You can pick from an array of craft supplies when you want to get creative. However, there’s nothing as unique and fun as glow-in-the-dark mica. Mica powder itself is special, providing a combination of shine and color that artists have used for centuries. When you add the glow-in-the-dark aspect, you elevate this craft supply even more.
Before you run to the store or dive into your craft closet for some glow-in-the-dark mica fun, you must consider the dos and don’ts of using it. While it’s versatile, glowing mica has its rules like any other craft supply.
Do: Let the Glowing Mica Charge Under Direct Light
One of the first questions people ask about glowing mica is, “How does it work?” Our mica powders are surprisingly simple. They contain zinc sulfide and other minerals. When you place them under a light source, they “charge” and absorb some of that light source’s energy. Once the lights are out, the powders can use that charged energy to glow. One 10-minute charge should power your glowing project for 8 to 10 hours.
Don’t: Expose the Mica to UV Light Long Term
While you’ll need to locate a direct light source to charge your mica, you shouldn’t use the sun as the light source. The sun sounds like the best power source, but our glow-in-the-dark pigments are not UV resistant. After exposure to UV rays, especially long term, the color of your glowing mica powder can fade. To preserve the color as well as the glowing power of your mica, you should use an alternative light source.
Do: Test Colors Before You Start Your Project
While we tend to use mica for its glowing properties, it also adds color to craft projects. Some powders are one color in the light and glow a different color in the dark. Other powders stay the same color. Read the label on your mica powder to learn about its hue or hues.
The color description on the label is informative, but it can’t tell you exactly how the color will appear in your project. If you mix the powder with a colorful medium, such as paint, the color can appear different. Mediums that start wet and then dry hard, such as epoxy, can also affect the exact color of your mica. Test your color, regardless of the medium. This way, you’ll know what to expect when you start your project.
Don’t: Expect Mica To Look the Same When It Glows
Some of our glowing mica colors are the same in the light or the dark, such as Daijin blue. Daijin blue is blue in the light and blue in the dark. However, when it’s glowing in the dark, it appears as a lighter shade of blue. The glowing from charging it creates this shade effect. Changes like this occur in several pigments, which is why it’s so important to test them before starting your project.
Do: Pay Attention to Micron Size
Many powders, including glowing powder, come in different micron sizes. Micron (μm) is a term referring to one millionth of a meter. That’s tiny! As small as the micron category is, it still includes a range of sizes. When buying glowing mica powder, you want that size range to measure between 13 to 45 microns. Anything less than 13 microns is often too small to appreciate the color or the glowing effect. Larger than 45 microns can make the pigments less uniform and difficult to mix. Powders in this midsize range also shine better since they’re large enough to absorb light well while staying uniform.
Don’t: Use Any Glowing Mica You Find
Since micron size is so important for good color and glow, you shouldn’t use any glowing mica you find. Cheaper, low-quality mica powder probably won’t come in the ideal micron range to provide good color and fascinating glow for your project.
Instead, view this supply as an investment. A pinch of powder is enough for most projects, and these powders last a long time in storage. Investing in the right high-quality glowing powder will ensure an ideal micron size. The powder will also reliable serve you for years to come.
Do: Use Glowing Mica in Creative Projects
After reading about all these rules, you’re probably chomping at the bit to start using glowing mica in your creative projects. The good news is the sky is the (literal) limit! Most glowing mica powders are safe for various uses, from epoxy resin art to DIY soap. While they aren’t safe for eye or lip application, they’re still a versatile craft supply.
If you notice that your glowing mica isn’t mixing well into your chosen medium, you may need to get it wet first. Mix the mica with denatured alcohol until it thoroughly combines. Once you’ve created a mica paste and broken down the powder just a bit, it should mix easily into your chosen medium. Get ready to see it glow.
Don’t: Use Glowing Mica for Outside Features
While glowing mica powder is versatile, we don’t suggest using it to paint or decorate any outside features. As we mentioned above, these powders aren’t UV resistant. While the sun may initially “charge” mica when it’s outside, it will eventually cause the color to fade.
Use glowing mica for indoor art, crafts, and household products instead. While you can step outside with glowing mica in your DIY nail polish or carry glowing mica resin art to your car, try to protect it from UV rays as much as possible. You want your project to retain its color and provide it’s incredible glow for as long as possible.
The dos and don’ts of using glow-in-the-dark mica powder cover everything from shopping to charging to project parameters. Taking each do and don’t into consideration will help you use this craft supply well and make incredible art. If you need glow-in-the-dark mica powder for your next creative project, Eye Candy Pigments can help. We offer a great selection of glowing mica that you’ll love.