Finishing Polymer Clay Beads with Future Floor Polish

Finishing Polymer Clay Beads

Vid #42: Bead Finishing is Easy with a Little Help From The Grocery Store:

Have you ever noticed how some of your best craft supplies don’t even come from the craft store?

Future Floor Polish is a great example of this for me. You may know it as Future Floor Finish/Shine/Wax… I’m pretty sure they are all the same. For making shiny beads that’ll sparkle up a room, there’s nothing better.

Of course, the more time you spend sanding and buffing before applying any type of liquid finish to polymer clay beads, the better they will look.

Some people like to dip their beads in finishing liquids. However, my advice is to use a Q-Tip as an applicator instead. You’ll get much better results by layering on several thin coats rather than one thick one, which is what happens if you dip.

By the way, if you decide to try Future Floor Finish, you’ll find it in the household cleaning section of your local grocery store… by the mops. Or you can get it at Amazon here: Future Floor Finish

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The full version of the “Make Your Beads Shine” preview video shown above, is included in my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course[SEE Video #39 of 39]. In it I demonstrate how to apply Future Floor Wax to polymer clay without leaving the drips, sags and bubbles that can quickly ruin the look of your beads.

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Comments

  1. I spend a weekend looking all over New York City for Future Floor Polish. Well not all of NY, but a number of places. Home Depot, Target and K-mart carry “Pledge with the Future Shine”. I was not sure if the formula still works with polymer clay or not. When I final decided to buy it the store was too crowded. I know Varathane(sp) works but it comes in gallon cans. I wanted something smaller. I purchased a can of stuff that said it was “Polyacrylic”. I will have to test it and see if it works okay.

  2. Oh Cassandra, what a pain that must be for you! It’s funny how a dinky little Safeway grocery store 5 min from me in Surrey BC would have it and no where in NYC would… Figures!!!

    I have heard of people having problems with the ‘Pledge with Future’ though. Something about a surfactant or a grease cutter in it, so it is probably not worth the risk.

    Anyways you can buy both the Future Floor Finish and the quart sized Varathane online. Read this previos post for info and the links for them: Polymer Clay Finishes

    Hopefully that helps.

  3. Thank You. Is there any information about using Minwax with polymer clay? I found it at Home Depot, and liked the word "polyacrylic" on the label, so I purchased some. But I have not figured out how to speed up the time test of "does it get sticky several months later". I tried it on a sample piece. It looks good now, but will it stay good? I would be interested in hearing other peoples’ experience with this particular product.

  4. Claycass, I’ve not had the chance to try Minwax yet, but I have heard that it can get sticky if the humidity is high. Apparently, the stickiness will eventually go away though. Success may depend on how the wax is buffed.

    If you can’t find the Varathane or Future in a local store, they are available online. I do have links in this "Polymer Clay Finishes" article where you can buy these products through Amazon.

  5. Hi Cindy :) I hope you are enjoying your Sunday.
    I made a little container to hold some hair pins a few days ago. After I baked it, I used Future finish (I love it!!!). I have decided that I would like the little container to be a bit taller. I would like to know if it is OK to bake it again after I have made it more like I want it, even though I already applied the Future finish on it once.

    Thanks for all that you do! you are amazing :)
    Sincerely, Cindy

  6. Thank you, Cindy…I will let you know how adding the clay to my piece, using your tips, works.

    I wanted to let you know that I found a place on the web that says that Pledge with Future shine is the same thing as the old Future Floor Polish. Here is the URL to see it: airline-hobby.us/forums/showthread.php?t=815

    I have been using the Pledge with Future shine for about a week now, thinking that it was the same thing as the Future that you have talked about here (because I saw the above info myself), and so far I love it. Of course, if it really is not the same thing, I guess time will tell. I am wondering if because C. S. Johnson supposedly changed the name of the product, perhaps this is why people seem to be having such a hard time finding it. Hope this sheds some light…

    Sincerely, Cindy Erickson

  7. Sorry Cindy, somehow I missed this comment. (I think I read your name and thought it was one of my own comments!)

    You’re right the product has changed. I haven’t had a chance to try the new one yet because I still have quite a bit of the old stuff. But I have seen the change on the shelf.

    Since you are not having any problems it should be OK. I am hoping the formula is the same because that would be a huge pain if it wasn’t. Let me know if you see any changes so I can pass it on.

    Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Cool Polymer Clay Tutorial – A Fimo and Sculpey Cane Making Tip

  8. Can you Please tell me where I can get Future Floor Finish or similar in the UK I live in West Sussex Thanks Ann

  9. I called the 800 number on the “Pledge Future” and the women I talked to said it was the same formula. I am new to bead making so I would not know if it is good or not. I love the information you provide. Thank you, Marlowe

  10. Hi Cindy,

    I have a big problem with my pieces I used the pledge shiny for finishing my pieces, but now they are peeling I have many pieces with this problem. I look for people in Memphis Tennessee working with polymer clay but I don’t find them. If you now help me please.

    Know I try to do my web site with my husband is waalay.com

    I want to know what do you think? Thank you so much!! My first language is Spanish but I try with my English. Thank you so much for your help.

