DIY Blacklight Paint

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

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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

Lane Madison

Lane Madison is a freelance writer and editor with over eight years experience as a corporate paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and English and a paralegal certificate. Her writing has been published on various websites.