7

This is the follow-up to a related question.

I wanted to know if there is any limitation or specific liquid characteristics on making a glow-in-the-dark flowers by imitating the techniques on this thread?

Glow in the dark flowers

The available options are

  1. solution of phosphorous paint + water,
  2. solution of phosphorous powder mixed with water.

Which one of these options will work better or are there any other solutions to consider?

  • The thread you linked to relies on a soluble dye being transported along with the water. Most phosphorescent paints use a non-soluble powder so transport will be stopped or greatly reduced. The actual ingredients for a specific paint aren't often published. If you started with a water-based glow-in-the-dark paint you just might have some success with a bit of luck, but I suspect the glow would be too faint. You'd also have to make sure that your resin let enough UV (or possibly blue) light through to charge the phosphor. – Chris H Jan 6 '17 at 16:38
3
+50

I lack both the chemistry and botany knowledge to address you question directly. @ChrisH's comment suggests that your phosphorus pigments won't wick up through the stems like the compounds in the referenced article do.

Have you considered applying the pigment directly to the flower petals using either a paintbrush or airbrush?

Since you are planning to encapsulate the flower in clear resin, you don't have to worry about the paint rubbing off of the petals. How it gets to where you want it is less important that how it looks once it is in place. To that end, I would recommend a very light (high-air) spray of a very dilute pigment using an airbrush with a high-number needle and nozzle (3 or above). Mist the flower with the glowing paint and test the results in darkness after each coat.

Skipping that idea, there is an immersion technique at the end of the referenced article which might work even if the stem-based approach fails with the pigment you choose.

  • An airbrush would be a bit on the expensive side. Do you think the paintbrush method would work as well, and/or would it depend on how large the petals are? – Erica Jan 6 '17 at 23:01
  • After a little bit analysis, your paintbrush solution seems like a good idea. Do you think I still need acrylic spray for flower before drown them in resin? – dpw Jan 7 '17 at 2:05
  • @Erica, if you are careful and if you keep your brush very dry, applying the paint in light swaths and tiny dots, you can get close to almost any airbrush spray pattern. It just takes a tremendous amount of patience and a steady hand. That said, an airbrush does not instantly guarantee smooth gradients and sharp pin-stripes. Practice and experience determines the artistic potential of any brush or tool. If you are currently skilled with a conventional brush, then that is the tool you should use. – Henry Taylor Jan 7 '17 at 7:55
  • @dpw, it sounds like you are using the acrylic spray as an intercoat, a neutral layer which keeps each layer of newly applied paint from reacting with previous layers (or with the petals themselves). Determining if you need an intercoat must be done on a project by project basis. – Henry Taylor Jan 7 '17 at 8:04
  • Take a spare flower petal and paint a thin line on it. If the line spreads out or bleeds into the petal, then a clear intercoat between the flower and the first layer of paint is probably a good idea. If the line remains sharp and bright, then no intercoat is needed for that first layer. Another potential use for an intercoat layer, is to isolate the top layers of paint from the clear resin. It is unlikely, but your resin may interact with either the exposed petal surface or the applied and dried paints. As before, test for these potential problems on a spare petal. – Henry Taylor Jan 7 '17 at 8:06

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