  11. Hi Marita! Your work is beautiful!

    I am not sure what is happening to your pieces peeling like that. Is it Pledge with Future or something else? Are they sanded and buffed before they are coated in Pledge? Was there any oils or powders on the clay that may be preventing the coating from sticking? Have you tried baking the pieces again for awhile to get the coating to sink in?

    This info will help me to be able to help you.

    You could try and use Studio by Sculpey Glaze instead if you are still having trouble. It works really well and is made for polymer clay. There is a link by my name that will take you to a post about it.

  12. It’s been a while since there have been any posts on this blog, but I thought I’d chime in for what it’s worth. I have been using Future on my pendants and I use the dipping method. I pour Future into a waxed paper drinking glass. I dip the pendant, let it drip a few seconds and then hold it just about touching a piece of paper towel. The paper towel seems to just suck up the excess that would result in an unsightly drip. Sometimes I have to repeat the paper towel bit but it sure is easier than brushing on the Future, or having to sand off the bottom drip. When I’m done with a session of dipping, I pour the rest of the Future back into the bottle. The paper cup holds up to quite a few sessions before I feel it is time to replace it.

    I also have found that one dipping leaves the piece with a gentle shine, whereas two coats gives a very high gloss. For two coats I follow Future’s instructions and wait at least 8 hours (or overnight) before I apply the second coat. I also make sure there is absolutely no tackiness left on the pieces when I bake them. This all takes time but it sure doesn’t take much effort!

    • @carolyn:
      Carolyn are you baking your pieces after you dip them in the future? I see above where Cindy suggests baking again after coating. Guess I haven’t been reading close enough and didn’t realize you could bake again after adding future. Is this the best way to do it? Love your idea on the paper towel. I guess I am finally going to have to find some future and try it.

  13. Great input Carolyn. Thanks so much for adding this information. It will be helpful for the many readers that use this site as their polymer clay encyclopedia.

    For more tips about using Future Floor Polish, click on the link by my name.

  14. Yes, I bake the pieces at about 200 degrees (maybe a little higher) for about 15 minutes after the Future is totally dry – usually overnight. I let them cool down in the oven before I take them out. Don’t know that this is necessary but it seemed like a good idea – didn’t want them to catch a chill!

  15. Well that’s it I am on the look out for future so I can give it a try. Thanks for the quick response Carolyn and re-warming the little darlings does sound like a good idea.

  16. Hi Cindy

    I am new to polymer clay bead making but am doing quite well and needing to varnish a number of beads all at once.. Even though I enjoy sitting on my couch watching tv, I would rather not have to sit there varnishing 100’s of beads with 3-4 coats.. But that’s life I suppose.. I am trying to get hold of the Varathane varnish but I am in the UK and cannot find it, nor find a site online which can deliver to me.. I wonder if you could suggest a site for me as I would like to try it out..

    Also what a great site.. I read many posts and take on some good tips.. Thank you

    Derek.

  17. Hi Derek – Glad you are finding some good tips on the site site. If you want to use the Future Floor product, it’s branded as Johnson’s Klear in the UK and is sold in Sainsbury stores.

  18. I finally have a bottle of Pledge Multisurface Wax which is what Klear is now sold as in the UK. I tried it out today and found that on my pieces that had been sanded and buffed the varnish didn’t stay on – not really sure how to discribe it but will try.

    I applied a layer of polish with a soft brush. It coated the surface but then started to pull away from certain areas. On one piece – a button the varnish pulled itself into a donut shape so there was none on the edge and none in the middle. Anyone else have this problem or know what I am doing wrong? It covered ok on my unsanded things.

    • @Cara: I can picture exactly what you are saying. I’m not sure why you would want to coat pieces that have been sanded and buffed. More finishing than that really isn’t necessary. The only recommendation that I would have is to dip the pieces in the Pledge rather than brushing it on. I put a little Pledge in a plastic cup, dip the pieces, and then pour the remaining Pledge back into the bottle. When you do it this way, you do need to use an absorbent tissue or paper towel to ‘blot’ off the drip that forms on the bottom of the piece as it drips dry.

      • @carolyn: I am experimenting with finishing. I have played with polymer clay on and off for years but have never done any sanding or varnishing before. I am trying to see what the options are and am looking to try and get a high shine finish just so I can if I want to. Thanks for your tip I will try it.

        • @Cara: Hi Cara, maybe there is a bit of oily residue on the beads? Fingerprints, powders, or something else, preventing the coating from sticking in certain spots? Sanding/buffing removes the “tooth” that allows Future to stick so easily — like your other beads. So they need to be really clean. Try wiping them with alcohol before trying to coat them again. Perhaps that will make the difference…

          If you are able to get a thin coat on your bead, let it dry thoroughly. Then, do the “oven thing”. After that, the next coat will go on easier…

    • @Cara: I should have investigated further the first time! I was just looking for “Future” in the Philippines, and I ran across some articles about the new Klear product in the UK. According to the articles, it is NOT the same thing. Also, when you look it up, it says Pledge Klear Multi-Surface Wax can be used for wood & cork. S.C. Johnson’s Pledge w/Future Shine/Johnson’s Klear cannot be used on these surfaces. So this new Pledge Klear Multi-Surface Wax is not quite the same thing. That must be why you were having problems. I don’t know if you can find some of the old Johnson’s Klear anywhere, but if you see any — snatch it up! Although a nice, sanded & buffed bead is the best finish, sometimes you need a protective gloss. Johnson’s Klear is a good one (I was going to say it’s cheap, but I don’t really know that from here in the US, do I?) Good luck in your search~

      • @Kat: I read some articles telling me it was the same thing – one of the problems with the internet – you can get so many different answers!

