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Frequently Asked Questions


Many times each month customers seem to have very similar questions pertaining to our Night Sky Murals, our Night Sky Murals DIY Stencil Kits, the process, and care. I do my best to get their questions answered, but hopefully this page will answer a lot of the questions that you have right now, instead of having to write and ask… and then having to wait for a response.

To try to get you the information that you are looking for, right away, I’ve decided to answer as many as I can think of. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here, please feel free to add a comment below, or shoot me an email so that I can add it to this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Good question. When I decided to design my stencils, I wanted something that would work on any sized ceiling... and, that's exactly what they will do. These stencils are perfect for a small 10 x 10 foot ceiling, or even a 50 x 50 foot ceiling.

It doesn't matter the size of your ceiling, it will work... and work well.
Absolutely! They will, but you will need to be gentle with them. They are made with somewhat thin Kraft paper (to form to most ceiling types), but I have heard back from customers who have used the DIY stencils one 4 and 5 ceilings. So, if you are careful, yes.

Even if you get a tear in one, a little tape on the tear should fix it enough to continue using it.

So, while the stencils will work in multiple rooms, you may need to order a little extra paint, depending on how many, and how large the ceilings are.

Extra paint is only $25/ounce
Everything that you will need to paint an amazing starry night on your ceiling... or multiple ceilings.

* Stencils - 4 constellation stencils - (Big & Little Dippers, Cassiopeia & Leo) - 2 Background star sheets - These are what make the murals awesome, and 3D.

* Paint - Enough to paint up to 200 sq. ft... possibly even more.

* Tools - The tools that you will need to create the perfect stars that will make your mural amazing!

* Instructions - This seems like a given, but I get asked if there are instructions that are included.

* Years of experience put into the design of the stencils so you can create an amazing night sky on your first try.

You'll get everything that you will need to paint the murals. You will want to get a black light to use while painting (to see where you have already painted) and then to charge your mural every night after it's finished.
A Black Light is a must. You will want to use one during the painting process, and then every time you want to charge up the stars.

During the painting process

A black light is very helpful to be able to see where you have already painted your stars.

Since you will be painting in the light, the blacklight will cause the paint to fluoresce so that you can see where you've already painted.

There are roughly 200 holes on each 24x40 sheet... so you can get lost easily, and a black light is very helpful.

After your mural is finished

Once your mural is finished, the best light to charge up your stars is a fluorescent light (be it white, black, long tube, or spiral bulb).

The reason that I suggest a black light is because you also need to have your eyes adapted to the dark to be able to see all of the stars in the mural. With a black light on, your pupils don't close up like they would under white light. So, I always suggest a black light.Blacklight will also cause my paint to fluoresce so you can see the stars while they are charging up.So... get a blacklight either online or at a local store that carries them. I know that Walmart has both tube and the CFL (spiral, curly) lights... for those who have a Walmart close by. I have seen them in Home Depot and Lower, Spencers, and other stores. If none of those stores are near you, then Amazon or other online stores offer blacklights.
Your ceiling can be any color that you'd like. However, you should know that if you want your mural to be virtually invisible when the lights are on, then you will want to go with a light colored ceiling (white to a light pastel color).

If you don't care that some of the stars are visible in the light, then go ahead and paint on a dark colored ceiling. Most of my customers, who I paint for, have had no problem seeing 80-150 stars on their ceilings. Most of the visible stars will be the constellation stars, and a few of the larger background stars.

So, the color really only depends on what you want to see when the lights are on.
Nope! But, realize that you will see some stars when the room lights are turned on. plan on maybe 80-150 out of 4000 stars that are visible.

Now, a quick suggestion for your "flat" paint. Normal flat paint will mark up super easily. If you want to wipe it down later to get spider webs or dust off of the ceiling, there is a good possibility that it will leave streak marks. This is because flat paint don't have enamel in them to make them durable.

I have had customers tell me that they have found flat paint that has some enamel in it. When I painted my murals on those ceilings, I did so with caution, but the ceiling paint help up nicely.

So, if you want a flat paint on your ceiling... I would suggest one with some enamel in them. I believe that Sherwin Williams makes one.
Absolutely! You can use the stencils on pretty much any type of ceiling. I paint my murals on all types of ceilings with no problems. Some are a little more difficult, but nothing that is too bad.
Yes. Enough to paint at least 200 sq. ft. (18.58 sq. meters)
I usually tell people that the paint supplied in the kits is enough to paint up to 200 sq. Ft. In actuality, it should easily paint both of your 10x10 ceilings, and possibly still have extra paint left over to paint a third room.

