How to Make Neon Colors with Paint?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

I have been into painting since my childhood. The curiosity of mixing colors has saved me from the cost of buying expensive ready-made paints. Learning how to make neon colors with paints should be your top-shelf priority.

Neon colors give paintings some vibrancy and energy to stand out from others. They are also a perfect choice for canvas and paper paintings. Continue reading this article to learn how to mix colors and create neon colors at home.

The History of Neon Colors

Neon colors have been around for over five decades since their invention, and they are also called fluorescent colors due to their visual representation of light. The bright and vibrancy features describe these colors as luminescent versions for primary and secondary colors. Neon colors are also not part of the traditional color spectrum.

The History Of Neon Colors

Many artists started to recognize neon colors in the last century due to the need to shape their paintings and make them stand out from others.

The primary focus for creating neon colors was to make neon lights by mixing different noble gases with other elements resulting in a limitless amount of colors.

Bob Switzer and his brother Joseph were the first to create luminescent paints. The inspiration to create this pigment began when Bob was bedridden after a severe accident.

Bob and Joseph started mixing the fluorescent compounds with wood varnish to create the first neon paint or black light fluorescent.

Neon paints were first introduced into the artistic scene in 1940 by Andy Warhol. The French artist Martial Raysse was among the people to first work with neon paints.

The paint later lost its charming and fascinating glow in the 1950s. Neon paint became a dying economic prospect up to the 1960s. But Keith Sonner’s art of 1968 resurrected the neon paints.

The neon colors have become the emblem of commercialism and urban life in the modern age due to the language-based neon artwork created by Joseph Kosuth.

The Young British Artists also took the mantle to popularize neon paints in the 1980s that spearheaded the high demand for neon paints in the current century.

Are Neon Colors Easy to Mix?

Neon colors make art projects look bright and vibrant. Fluorescent colors require a special recipe from the manufacturer to create. The resulting deep colors can make you wonder about the type of paint used.

Are Neon Colors Easy To Mix

So, are neon colors easy to mix? No. You cannot mix neon colors with standard primary colors to result in bright and vibrant colors. You will have to buy ready-made fluorescent colors to mix neon paints yourself.

Finding fluorescent colors can be a daunting and intimidating experience. It makes mixing neon colors a problem regardless of the medium you choose to work with. Finding neon paint markers and graphic work is super simple.

Do not feel limited when mixing neon colors since art is the world of colors and creativity. Availing some supplies will make your dream of mixing neon colors come true. Lets find that out together:

Supplies Needed

  • Paint: Use a basic blue paint and bright yellow color.
  • Brushes: Use a single art brush to mix the neon colors.
  • Canvas: Creates a surface for mixing the neon colors.

Related Read:Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Glass?

How to Make Neon Colors with Paint?

Making neon colors with paint can be an intimidating and cumbersome experience for beginners or novices. But availing of the basic supplies and following the procedure from the manufacturer will make the task look super simple.

How To Make Neon Colors With Paint

Use basic blue and bright yellow paints to create a neon green color at home. Be sure to locate the neon green paint color on the yellow end of the green spectrum from the color wheel. Below are quick steps for making neon colors with paint

  • Step 1: Use an art brush to dab a little bit of basic blue paint on a palette. Record the blue dabbed amount on the palette and keep track of all additions.
  • Step 2: Add the bright yellow color to the blue and mix using the same art brush. Move the art brush in a circular motion to note the color changes with ease.
  • Step 3: Continue adding more bright yellow colors to get an ideal neon green hue. If you accidentally add excess yellow, add a little blue paint with ultimate precautions.
  • Step 4: Repeat the steps if mixing the colors cannot result in the appropriate color. Consider the color in the middle of the blue spectrum. Try to avoid the blue paint with too much purple or green.

How Do You Make Neon Colors with Oil Paints?

Neon colors are made from fluorescent pigments and not by mixing basic colors. Most oil paints are created from basic colors. Besides that, there are no neon or fluorescent colors in oil paints except acrylic brands.

How Do You Make Neon Colors With Oil Paints

However, there are methods and techniques for making neon colors with oil paints. These colors will make your project look brilliant and vibrant. Below are quick steps for making neon colors with oil paints:

  • Step 1: Squeeze the transparent oil paints from the tube. The paints will achieve their neon effect from the high saturation and brilliance. Do not skimp the paint since it will reduce its brilliance.
  • Step 2: Mix the transparent colors thoroughly to preserve the brilliance. Dip the art brush in turpentine remove the brown and other opaque colors before transferring the transparent colors to the canvas.
  • Step 3: Dab a little pure zinc white on a palette to avoid interfering with the brilliance. The pure zinc white will help to lighten the transparent colors.
  • Step 4: Mix the colors with a palette knife and art brush to remove residue of colors that can contaminate the resulting paint mixture. Mix the colors on the canvas to create a more sparkling and brilliant neon effect.


Neon colors are excellent for giving your paintings vibrancy and energy. Many artists prefer neon colors to transform their projects into a lovable dimension.

However, making neon colors with paints can be challenging among beginners. These colors cannot be made from the primary colors since they contain unique properties.

I recommend using acrylic paints with fluorescent pigments to make neon colors. The paint mixture will result in vibrant and glowing colors.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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