How to Remove Glow in the Dark Paint

Written by sal marco
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How to Remove Glow in the Dark Paint
Paint removal (child brushing a wall with colourful paint image by Cherry-Merry from

Glow-in-the-dark paint is made by adding a fluorescent pigmenting material to paint which absorbs light and glows when it is dark. Its applications range from decorative wall or ceiling designs to painted warnings on buildings, walls and fences. Glow-in-the-dark paint comes in oil-based, latex-based, spray paint or as a powder additive that you can mix yourself. Glow-in-the-dark paint removal techniques vary depending on the surface you are working on.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Primer-sealer
  • Metal scraper
  • Rags
  • Paint thinner
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Wire brush
  • Rust-inhibiting primer
  • Rust-inhibiting paint

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  1. 1

    Sand the glow-in-the-dark paint with fine-grit sandpaper to remove as much of the paint as possible. Some glow-in-the-dark paints have a heavy texture or puff that requires sanding in order to make them flush with the existing surface.

  2. 2

    Apply two coats of primer-sealer, allowing each to dry fully in between applications. This is a special type of paint specifically made to cover dark colours and other difficult-to-cover applications.

  3. 3

    Apply paint in a colour to match the existing paint, or change the colour entirely.

  1. 1

    Scrape away as much of the paint as possible with a metal scraper.

  2. 2

    Soak rags in paint thinner; lay them over the top of the glow-in-the-dark paint and allow them to sit for six to eight hours.

  3. 3

    Scrape away softened paint.

  4. 4

    Mix trisodium phosphate with water in a bucket, dip a stiff bristle scrub brush into the mixture, and scrub away the remaining traces of paint.

  5. 5

    Rinse very well with plain water.

  1. 1

    Apply paint stripper with a roller or brush. Choose a stripper made for masonry paint removal; other types of paint strippers may cause damage to the brick and mortar joints.

  2. 2

    Allow the stripper to sit on the surface; the length of time depends on the manufacturer.

  3. 3

    Scrape away glow-in-the-dark paint.

  4. 4

    Wash the wall with plain water or apply a neutraliser, depending on the manufacturer specifications.

  1. 1

    Brush and scrub the glow-in-the-dark paint with a wire brush.

  2. 2

    Rent a sandblaster for large areas and sandblast the paint off the metal surface.

  3. 3

    Apply a coat of rust-inhibiting primer and paint to protect and seal the metal surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use a sandblaster on brick or other masonry surfaces; it will degrade the integrity of the surface structure.
  • Wash away paint with a power washer if you have one available; success depends on the type of paint.

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