How to make your Keys Glow in the Dark

how to make your keys glow in the dark

Have you ever left the house during the day, thinking, “I will only been gone a short while.” But then a million and one things happen:  you saw your old friend while in line at Starbucks and talk and talked, or that office party you attended wasn’t so lame after all, or the traffic was crazy and it took forever to get home? Whatever the reason, you find yourself home, later than expected, and now it’s dark. Too bad you don’t have those fancy motion lights over your front door because you forgot to turn them on when you left. How did you know that you’d be returning home in pitch darkness? ….Now to find your house key, and the tiny little hole it fits into….. uggggh! Never again my friends. Thanks to the Momma Bear of Crafting, Martha Stewart.

Check out this glorious little product, Martha Stewart Glow In The Dark Sealer:

Martha Stewart glow in the dark finish

Glow in the dark? Oh yes. I know you are thinking that the only thing this is good for is painting stars on kid’s room ceilings, but there are so many more applications. It comes in this huge bottle and has kind of a yellow tint… that’s normal, no worries.

Like: the Glow-in-the-Dark House Key.

Remember yesterday when I showed you how I painted my keys so I could tell them apart? Well, I thought, “This is great, until it’s dark and I cannot see my paint.” Then I remembered the Martha Stewart Glow In The Dark Sealer.


use just a little of the Martha Stewart glow in the dark finish


Martha Stewart glow in the dark finish goes on clear

even though it looks yellow/greeny in the bottle, it goes on almost totally clear. (Just a little whitish.)


Key with Martha Stewart glow in the dark finish on it

The finish is matte, so I lost that nice shiny nail polish finish, but no worries. The glow-in-the-darkness is what is important here. Worth it. I promise you I tried my best to get a picture of the key and lock actually glowing the dark, but I couldn’t get it. That’s some serious photography skills.  So instead, I photoshopped how it looks:

Glow in the dark key, kinda

haha. That’s actually kinda what it looks like in the dark. Kinda.

Ok, next time you are stuck out later than you expected, you will be able to find your keys (at the lock) easily. Enjoy!

05/01/13 – I used 2-3 coats of the glow in the dark paint over a coat of teal nail polish. The glow in the dark paint has no teal color in it. After 6 months of use I did have to reapply the glow-in-the-dark finish, constant rubbing against my other keys wore down the finish. When I left my keys in the dark recesses of my bag all day the glow-in-the-dark factor was decreased, but if I left my keys near sunshine/light (my desk, entry console, etc) then the glow-in-the-darkness was better that night.


(The opinions expressed here are 100% my own. I was in no way compensated for my review of Martha Stewart’s Glow-in-the-Dark Finish.)

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  1. Matthew says:

    What if you put a coat of clear nail polish on it? it will bring back shine, and make last longer 😉

  2. Hello. I have been trying to do this with one key, but so far have not had much success. I bought a glow in the dark paint and it works when a large amount is applied on paper, but not when a small amount is applied on my tiny key.

    I have a few questions that I hope you can answer:

    1) Do you know if this works with a small key and also on a gold key?

    2) Can this be removed? If it doesn’t work or looks terrible in the daytime on my door knob, I would prefer to remove it.

    3) What exactly are you coating on the door knob? The entire face of the door knob or only the small round circle area where the key goes into?

    4) And finally, I don’t understand the picture with the two keys. You say for the first one no glow and shiny, yet it’s already painted green. Is the key not glowing because it’s being viewed in daylight?

    Thanking you in advance for your response.

    • Mallory says:

      I didn’t see a response to this, so I wanted to let you know my experience with the key only. I had to put quite a lot of coats on before it would do anything. I also had to let the coats dry for quite a while otherwise they started to peal back.

      As far as the door nob, I would think it would depend on your type of door nob. I have one with a cheap finish on so I am not trying this, as the only way I know how to remove the paint is with paint thinner and that will take the finish off of my door nob. However if you have a full metal, unfinished nob that shouldn’t matter.

      I hope it helps!

      • prep the surface of the key or knob by lightly sanding the area you want o paint with the FINE side of an emery board or 220 grit sandpaper. That should help keep it from peeling.

    • I wrote to Ro when she originally posted, but the response did not show up here, so for the other readers that have asked similar questions, here are my answers:

      1) I did not use the glow in the dark paint on a metal key face. I had painted my keys with nail polish the day before so that I could tell them apart. Than night I got home late and couldn’t see the polish on the keys so I STILL couldn’t tell them apart. That is why I painted my door key with glow in the dark paint. So, I assume it would work similarly, but I am not sure if it will stick well without the initial coat of paint… what have you guys found?

      2) I do not know if this can be removed. I lived in the house for almost a year and never found a reason to remove it, but I assume that a paint thinner would work. As another person said, this would depend on the finish on your door knob.

      3) I put the glow in the dark paint only on the area directly around the key hole. I was unsure how this would handle hands all over it 10x a day, so I painted just that small area instead of the whole knob. Plus, I really just wanted a visual indication of where to put the key… a target per-se.

      4) The picture with the two keys is of my house key. The “shiny” side is painted with nail polish and no glow in the dark paint, the “matte” side is nail polish with glow in the dark paint on top. The photo illustrates that the glow in the dark paint makes the finish matte.

      Hope that helps everybody!

  3. I love this! Oh Martha and her wonderful supplies.


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