The reason that I say 200 sq. ft. is because that is about what some people, who go crazy with the paint, get out of a jar. But, if you are good at following instructions… you should be fine painting both rooms... and possible a third.

If you are in doubt, then go ahead and get an extra jar of paint. At least you’ll save on shipping costs later if you do need some. And, if you have extra… then paint another room.
It should be fine. I have sent my DIY kits around the world and have never had a complaint. Also, when I travel to paint, my bags go under the plain where it gets way below freezing… and I haven’t had any problems.
I’ve tried to make it easy to get a kit. Please follow these instructions:

* Go to the “Contact Me’ page.

* Start filling out the form that is there.

* When you get to the “My Current Interest is…” section… Click on “Ready to Buy - Let’s Do This!” option.

* Follow the form, answering, Where we should send the kit; If you want more paint; Leave any comment.

* Until we get kinks with the web store worked out… I will then send out a PayPal request.

* Once that has been taken care of, I will get your DIY Kit in the mail to you.
We use both USPS Priority and First Class, depending on if there is a real difference in getting to you.

Most of the time, we’ve found that First Class will get there about as fast.
Well, the most important reason is that they were designed by someone who has actually painted these murals for over 20 years, personally, and is a leader of this type of mural.

The same techniques that I use to paint a mural has gone into designing these stencils.

If you want a mural to look very realistic and be something that you will enjoy looking at for years to come, then that is very important.

If you just want something that is slightly better than plastic stick-on stars, then you don't need to spend the extra money for my stencil.

I'm not cutting down the other stencils. Those other stencils will give you a fun mural that young kids will enjoy. Possibly even adults too. But, there is a significant difference in the finished product.

My DIY Kits are for people who want the best, most realistic looking murals. And, we deliver.
I've tried to make them accurate in size on a ceiling that is between 8 and 10 feet high... though they will look very close on any ceiling.

I have seen some stencils that are available that have the constellations very small and almost not recognizable. I didn't want that with my stencils.
This is one of those... “That depends” type of answer.

The duration of the photo-luminescent glow is entirely dependent on your environment and your ability to control it. The darker the room, the longer (and more detailed) you will see the night sky. Under normal conditions the glow lasts for several hours after the lights go out… and chances are, you will fade off long before the stars do.

With our stencils, and by following instructions, you will get between 15 to 20 different sized stars in your mural, and the larger the star is, the more glow pigment it has in it. So, the smallest stars may glow for up to an hour before it fades away to where you can no longer see it. Then, the stars that are slightly larger than the smallest ones will possibly glow for a couple of hours. The mural will constantly be changing as the smaller stars fade first, and the larger ones stick around for several hours.

As far as how many years will the mural last… we don’t know. I’ve painted murals over 25 years ago that were still glowing the last time we checked. The pigments that we use, plus the medium that we mix the pigments into, is the same that we include in the DIY kits, and should keep your mural glowing for over 20 to 30 years, or beyond.
Usually, there is not much for you to do to get ready for us, other than to smoke a brisket (or ribs) and to make the work area easy for us to move around in. It’s usually as easy as moving a few things and then turning down the temperature in the room (we get very warm when painting in a sealed room and a setting of 65 degrees is NOT too low. Really!).

Furniture along the side of the room is usually OK and we just drape cloths over them and then reach over them to the ceiling and walls. But, if you feel that you will be painting the ceiling within the next few years, we suggest that you do that first, before your Night Sky Mural is painted. It will make a huge difference. The same applies to popcorn ceilings. If you’re going to be replacing it, do it before adding a Night Sky Mural.

A couple of other very important things that I guess I should mention are:

* Ladder

* Extra drop cloths for large rooms

Ladder– Since most of our jobs are far from home (an airplane ride away and ladders are hard to fit into luggage), it is very important that there be a ladder available on site. If your ceiling is 12 feet high, a 6-foot ladder will not be tall enough, but an 8 to 10 foot ladder is.

Extra drop cloths – We carry enough drop cloths to cover a good-sized room. But, at times, if there is a lot of furniture to cover, or the room is fairly large, what we can carry on the plane is sometimes not enough, so if you have a few old sheets that you can get to in a pinch, that will be very helpful. We rarely need any extra drop cloths… but it has happened a time or two.


Well, we haven’t ever heard of anyone growing tired of the night sky, but if you really need to get rid of your mural… applying two to three coats of good, quality paint will completely obscure it forever.
Most surfaces that we have been asked to paint on have been great for our murals. We’ve created Night Sky Murals on many types of ceilings…tape & texture, popcorn, acoustic panels, metal, cloth and wood.

