How to Make Thermochromic Paint

Written by larry simmons
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How to Make Thermochromic Paint
Mix a thermochromic pigment with clear binder to create a paint that appears to fade away with heat. (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Thermochromic paint changes colour according to the surface temperature of the object its painted on. When the temperature reaches the activation point, the paint alters its colour as it loses pigment losing when the temperature rises, gains colour as it falls. By mixing the paint in with a clear binder you can create the paint and use it on any surface, either alone or over another paint that will show through with the increased heat as the therochromic paint disappears.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Clear binder
  • Paint pail
  • Thermochromic pigment
  • Wooden stir stick

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  1. 1

    Pour 1 pt. of clear binder into a paint pail and mix it thoroughly with a wooden stir stick.

  2. 2

    Measure in 4 tsp of thermochromic pigment into the binder. Stir the binder and pigment with the stick until you have a solid coloured paint with no streaking evident.

  3. 3

    Apply the paint to a clean surface with a slight texture present to aid in adherence. Use a paintbrush or thin the paint slightly with paint thinner to spray in place.

  4. 4

    Allow the thermochromic paint to dry overnight.

  5. 5

    Cover the thermochromic paint with three coats of a UV-resistant clearcoat to protect it from sunlight. Wait for each coat to dry before brushing on the next.

Tips and warnings

  • Apply the paint in temperatures between 13.8 and 29.4 degrees C for best results.
  • Cover as soon as possible with the UV coating if applied outdoors to prevent the paint becoming damaged when exposed to sunlight.

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