable, both phosphorescent and fluorescent choices:

At the end of the article, in the Bonus section, we’ll talk about the superhero of glow in the dark paints – the strongest, longest lasting phosphorescent paint available, and an amazing experience to use.

But I won’t leave you in the dark any longer! Let’s flip on the blacklight and reveal the best fluorescent and the best phosphorescent paints you can buy, in this 2021 buyer’s guide for the best glow in the dark paints!

Overview: Best Glow in the Dark Paints for 2021

  1. Glow Cubed Professional Phosphorescent Oil Paint
  2. Glow Cubed Professional Phosphorescent Oil Paint

    Best Premium Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

    Glow in The Dark Artist Professional Oil Paint Luminescent Phosphors Self-Luminous Paint Glow Cubed - Set of 10


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Golden Acrylics Golden High Flow Acrylic 5 Color Fluorescent Paint Set
  4. Golden Acrylics Golden High Flow Acrylic 5 Color Fluorescent Paint Set

    Best Premium Fluorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

    Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint Set, 5-Color Fluorescent Set | Pink, Blue, Chartreuse, Green, Orange | 1 Ounce each


    Buy Now on Amazon
  5. Neon Nights Glow in the Dark Phosphorescent Paint 8 Color Set
  6. Neon Nights Glow in the Dark Phosphorescent Paint 8 Color Set

    Best Budget Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

    Neon Nights Glow in the Dark Paint - Set of 8, 20 mL Acrylic Paints for Outdoor and Indoor Use on Canvas & Walls


    Buy Now on Amazon
  7. Sargent Art Fluorescent Neon Tempera Paint 8 Colors
  8. Sargent Art Fluorescent Neon Tempera Paint 8 Colors

    Tempera Neon Paint, 8 Vibrant Fluorescent Colors, 8 Flip Cap Bottles 8 Count, 8 ounce each


    Buy Now on Amazon
  9. GloMania Phosphorescent Paint Pigment Crystals 15 Color Ultimate Set
  10. GloMania Phosphorescent Paint Pigment Crystals 15 Color Ultimate Set

    Glow in The Dark Pigment Powder - Day Invisible - White Neutral Day Colored Phosphorescent Resin Craft Paint Additive Sets (15 Color Ultimate Set, 10g)


    Buy Now on Amazon
  11. Glomania Invisible Fluorescent Paints Six Colors
  12. Glomania Invisible Fluorescent Paints Six Colors

    Coolest Glow in the Dark Paint

    6 Colors UV Reactive Fluorescent Invisible Neutral Acrylic Paint Set- 1/2 ounce pots


    Buy Now on Amazon
  13. Neon Nights UV Fluorescent Body Paint 8 Color Set
  14. Neon Nights UV Fluorescent Body Paint 8 Color Set

    Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Face and Body

    8 x UV Body Paint Set | Black Light Glow Makeup Kit | Fluorescent Face Paints for Music Festivals and Parties


    Buy Now on Amazon
  15. Magicfly Glow in The Dark Paint, 10 Extra Bright Colors
  16. Magicfly Glow in The Dark Paint, 10 Extra Bright Colors

    Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Kids

    10 Extra Bright Colors (20 ml/0.7 oz) Glow Paint, Long-Lasting Self-Luminous Glow in The Dark Acrylic Paint for Artwork, DIY Projects, Perfect for Halloween Decorations


    Buy Now on Amazon
  17. ArtShip Design 16 Fluorescent Neon Chalk Markers
  18. ArtShip Design 16 Fluorescent Neon Chalk Markers

    Best Glow in the Dark Paint Markers

    16 Fluorescent Neon Chalk Markers UV Glow in the Dark - Double Pack of Extra Fine and Medium Tip Liquid Chalk Pens


    Buy Now on Amazon
  19. Seymour Spray-Glo Water Base Spray Paints
  20. Seymour Spray-Glo Water Base Spray Paints

    Best Glow in the Dark Spray Paint

    Different colors

    Buy Now on Amazon

Best Premium Glow in the Dark Paint

We might well say that the best glow in the dark paint overall is Europium UltraGlow phosphorescent paint (see bonus section below), but it’s on a bit of a different level – almost too intensely bright for some people, and with a very limited range of colors (2, to be exact!) So here we’ll look at two superb sets of paints – one phosphorescent and one fluorescent – which offer a wide selection of colors and are really more practical and useful for artists and crafters.

