#1 Reason Why Neon Paint Is Bad For A Car

Neon Paint aka Fluorescent Paint

Neon paint, made of fluorescent pigments, is a high impact paint that demands attention. Unfortunately for these same reasons, it fades FAST


Neon paints are a popular choice for creating vibrant and eye-catching displays in various settings, from storefronts to artistic installations. The bright and bold hues of neon paints, along with their long-lasting and durable properties, make them a top choice for many artists and designers. However, over time, neon paints can begin to fade, losing their vibrancy and appeal. In this article, we will explore the causes of neon paint fading and the measures that can be taken to prevent it.

Chemical Composition of Neon Paint:

Neon paint is typically composed of two primary components: pigments and binders. Pigments are responsible for providing the color of the paint, while binders serve to hold the pigment particles together and adhere them to the surface. The properties of pigments, such as their chemical composition and particle size, determine the brightness and intensity of the color. There are various types of pigments used in neon paint, including fluorescent and phosphorescent pigments.

Binders, on the other hand, contribute to the adhesion and flexibility of the paint. There are several types of binders, including acrylic, vinyl, and urethane, each with unique properties that impact the quality of the paint. The choice of binder affects the durability of the paint and its resistance to fading.

Causes of Neon Paint Fading:

The primary cause of neon paint fading is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, which breaks down the chemical components of the paint. When neon paint is exposed to UV light, the pigments and binders are degraded, causing the colors to fade over time. The effect of UV light on neon paint varies depending on the wavelength of the light, with shorter wavelengths having a more significant impact on the paint than longer wavelengths.

In addition to UV light, chemical reactions can also contribute to neon paint fading. Photo-oxidation, photolysis, and hydrolysis are all chemical reactions that can occur in the presence of UV light and moisture, causing the breakdown of pigments and binders.

Environmental factors such as humidity and temperature can also accelerate these chemical reactions, leading to faster paint fading.

Prevention of Neon Paint Fading:

There are several measures that can be taken to prevent neon paint from fading. One effective method is the use of protective coatings, such as clear or tinted coatings that provide UV resistance. These coatings can be applied directly over the neon paint to provide an additional layer of protection against UV light and other environmental factors.

Proper storage of neon paint can also help prevent fading. Paints should be stored in light and temperature-controlled environments, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Oxygen-controlled storage can also be used to prevent chemical reactions from occurring in the paint.

The use of stable pigments and binders is also essential for preventing neon paint fading. Inorganic pigments, such as those made from metal oxides, are more stable than organic pigments and are less likely to fade over time. High-quality binders, such as those made from acrylic or urethane, are also more durable and resistant to fading than lower quality binders.


In conclusion, neon paint fading is a common issue that can detract from the vibrant and eye-catching nature of neon displays. Understanding the causes of neon paint fading, such as UV light exposure and chemical reactions, can help prevent it from occurring. Measures such as the use of protective coatings, proper storage, and the use of stable pigments and binders can all contribute to the longevity and durability of neon paint. By taking these precautions, neon displays can maintain their vibrancy and appeal for years to come.

If you’d still like to use some fluorescent paint for your project, check out our selection of vibrant neon paint colors.

Why does it fade?

This is due to science. Fluorescent pigments absorb UV light, changing it into color you can see. For a more scientific description you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescence#Physical_principles

Won’t a good clearcoat prevent fading?

No matter how good a clearcoat is, there’s nothing to prevent fading when the paint has no UV resistance.

What is the difference between dayglow & neon?

NOTHING! Dayglow was a term used in the 60’s & 70’s to describe neon pigments. These same pigments are used in neon paint.

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