Saturday, December 5, 2009

Glow-in-the-Dark Reflective House Numbers Project

Here is a funny project that I did at the end of the summer, only to somehow loose all of the photos that I took during the process. I've recreated my project a bit here and now for your amusement. You know it has to be good if it involves glow-in-the-dark paint and a material normally used by street painting crews, no?

It really started with the need to redo our house numbers on our paper/mailbox post. I have had this bag of reflective glass "beads" for many, many years just waiting for the right use to come along. These "beads" are what are sprinkled on top of wet crosswalk and fog stripe paint, for example, to make them really show up in headlights. A short while back I ran across the glow-in-the-dark paint at Home Depot, and since I have always LOVED glow-in-the-dark stuff, that had to come home with me. Those materials mashed up in my brain, and I knew what I needed to do for our numbers.

I cut our house numbers out of a scrap of fiberboard that is finished (smooth) on both sides. This is where I am missing all of my pictures, unfortunately, except for the lone one above. For the most part I used the scroll saw to cut out the numbers, filing and sanding the edges to finish them. I sprayed them with primer, and then gave them a few coats of the glow paint. After applying a final coat of the paint, I dunked the numbers into a little tray of the "beads" to coat them well. This picture shows you the size of the "beads" -

Here it is, the finished project -

I actually considered the reflective bead part of the project a bust, because when I drive up and turn into our driveway, my headlights don't reflect off the numbers like I had hoped they would. No big deal; at least we have new, legible numbers out there.

Last night I finally dragged a shop light out there to try charging up the paint to get a glowing-in-the-dark picture. I'm pretty sure that the people who drove by thought I was a crazy woman. But it worked, a bit -

The camera was influenced by the streetlight off in the distance so the shutter didn't stay open as long as I would have liked. The best thing was to see that when cars drove by, their headlights did reflect off the numbers after all. You just have to be at the right spot to catch it. Ha! See for yourself -

That was lit up by a passing car, not me!

I guess at some point I need to make a matching set for the other side....

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