Best Premium Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Premium
Glow Cubed Professional Phosphorescent Oil Paint

Best Premium Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Glow in The Dark Artist Professional Oil Paint Luminescent Phosphors Self-Luminous Paint Glow Cubed - Set of 10


Glow Cubed phosphorescent paint has that rich, luxuriant texture you expect from the finest professional oil paints, and deep, saturated colors. The phosphorescent effect is quite strong – this paint has a glow that lasts a long time and is surprisingly bright. This is a wonderful paint to use and should be fully satisfying to even the most discerning artists on any level.

Best Premium Fluorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Premium
Golden Acrylics Golden High Flow Acrylic 5 Color Fluorescent Paint Set

Best Premium Fluorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Golden High Flow Acrylic Paint Set, 5-Color Fluorescent Set | Pink, Blue, Chartreuse, Green, Orange | 1 Ounce each


If you know and have already tried Golden acrylics, you need no convincing that their fluorescent acrylic paint is the best, just like their normal acrylic paint. And indeed everything you expect – lovely colors, great texture and flow, beautiful mixability and workability, perfect and perfectly consistent finish every time – is here too, along with an almost startlingly bright glow under a black light.

Best Budget Glow in the Dark Paint

Here too we’ll look at two sets of paints – one phosphorescent and one fluorescent – which offer a great range of beautiful colors, are of really great quality in every way and are the best value glow in the dark paints I know.

Best Budget Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Affordable
Neon Nights Glow in the Dark Phosphorescent Paint 8 Color Set

Best Budget Phosphorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Neon Nights Glow in the Dark Paint - Set of 8, 20 mL Acrylic Paints for Outdoor and Indoor Use on Canvas & Walls


Neon Nights makes what may be the most popular and highly rated inexpensive glow neon paint on the market today and, despite the low price, people seem to rave most about their premium feel and wonderful workability and the strong and long lasting glow. I love all of these things too, and especially the fact that these paints, unlike so many other phosphorescents, have bright, saturated neon colors even in normal light.

Best Budget Fluorescent Glow in the Dark Paint

Affordable
Sargent Art Fluorescent Neon Tempera Paint 8 Colors

Tempera Neon Paint, 8 Vibrant Fluorescent Colors, 8 Flip Cap Bottles 8 Count, 8 ounce each


Sargent is one of the most trusted and beloved names in art supplies, and it is no surprise that they pour as much love and care into their fun glow in the dark paints as their more “serious” products. And indeed these fluorescent tempera paints scream quality, with great texture, mixability and flow, a beautiful finish, and colors so intense they really do seem to scream – in normal light or under a blacklight.

Best Premium Phosphorescent Paint Pigment Crystals

Crystal Pigments
GloMania Phosphorescent Paint Pigment Crystals 15 Color Ultimate Set

Glow in The Dark Pigment Powder - Day Invisible - White Neutral Day Colored Phosphorescent Resin Craft Paint Additive Sets (15 Color Ultimate Set, 10g)


A lot of people stay away from paint pigments, thinking that the process of mixing and making paint is impossibly complex and difficult, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, paint recipes can be super simple, quick and easy, and often use one or two things you already have in your house, like eggs, honey and white titanium dioxide. Just kidding about the white titanium dioxide, BTW! The point is that these premium non-toxic GloMania paint pigments are very, very strong, with an intense and long lasting glow and rich, highly pigmented colors, and can be mixed easily in various ways – to show off their color in normal light, to be clear and invisible until the lights go out, or whatever you want. A truly premium product, great fun for crafters and artists and the best phosphorescent pigment I’ve ever used.

