Mini Monets and Mommies: DIY Glow In the Dark Paint

Friday, June 27, 2014

DIY Glow In the Dark Paint

How have I managed to be a mommy for the past 12 years and not have known about the wonders that tonic water holds? No, I’m not talking about some magic elixir that cures colds or makes toddlers stop having tantrums. Instead, I’m referring to the glow in the dark properties of this mixer. When exposed to a black light the quinine in the liquid makes it glow an eerie shade of electric blue.
Glow Paint

So I patiently waited for the sun to go down, turned on the black light (I felt a little bit like my living room was suddenly a 70s rec room) and poured the tonic water. My 12-year-old can’t stand to craft. He rolls his eyes in only the way that a tween can, shakes his head and mumbles something such as, “Mom, who cares about making art?” Um, lots of people. But, this time he was totally game to try out the project. Don’t worry; your child doesn’t have to wait until he is older to try this DIY glowing paint. This art activity is an all-ages event.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·         A black light—You can buy a black light bulb in any home improvement type of store. Twist it into you’re a lamp base.

·         Dark paper – such as navy blue or black

·         Tonic water

·         A bowl

·         Paintbrushes – Amp up the painting fun and try other artsy tools (or make your own). Spread on the tonic with cotton swaps, pom poms, yarn, ribbon or crunched up tissue paper.

Paint Fun
Here’s What to Do:

1.      Pour the tonic into a bowl.

2.      Place the paper on a surface that can get wet or cover a table with a piece of thick cardboard or a garbage bag.

3.      Turn on the black light.

4.      Dip the brush into the tonic and encourage your child to paint lines, dots or splatter it in a Jackson Pollock type of style. As a bonus – it’s the type of paint splatter that won’t really make a mess. Just wipe up the water afterwards.

The “painting” won’t glow after the black light goes off. This is purely a fun process. If you really want to keep your child’s glow in the dark art, snap a picture. Go back to the picture later on and ask your child to tell you what he painted and why he thinks it glowed.

Are you looking for more process art activities? Check out and follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Process Art for Kids on Pinterest.


  1. We've done a lot of things with tonic water, but never painted with it. Good idea!

  2. This is SO FUN! I always love how my gin & tonic glows in a nightclub (though that is less & less often these days)... ;)
    Thanks for sharing at #Pintorials

  3. I never knew this either. How neat!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  4. That looks like a lot of fun!!

  5. A black light—You can buy a black light bulb in any home improvement type of store. Twist it into you’re a lamp base.

  6. OMG!! This DIY Glow In the Dark Paint is so cool post, these Power hand tools and DIY projects are so amazing. This kid paint work sounds really good, I will make my kids try this for sure soon, great post.