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Glow-in-the-Dark Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint

It is no secret to you, if you’ve read my reviews here on Craft Critique… I love fabric paint! Especially dimensional fabric paint (i.e. puff paint). Specifically Tulip’s brand, because I find it so versatile and easy to use (I think their soft fabric paint rocks too). Those experiences in the past are exactly why I didn’t hesitate to pick up the glow in the dark version of Tulip’s Dimensional Fabric Paint the moment I ran across it in the store. How cool I thought!

Darn it if I wasn’t disappointed this time.

I had a hard time with this review, at first thinking it was just my mojo that was suffering and it was I that wasn’t using it right, etc… but after committing to the project below, I just couldn’t quite get my vision across. Was it me? Was it the product? I’ll take you through what I did and then hope you take a moment to leave a comment below with some pointers or even better experiences than I had so I can try again.

I decided to design a black ball cap with a simple shooting star, in particular to wear to the golf course. I just knew I’d be the coolest gal in the four-some when the sun started to set and my hat was all a-blaze. I started off with what I consider my tried and true method for using puff paint which is to trace a pattern using only dots of the paint around an object to make the design stand out.

Right away I noticed that the paint was for some reason just not the same consistency as the others I have used, and my dots were running together.


So I decided to for-go the little dots and just trace a design using plain old lines. This didn’t turn out wonderfully either unfortunately. Still runny.


You can see in the photo above some attempts at just making lines as well with the different colors. Honestly I have a pretty light and steady hand, but I just couldn’t get the paint to not look lumpy or runny. A big part of me thinks this is due to the size of the paint and nozzle on the 4 oz size that I used. It was difficult to keep the paint consistent and ‘clean’ as opposed to the smaller 1.25 oz bottles of dimensional paint that in turn have a tinier nozzle (which this glow-in-the-dark version is available in too).

The glow in the dark paint is available in 4 colors; green, orange, yellow, and natural. The “natural” color, though it appears white in the bottle, does have a slight green tinge to it (especially when it dries). However, if I wanted to add a little ‘glow’ to a fabric project it would be the most versatile to have on hand as it would blend in with other colors the best. The green, yellow, and orange colors are fun, but very neon in regular light.


And speaking of the colors, what they show in regular light is not quite what they look like when in the dark. For example, though you can clearly distinguish the different colors here:


It’s a bit difficult to distinguish green from natural from yellow here once the lights are off:


So between those three colors, it’s important to keep in mind what you want your project to look like in the dark, don’t add detail with green next to detail with yellow and expect them to be clearly seen in the dark.

Incidentally, I was only able to achieve a glow effect after holding the dried hat under a lamp for several minutes. After I had let it sit for the 4-hour drying time and came back to check on it in the now dark room, it was not glowing at all. All glow-in-the-dark objects are “charged” by lights of course, and there is no reason to think this paint would be any exception, but that’s just something to keep in mind depending on your project. If you make a t-shirt or a hat for example and keep it in a dark closet, you’ll need to “charge” it before it will glow when you decide to wear it.

Pros:

  • Really glows after charging in light.
  • Like other Tulip Dimensional Paints this version too is washable after 72 hours, and that is always a plus for wearable projects..
  • I find the MSRP of around $3.79 for the 4 oz size to be very reasonable, as a little goes a long way.

Cons:

  • The consistency is really runny, which made it hard to get clean “dimensional” effects (again, I could blame this on the nozzle size of the bigger bottle).
  • It comes in different colors, but those colors aren’t very distinguishable from one another (except orange) in the dark. Which means it may not be as nifty in the dark as you might like.
  • I had a hard time coming up with ideas for its use, which makes it a less versatile addition to my crafty stash than I would like to have (but the glow-in-the-dark bottles on my paint shelf is kind of cool).

So what do you think? What are some projects you could see trying this out on? Or have you used it with great success? Or mess? Share away with us!

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14 Responses to Glow-in-the-Dark Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint

  1. Mari March 8, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I have to say, I bought a bottle of this to decorate my little boy’s pj’s (actually, I was hopeful that he would be interested in helping, but *that* didn’t happen).
    I also had the bigger bottle (3 sets of pj’s!) and was a little disappointed with the consistency. I ended up using a brush to ‘paint’ it into a large area & ended up with some really stiff pj’s.
    Oh well. I think this would be better for small accents over a design already present. At least then people would know it wasn’t supposed to look so messy!