Coolest Glow in the Dark Paint

Cool Factor
Glomania Invisible Fluorescent Paints Six Colors

Coolest Glow in the Dark Paint

6 Colors UV Reactive Fluorescent Invisible Neutral Acrylic Paint Set- 1/2 ounce pots


In this category, which I totally just made up, I’m recommending almost the opposite of the wonderful Sargent fluorescent paints above. Where the Sargents have intensely bright and saturated colors even in normal light, these Glomania paints have essentially no color at all. But when you get them under a blacklight they not only glow brightly and beautifully but reveal their true colors. This can lead to some striking, surprising and powerful effects in art and crafts, and is just a blast to play with, and if you use a good thinner, like UVfx Black Light Medium you can even lay them in transparent layers over other paints, for even more fun effects!

Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Face and Body

Face & Body
Neon Nights UV Fluorescent Body Paint 8 Color Set

Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Face and Body

8 x UV Body Paint Set | Black Light Glow Makeup Kit | Fluorescent Face Paints for Music Festivals and Parties


Just like the Neon Nights phosphorescent paint I’ve recommended above, these wonderful fluorescent body paints are made “with love in Germany,” and are much higher quality than you might expect for the price. This glow in the dark body paint set, in fact, has a really vivid and beautiful glow under black light, and even in normal light the colors are strong, even intense, deeply saturated and nicely even. Non-toxic to an extreme, safe and non-irritating on skin and face, and easy to wash off, the Neon Nights UV body paints are the best glow in the dark paint for face and body, and a great choice for parties, clubbing, cosplay, costume and makeup and even special art projects like performance art.

Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Kids

  1. Magicfly Glow in The Dark Paint, 10 Extra Bright Colors
  2. Magicfly Glow in The Dark Paint, 10 Extra Bright Colors

    Best Glow in the Dark Paint for Kids

    10 Extra Bright Colors (20 ml/0.7 oz) Glow Paint, Long-Lasting Self-Luminous Glow in The Dark Acrylic Paint for Artwork, DIY Projects, Perfect for Halloween Decorations


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Magicfly Face Body Paint Kit for Kids-18 Colors
  4. Magicfly Face Body Paint Kit for Kids-18 Colors

    18 Colors Halloween Makeup Kit, Professional Face Paint Palette with Stencils, Hair-Dyeing Clip, Brushes, Non-Toxic face Paints for Party, Festival, Cosplay Makeup


    Buy Now on Amazon

I love Magicfly paints! They really seem to understand children, and design their products for maximum fun and maximum effect – not to mention maximum safety. Another great thing about the company is that they never seem to compromise on quality, making cheaper or inferior products just because they’re meant for kids – indeed, their fun and wonderful glow in the dark paints and kids’ body paints are higher quality than many other companies’ more expensive and more serious products made for adults. Highly recommended!

Best Glow in the Dark Paint Markers

Paint Markers
ArtShip Design 16 Fluorescent Neon Chalk Markers

Best Glow in the Dark Paint Markers

16 Fluorescent Neon Chalk Markers UV Glow in the Dark - Double Pack of Extra Fine and Medium Tip Liquid Chalk Pens


These ArtShip Design fluorescent markers are wonderful to use, and work great on most surfaces. They are actually ink markers, so may not qualify for our list of best glow in the dark paints, but I can’t resist – they have such bold and beautiful colors, and while they are easily erasable or washable with non-porous surfaces they are also good enough quality to look beautiful on art paper, poster board, canvas and other media, and will be more permanent on those porous materials And they are absolutely lovely, in normal light and under black lights!

Best Glow in the Dark Spray Paint

Spray Paint
Seymour Spray-Glo Water Base Spray Paints

Best Glow in the Dark Spray Paint

Different colors

There don’t seem to be many phosphorescent spray paints, and what there are don’t seem to be so very effective and typically get pretty poor reviews from customers. Unfortunately the case is not much better for fluorescent aerosols, which also seem to perform pretty poorly in general, and are often stinky and pretty toxic. Seymour paints are different, though – low odor, bright and beautiful, with great coverage, long life and durability and a strong and beautiful glow under blacklights. These are still not non-toxic paints, and not for use by kids, but Seymour Spray-Glo are the nicest glow in the dark spray paints I’ve found.

