Show Me Any Craft Supply… Betcha I Can Work It Into a Polymer Clay Project:
A great thing about polymer clay is that you can use it with so many different crafting materials. This is great news because most of us who are attracted to making polymer clay beads, also have an attraction (addiction :? ) to craft supplies in general. So today I’m going to share 5 ways to use acrylic craft paint with your polymer clay…
1) Paint It On Baked Pieces Of Clay: Acrylic paint bonds very nicely with polymer clay. Paint designs, scenes, backgrounds, etc. onto the baked piece like you would paint any other project. Once dry, it can even be buffed to a rich sheen with a soft cloth or buffing wheel.
2) Antique Finish Polymer Clay Beads: A technique called antiquing is a way to bring age and dimension to a textured or stamped polymer clay beads. Dilute any acrylic paint slightly with water and brush into the crevices and embossed designs in your beads. Then wipe off the raised surfaces with a damp cloth. This leaves paint in the recessed areas of the bead, making stamped images or textured patterns show better. They end up with some ‘time-worn’ character that looks very unique. If too much paint has dried on your bead than you were hoping for, the excess can be removed with rubbing alcohol.
3) Used As A Highlight: Dipping a paper towel into some acrylic paint and ‘swiping’ or dry brushing it across the raised surfaces of a polymer clay bead can highlight its texture. This is a nice technique for rubber stamped beads or the embossed images from a texture plate.
4) Used ON Raw Clay: Some polymer clay techniques such as certain mokume gane techniques and crackled finishes are done by painting a layer of acrylic paint (often metallic colors) on a sheet of raw clay and let dry. Then the sheet is stacked or run through the pasta machine to create various crackled effects. Some brands of paint work better for these techniques than others. You will want to find a paint that doesn’t stretch very much after it dries… so that it ends up crackling when you roll it through your pasta machine.
5) Used IN Raw Clay: Although it’s possible to mix wet acrylic paint into raw clay, it can be a tricky process. You see acrylic paints contain water which will not mix with the clay. It’s an oil and water sort of thing. The water in the paint collects in tiny droplets, that later boil or steam during the clay baking process. The steam expands and must escape from the clay, which causes bubbles and little ‘crescent moons’ in the clay. Tiny amounts of thick tube acrylic paint can sometimes be worked into the clay without negative effects, but you will have to experiment to get the effect you want. That being said, for some faux stone effects, plaquing (moons) can be desirable thing.