Techniques For Antiquing Your Polymer Clay Beads Using Plastic-Based, Acryclic Coatings:
Q: I love your stamped beads. They look like beautiful ceramic, or hand carved ivory. After you apply the acrylic paint and rub it off, do you need to seal the bead in any way? Do we need to protect the paint so it doesn’t some how come off? ~Debbie McLelland
A: The cool thing about acrylic paint and polymer clay is how well they bond. This is because they are both plastic based. Once the paint has dried on the polymer clay, it is extremely difficult to remove without a solvent.
When paint is used as an antiquing medium like the rubber stamped rose bead in the photo above, it is often rubbed deep into the crevices of the bead, making it appear aged. Since the paint is protected by being in the grooves it is not vulnerable to being rubbed off over time. So it is not necessary to try and protect the paint with any sort of special finish.
Some people like to add water to their paint before using it to antique their jewelry beads. This makes it easy to wipe off with a damp cloth. It is important however, not to water down the paint too much because the water will dilute the binders in the paint and diminish its ability to bond with the clay.
Instead of watering down the paint, try using it full strength and then wipe with a cloth dampened by rubbing alcohol. Or… just let the paint completely dry and sand away the high spots and ridges.
If you would like to learn more about how I made the rubber stamped beads in the photo, then read this article: Rubber Stamping Polymer Clay
I hope that was helpful for you Debbie and everyone else reading this post. If you have any further questions on this topic or would like to share a few painting polymer clay techniques of your own, be sure to leave a comment below!