Chances are that your ceiling surface is in the range of possibilities.
In our experience, almost every ceiling has some type of obstacle… like fans, lights, smoke detectors, ventilation registers…and more. You can simple draw these items into the mural by painting stars on them too. Remember that the paint is not visible in the light, so these items look normal when the room is lighted. When the room is dark, these items disappear and blend into the rest of the mural.
I’ve touched on this when answering other questions, but in case you haven’t looked through all of the questions, let me answer this again.

Black lights are the best source of light, as of right now, to charge the glow paint. It lets off 365nm light, which is perfect for charging our paint.

Most customers who chose to go the black tube light route will either get a 4 foot light to place in the center of their room to charge the mural, or they will install a soffit, around their ceiling, and put black lights up in there, all the way around the room. You really don’t need that many black lights to charge the paint, but it does create a nice effect in the room with all of those black lights turned on.

Black light, Strip light – These are a good source of light as long as it is in the 365 to 400nm light spectrum.

There are some 400nm LED strip lights that I have access to, that are probably the best lights for charging the paint, but it also lets off a good amount of visible light.

I can also give you a link to some 365nm strip lights that are also great lights. They let off less visible light and are similar to the tube black lights in light color, visible light and the way they charge the glow paint.

Both sets of LED strip lights are expensive. The 400nm lights are around $16/ft and the 365nm lights are around $12/ft. Most other rope or strip lights that you can find for less than these prices will be a waste of money. They will not work. Even if they say they are "Black Lights."

If you do go with strip black lights, or tube black lights... please try to get them at least 12" below the ceiling (if you are building a soffit) so the light can hit the paint directly.

Black light, stage, spot lights – These are powerful black lights and work very well. A couple of these lights shining up on your ceiling will be almost as good as black lights placed all the way around your room.
Yes it does. Just as city lights wash out the beautiful star-filled night sky that is around us all the time, the same thing happens with projector light, or any other light that gets into a room.

So that clients can still see some stars while a movie is playing, we have created a special paint that will also fluoresce under a black light.

Fluorescing is different from glowing. The fluorescing attribute takes place when a black light is turned on… which causes the paint to glow brightly. But, that paint stops fluorescing once the black lights are turned off.

But, when the black lights are turned off and the paint stops fluorescing… the paint will then glow (on it’s own) as long as the room is dark.

So, again, yes the projector light will affect the mural, but you can turn on the black lights to cause a good number of the stars to fluoresce.

Then, once the movie is over, leave all of the lights off, sit back and enjoy the peaceful, romantic mural in total darkness as it glows for hours. We’ve had many clients tell us that they’ve thrown sleeping bags out on the floor of a home theater room and camped out in there. Or, their kids have had sleepovers under the night sky.

We’ve also had many customers tell us that they have friends who will come over and ask to just sit in the theater room, without even putting a movie on. Many customers will do the same. The beauty of that is that you are getting so much more out of a theater room (or any room, really).
To get the most out of a Night Sky Mural you will want to be sure of a couple of things. They are…

Dark room – This is probably the most important thing to really enjoying one of our murals. Remember, our murals act just like a real night sky… and any light pollution that gets into your room will wash out some of the stars. A little light will wash out a small amount of stars. A lot of light will wash out a lot of the stars, and in some cases all of the stars.

Good light source – We’ve touched on this some… but a good source of black light, or fluorescent light is very important to charging your mural up to it’s peak level so that it will glow for hours. We like to suggest black lights because they don’t affect your eyes as much as white, fluorescent light will… so your eyes can start adapting to the dark while charging the paint with a black light. White lights will cause your pupils to close up and it might take up to 10 or 15 minutes to see most of the stars or Milky Way that are in the mural.
The kit comes with an ounce of paint. This may not seem like a lot, but it is enough paint to usually paint at least 200 sq. ft. of ceiling... an probably even more than that.

I have many customers who want to get an extra jar or two of paint because they plan to paint large rooms, or possibly a few rooms. No problem, by ordering the paint at the time that you order the DIY kit, you will only pay $25 (per ounce), and not have to pay for any shipping that you'd have to pay if you were to order it later.

You can order more paint when you fill out the form on the "Contact Us" page.

About the Author

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Born... a while ago. I grew up in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley of California. We were two hours from Disneyland, two hours from the beach, two hours from the redwoods, and 1 1/2 hours from Dodger stadium. Life was great! It was at the beach and in the redwoods where my love of the night sky was born. Oh, and I love to smoke brisket... Texas-style!

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