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Author Topic: Questions about starting my new project  (Read 2591 times)


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Questions about starting my new project
« on: May 24, 2016, 01:32:22 AM »

I couldn't really seem to find a topic which satisfied some questions I had about painting pieces of baked polymer with acrylics and varnishing them.

The thing is, I want to be able to make a professional product so they need to be durable, when I sell them.

I want to make rune sets, which consist of little rock like polymer shapes and then painted on with acrylics (perhaps gesso first?) and then varnished with a strong coat of something, which will last and respond well to the acrylics as well.

Advice on which varnish would be great, and other suggestions!

By the way, I'm new, so hi!



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Re: Questions about starting my new project
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2016, 05:54:51 PM »
paints can be problematic with polymer clays long term.

It gets a little complicated....

it used to be that pretty much any water based or acrylic paint or varnish would be fine on baked polymer clay and would dry nicely and be durable.

Then the clay formulations changed a little and now some acrylic paints don't dry properly or they will dry but then go tacky again days, weeks or months later.

Given that the clay formulations are only a few years old since they changed, we don't really have LONG term data on how ANY paint will react with it over the course of several years.

Many years ago I made a lot of beads that I painted with an acrylic varnish - they were fine for literally 15 years then they went tacky. So long term issues could definitely happen with the old formulations back then - and maybe they can with today's clay recipes also?

Mostly though, we work on the basis that if a paint or varnish dries properly on the baked clay and all seems well over the course of a few weeks, we assume it to be stable. But as I said, none of us can say for absolutel

For that reason, I have always been inclined to test paints really well. Varnishes I tend to stick to those made by the clay companies as they are designed to be used with their products.

There are other ways you can impart colour of course - there are many stone effect clays that you might want to check out. Inks, mica powders etc can also be used on the clay before baking. You can make use of the different clay colours and add pattern and colour with the clay itself.

Unfortunately for painting though, you really just need to do some tests and see if the products you want to use work ok with the clay - generally if you can get the best quality artist acrylic paints rather than studio acrylics, they tend to be purer and less likely to have any additives that will react with the clay. But it really is a trial and error thing - especially if you are planning on using a lot of paint product over the clay

Another thing I would suggest if you are planning to paint the baked clay - sand it first with some fine grade paper so the paint has something to grip. The baked finish on some clay brands can be quite smooth and this can lead to paint flaking off rather than adhering well.


Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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Re: Questions about starting my new project
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 10:29:20 PM »
Thank you so much for your reply, it is very helpfull. :)