Bonus: The Longest Glowing Glow in the Dark Paints

I’m writing this article’s bonus section as the answer to a question I find kind of interesting, and to give some attention to a very special phosphorescent glow in the dark paint.

The question is, how long can phosphorescent paints last after they’ve been charged?

Sadly, for many paints the answer is not very long. The products I’ve selected on this list of best glow in the dark paints will have a longer glow period than most, but even the best paints will only last a few hours – from two or three up to maybe ten or so, depending on who you ask.

Except, or course for the superhero of phosphorescent paints, the strongest, longest lasting paint available today – Europium UltraGlow!

UltraGlow is, according to the United Nuclear (yes, that’s really the manufacturer’s name, and yes, this paint really is safe!) website, “a new generation glow-in-the-dark paint based on the Rare-Earth element Europium” and “the brightest, longest lasting, non-toxic & non-radioactive, glow-in-the-dark material known.” This does, of course, make me a little curious about how bright or long lasting toxic and/or radioactive paints might be, but not curious enough to go anywhere near them.

And this paint really is bright – intensely bright, even compared to the best glow paints from other companies – and lasts for hours and hours without losing much. It is also said to be the best paint in terms of exposure to bright light – that is, while any phosphorescent paint needs to be charged with a bright light that has a good amount of UV-a, extended exposure to various kinds of bright light will greatly degrade phosphorescent paints, making them less effectiv – dimmer and less long lasting – over time.

Except, of course, once again, for our superhero – UltraGlow! Even after 1,000 hours of exposure to powerful mercury vapor light (I’m not sure what that is – probably another thing I don’t want to go anywhere near), UltraGlow did not lose hardly any of its life or brightness, maintaining 96 percent of its original capacity.

If you can’t tell, I’m a bit in love with this intense paint, which appears almost white in normal light and is like a neon sign in the dark. Of course it might not really satisfy the full creative needs of a lot of artists – to paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have UltraGlow in any color so long as it is green. Or aqua, which is a bit green anyway. So, yeah…

Still, this is a kind of thrilling paint, totally safe and easy to use and incredibly powerful in its effect. Even given the limited color palette, if you’re like me you will start using it for all kinds of things, playing and experimenting and having a wonderful time.

United Nuclear Europium UltraGlow paint is available in 4 ounce jars of pigment crystals, which can be mixed in a variety of media, and 8 ounce jars of pre-mixed acrylic glow paint. The crystals are, of course, more work – if a totally fun DIY kind of work – but they should last a long, long time, and the paint jars are ready to go. And, again, it is available in a stunning range of two, yes, that’s right, two, colors.

All kidding aside, this is a fantastic and super-fun paint, and very highly recommended!

United Nuclear Europium MagicGlow Green Phosphorescent Paint and Pigment Crystals

United Nuclear Europium Ultra Glow in The Dark Phosphorescent Paint | Super Bright Non-Toxic UV Black Light Paint (4 Ounce, Aqua)


United Nuclear Europium MagicGlow Green Phosphorescent Paint and Pigment Crystals

Also available is a “tester pack” of 7 colors of europium-based paint in pigment crystal form, which I have not tried but look quite intriguing – the other colors apparently don’t have as long of a glow-life as the aqua or green, but still should be brighter and longer lasting than any other glow in the dark paint on the market today.

Thanks so much for reading my latest article – The Best Glow in the Dark Paints: A Complete Review and Buyer’s Guide – and please check out my website – Art Side of Life – for more buyer’s guides, articles, tutorials, artist interviews and tons of other resources for commercial artists, fine artists, art students and beginners, crafters and anybody else exploring their own creative side!

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Iva Mikles
Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, teacher, and the founder of Art Side of Life™️. I've worked as a commercial artist since 2009. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways so I’ve made it my mission to teach you everything I know, to contribute to waking up your creative genius.

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