        The bottle I have says it can be used on sealed wood as well as other washable sealed floor surfaces (plastic, tile, stone, laminate and parquet) and doesn’t mention cotk at all.

        it says
        Contains <5% non-ionic surfactants. Also contains perfume, dimethylol glycol, methylchloroisothiasolinone, methylisothiazolinone, limonene, linalool, couramin

        Anyway I think I have perfected my sanding (well apart from small round beads – going to get a tumbler when i have the money), just need to sort out buffing now and I will mainly stick to that as a finish I think cause they feel so good but will probably play safe and buy a water based polyeurathane varnish for those times I need to seal the surface – any brands anyone inthe uk can recommend?

  19. Just wanted to comment to the UK readers that I have just got a couple of bottles of Johnsons Klear polish from Choiceful.Com and it’s the UK equivalent of Future. I’m not sure if the website has a recurring stock or if they will eventually just sell out and not get it back BUT it’s there at the minute if you need some!!!

    • @Helen Thompson: Hi Helen, I’m trying to verify something I read. (I wrote about it a few comments above this.) Did you happen to try the newer formula of Johnson’s Klear, called Pledge Klear Multi-Surface Wax? I did some reading about it, and it sounded like it did NOT work the same way as the former Johnson’s Klear. Did you find that to be the case? Or were you going on the word of mouth thing, or something else? I’d like to find out if anyone knows for sure if it’s a substitute for Johnson’s Klear or not? Thank you for any information you have on this… Have a great day!

  20. Hi Cindy

    I’ve been trying to get some Future water based Acrylic Floor Polish but with no success. I’ve found several sites where this polish can be found, but they’re all in the USA and none of them is willing/able to post to the UK. Seems this is a customs problem as ‘suspicious’ liquids above a certain quantity cannot be sent overseas.

    Just for info, I bought some Future when visiting the USA a couple of years ago and it was brilliant (pun intended!). I then tried putting Future on a previous batch of beads, which had a different polish applied that had turned out very disappointingly, I decided to try Future on these too. I poured a little Future into a small container and began to paint it on the beads. I watched as some of the Future dripped off my bead back into the small container, as I wanted to keep as much as possible. At first all seemed well, but then – and I shall always regret this! – I poured the Future from the small container back into the almost full bottle of Future and to my utter horror I saw the Future begin to separate. I tried pouring it back out to try and save some but I was too late. I tried mixing it up again but it just kept separating. When I tried painting it on some more raw baked clay it just dribbled off in bubbles. Unforunately I have no idea what polish I used on the previous occasion, but this is just a ‘heads-up’ to warn your members only to put Future on raw baked clay, and Never on top of some other polish – just in case!

    Thanks – Marion

    PS – if anyone can tell me where I can get Future either in the UK or from some source that is willing to mail to the UK I would be eternally grateful!

  21. Hello!

    I’ve visited this page quite a bit in search of the best polymer clay glaze and so I thought I’d add what I’ve learned :)

    I’ve never been able to find Varathane here (I live in Orlando), and so I went in search of something else. I found a Minwax water based finish (this one: minwax.com/wood-products/interior-clear-protective-finishes/minwax-polycrylic-protective-finish) and decided to try that. It goes on well, and it leaves a really nice glossy shine. However, after about 2 weeks of wearing (I put it on a necklace that touches my skin), the piece loses all its shine. It appears as if the Minwax wears off. This occurs even after I bake it to set it.

    I have one piece that does not touch the skin, and so far there are no signs of losing its glossiness. So maybe Minwax is only suitable for pieces that don’t come into direct contact with skin?

    I hope this helps someone else out there! Meanwhile, I’ll continue my search for another glaze to use.

  22. My Future floor Polish became cloudy on some sets of beads. Other sets are doing fine. I live in humid North Texas, and the weather was really cold at the time this occurred. I’ve tried to add extra layers to help it settle into a clear finish, but no luck. Any suggestions? Thanks, Becky

    • Hi Becky, I am not totally sure what happened to your finish that made is cloudy, but I know that more layers will not help. If it was a moisture issue (which is a high possibility) than putting more layers on, will only trap the moisture in deeper, possibly causing the finish to not only stay cloudy but to get soft and sticky as well. What you should do is try and remove the finish with rubbing alcohol or acetone. I am not really a big fan of Future floor Finish anymore. I believe there are much better finishes on the market now, then when I wrote this post. I much prefer Renaissance Wax, which never shows brush marks or ever gets cloudy or sticky. Use the search box at the top of the page and type in ‘Finishes’ to find more information about all the options that are available. Thanks for commenting!

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