  2. Debbie March 8, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    I guess you could paint stars, moon and words on a ceiling. Give the little one a flashlight to use to ‘charge’ the stars (Make the stars come out.) Maybe it would help the little one go to sleep.
    You could paint images on the curtains or bedding.
    Put dots on the phone receiver (if it’s sitting near a bedside lamp) to be able to see it better in the dark.
    Put dots or drawing on the front of a note pad and pen to be able to find them in the middle of the night when you wake up with a wonderful crafty idea to write down.
    Decorate a child’s sneakers. Charge them up before going out at night.
    Okay… I was a painter before I was a stamper. OH… why not paint on a card for a child and give them a small flashlight to go with it.
    That’s it for now.
    Have a great day!

    Debbie

  3. ilovetocreate March 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi, I’m Alexa from iLoveToCreate, we came across this review and appreciate the feedback and after seeing it, just wanted to make a couple of points.

    It wasn’t clear, but was the bottle shaken well before it was applied? It’s not uncommon for paint to separate after sitting on a store or studio shelf for any given period of time. If it is thoroughly shaken/mixed, it makes the paint more consistent and better flowing.In particular, I can tell in the photo that the Natural Glow, for example looks like it has this separation issue.

    I also wanted to note that the paint is made to be different colors in the light but glow in the same spectrum in the dark … the lack of color differentiation in the dark is supposed to happen…this is just the nature of the glow in the dark process.

    Thanks for the critique and for the information. It gives us feedback on how to make our products better for you guys and an understanding of how you use them!

    • kyana baber March 28, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      i love tulips glow in the dark fabric paint ive used it on more than fabric though ive painted a shirt,my camera,my journal,my watch,and a bracelet i love the pain so much i also use the silver glitter

  4. Candyland March 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    It helps to shake the paint really well, too, to make sure it’s nice and thick. Sometimes when it sits for awhile, the consistency will be off.

  5. Janine July 5, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    Can the glow in the dark paint be found at Michaels?

    • kyana baber March 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      i found some at walmart for $3.99

  6. Anonymous October 13, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    yes, you can find it in Michaels & Jo Ann Stores too.. but i am not so impressed with it.. cause it glows for about a couple of mins only, even after being charged for about 2 hrs… Can someone pls share your experience on this ??

    Thanks

  7. Anonymous November 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I was just curious as to how long this paint lasts after being charged for awhile. My friends and I are doing a glow in the dark dance for our talent show and they insist that the glow only lasts for about 5 minutes even though mine lasts for what seems like much longer. Anyone have a rough estimate of how long the glow lasts?

    • kyana baber March 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

      it lasts for awhile but every time you want it to glow you flash a uv light on it

  8. Anonymous August 10, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    Thanx for the review.

    I wonder is there any product that goes on clear & glows in the dark?

    I would be an even bigger surprise when the lights go out!

  9. RF October 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I bought two bottles of this paint about two weeks ago to make my son a glow in the dark skeleton costume for Halloween. I’m just painting it onto a black sweat shirt and pants. I used up the two bottles on just the ribs, sternum, and pelvis. We were really excited how it turned out though. My son was thrilled! When I went back to the store to buy more they were all sold out. Finally today I was able to pick up another two bottles to finish. I am currently freaking out now. The original work I did has the greenish tinge to it once dried. The new bones I painted today are white and drying clear! I checked all the paint bottles and they are exactly the same with the same product number. Now my son’s Halloween costume looks horrible and he’s pretty bummed. I’m giving it a chance to completely dry overnight but I’m not sure what else to do. I shook the bottles well before I used them. Anyone else have an issue with this? On another note, when I filled in the bones they were “lumpy” and had quite a few bubbles I couldn’t get rid of. My son thinks it gives the effect of real bones so I’m happy with that. I would say this product is best just using as outlines.

  10. Angel R January 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    i’ve just gotten into dying hemp with my friend and she usually uses ome of the tye die kits to get all the colors, but i’ve been wanting to make some colorful glow string. is it possible to use this to dye hemp string the same way she’s been using it? could you just the glow paint or maybe try mixing it with the colored dye to make it glow? any help or suggestions or alternatives that would better help me would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

  11. Marni August 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    I am doing fairy glow jars for a party but the party is at night. In order to make it glow you have to put it out in the light. Is there another light i could use?