Reflective paint has many uses both in a home or on your favorite big toys. It can be used on a boat, motorcycle, bicycle trail or to mark the gas meter installed in your lawn. Reflective paint is basically made from paint and small reflective crystals. It is something you can make yourself with a little ingenuity.

Paint to Use

Start with white or silver paint because, traditionally, this is the color most often used in reflective paint. It is also more visible than any other color in low light conditions. You can use interior or exterior paint, depending on the application. For outdoor use, choose a heavy-duty exterior latex and for indoors, a light wall paint will suffice.

Mix with Glitter

Some reflective paint simply has a lot of glitter mixed into the base. This glitter causes the paint to be reflective. Add glitter to a can of paint at a ratio of 1 pt. of glitter to 1 gallon of paint, and mix thoroughly with a paint stick. You can test the mixture by painting a section of plywood or whatever it is you want to paint. Add glitter or add paint to the mix to get the proper ratio of glitter and paint. Wait until the paint dries to decide what you should add. If glitter sheds from the paint, add more paint to the mix.


Other paints have reflective crystals mixed into the paint. These crystals are made from crushed glass micro beads or plastic with a reflective coating. You can buy these at a craft store or specialty paint store. These are mixed into the base paint at a ratio of 1/4 gallon crystals to 1 gallon of paint. The size of the crystals is important. They must be very small so that there is enough dispersion in the paint. The crystals should also be large enough to show through the surface of the dried paint when it is applied in one coat.