Thermochromic colors

How to make an unique mug at home

Ever want­ed to make your own unique mug? We’ll re­veal one of the tricks of the trade in this video!

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

Per­form this ex­per­i­ment only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • dry heat-sen­si­tive paints;
  • clear nail pol­ish;
  • plas­tic con­tain­er;
  • brush;
  • mug.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Mix some dry ther­mochromic paints with some clear nail pol­ish. Your ther­mochromic paints are ready! Paint a pic­ture on the out­side of a mug of your choice. If you pour boil­ing wa­ter into the mug, the paints will change col­ors!

Process de­scrip­tion

Heat-sen­si­tive paints con­tain dyes con­sist­ing of var­i­ous or­gan­ic and in­or­gan­ic chem­i­cal com­pounds. The most com­mon of such or­gan­ic com­pounds are liq­uid crys­tals. These sub­stances pos­sess prop­er­ties of both liq­uids and sol­id crys­tals. Some of them can change col­ors, re­versibly or ir­re­versibly, when ex­posed to changes in tem­per­a­ture. Tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions cause them to change their spa­tial struc­ture and how they re­flect light; ac­cord­ing­ly, the paint changes its col­or. The paints used in the video con­tain liq­uid crys­tals, which are re­versible – when cooled, they re­vert back to their orig­i­nal col­or. Such paints are used as heat in­di­ca­tors in strip ther­mome­ters, as well as in many oth­er ap­pli­ca­tions.