5 Creative Tips For Using Acrylic Craft Paints with Polymer Clay

Quilters Magazine

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.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


Comments

  1. I tried once to paint a layer of acrylic paint on a sheet of raw clay to get the crackled finish you’re talking about, but it never dried completely, even after a few days, it was still sticky…

    • Hi Cindy!

      Strictly as an experiment, try a low heat oven for an hour and see if that helps dry the coating to a hard finish. Have read many poly clayers set their finishes by hardening them with a last bake before buffing with good results, and it just might work here.

  2. Yeah I’ve had that problem too with the thicker creamier type acrylics. (These are probably the best kind to try mixing into the clay.)

    You could try drying the paint with a blow dryer or carefully with a heat gun, to see if it will set for you that way. Or try a different brand of paint.

    Man working with polymer clay is sometimes one big experiment, isn’t it?! :-)

    Thanks for your comment Cindy!

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for the rubbing alcohol tip! I just used it on some pieces that had too much acrylic paint patina and it helped tremendously. Now they look great!
    .

    • The rubbing alcohol is great…… I discovered sort of by accident…(got busy and sidetracked) that if you layer the paint for patina, sit the piece aside for a couple of weeks if you can.. Then go back and wipe down with the alcohol… Really gives a beautiful look… Gives the paints more time to set and takes off just the right amount of paint easily, without taking too much off….

    • I am allergic to isopropanol (rubbing alcohol). Does ethanol (like 151 or everclear) work as well? I can’t get rubbing alcohol on any part of my skin without waking up with an itchy rash on the area of exposure that lasts for a month or longer, even if I rinse it off right away.

      • Hi Meghan, I am sorry to hear that. I haven’t heard of anyone being allergic to isopropyl alcohol. I don’t think those other things will work, but you could try it. Other than that, if you really need to use the rubbing alcohol, then I would suggest using gloves.

  4. You are so welcome intothedawn! Rubbing alcohol is extremely useful in the studio. If you would like to read a tip on how to use it to clean your clay when it gets smears on it from the pasta machine, click the link by my name.

  5. I have had enormous luck with mokume gane using acrylic paints between layers: flickr.com/photos/materialgirlcrafts/3443989600/ The orientation of your brushstrokes will dictate the crackle pattern when the clay is stretched (rolled). I have learned that the crackle is result of the stretching properties of the clay versus those of the dried paint. Since the surface area of the dried paint does not expand when it is rolled out, the clay shows through.

    The paint I use dries pretty quickly, but for thicker layers I use my heat gun. A word of caution: use the gun sparingly and keep it moving. A failure to do so can lead to partial curing (i. e. disaster).

    Happy claying!
    ~Mary Beth
    .

  6. Mary Beth your beads are gorgeous! Thanks for your tips!! You’re right about using the heat gun cautiously. It will cause the clay to cure if you’re not careful. Thanks so much for passing along your knowledge. You do beautiful work!

  7. Cindy,

    I am working on a large pendant for a necklace. I have baked & sanded it. I am now ready for the acrylic paint. Once I add the paint & let it dry, can I add the Future Floor Polish to the painted section? I wanted the pendant to really shine & considered the dipping process you had mentioned in another topic. Do I need to rebake the piece after the acrylic paint dries?

  8. Sure you can add Future to the whole pendant including the painted area if you want to. I actually prefer to brush or Q-tip the Future on rather than dip it. I find it drips too much and leaves blobs. You won’t need to rebake the pendant if you don’t want to. If you decide to though, make sure the temp is low like 100F so the paint or Future doesn’t bubble.

  9. I MUST HAVE MISSED THE FAVORITE TOOLS, BUT I’M SO BUSY LEARNING NEW THINGS ON THIS SITE AND YOU ARE SO NICE THAT I DON’T LEARN HOW TO NAVIGATE IT. MY FAVORITE TOOL IS THE MICROWAVE DINNER CONTAINERS. GREAT FOR SMALL PROJECTS. I KNOW THIS ISN’T THE RIGHT SPOT FOR THIS, BUT HEY, WHAT CAN I SAY.

  10. Thanks for your comment Sandra! There is a search box at the top left hand side of every page. If you type “favorite tool’ into the post a list of possible articles will pop up. That is how to find what you need

    I also put a link to the page right by my name.

  11. you can use acrylic paint also to make a gold leaf, instead of paying too much for the real thing, just set the bleached polymer clay into the thinest setting of your pasta machine ( u can use wax paper to avoid “breaking” the sheet) and then paint with the gold acrylic in many layer you want, depends on your taste. You can make bronze sheets, silver, just imagine and do it. The rest is up to your creativity ;) maybe next week when i update my blog Ill bring some projects out to see if you guys aproove ;) …. hugzzzzzz
    .

  12. Cool Cindy, if it stretches you can put them in a lot of use, here I gotta a 0.99 cents discount in my local Michaels for Decoart, Americana and FolkArt so I took a lot of Beautiful colors but many of them were the meatalic colors, (im in a tight budget right now to afford metalic leaves so the necessity is the mother of all creations :P) you can do wonderful with them all, Ill upload smtg as soon as I can to see if you like the idea ;) hugzzzzzzzzzzzzz cindyyyyyy

  13. Dear Cindy,

    I have a question for you. I’ve seen in 2 different books that you could have a crackled effect on polymer clay beads only with crackle varnish and an acrylic paint layer. I bought already 2 different varnishes and I didn’t had success. Then I read in a book that I needed to use a 2 component crackle varnish. Can you please help me with it? Or recommend me to buy a special varnish one?

    Thank you and kind regards from Spain.

  14. Question is not for me but let me just leave my opinion here……Personally Amanda, I use one simple and safe step for crackling “One step Crackle” from decoart, it creates de crackle finish almost instantly and you can choose from fine finish or not, it’s up to you, you also save on the paint cos you just need an acrylic layer of paint and then wait till it dries so you can layer the crackle on it.

  15. hi Gypsy, thank you for your answer. So for crackle I need to put an acrylic layer, before put the varnish? and then a second one for having the effect?
    As I tried to explain in my firts comment I read that I could use the varnish directly on the clay, but not. It’s that correct?
    So, should I leave the 2nd layer to get dry or can I wape off the reminder paint when it’s still wet?Thank you Cindy you are great!

  16. @Amada: Hopefully Gypsy was able to help you well enough. I am not that familiar with the product you are talking about and can’t offer any advice at this time.

    Maybe there is someone else who can help Amada with her question as well. There are a lot of your who are quite knowledgeable about craft supplies.

    @Gypsy: Thank you so much for helping Amada with this! It is very nice of you!

  17. I have been trying all kinds of acrylic paint on raw polymer clay to create a cracking effect but have not been successful. I have tried different brand but the result is the same. Can anyone help me with this problem?

    • @Rezvan: Yeah I had the same problem with trying to crackle acrylic paints. Most of them just seem to bond with the clay and stretch rather than crack. My guess it either needs to be a lower quality of acrylic paint to work (one with less binders in it) or maybe you have to water it down to make it weak before crackling it? I know others are getting it to work, so it is possible. Just haven’t put the time in to figure it out myself. Maybe some one else here has the answer?

  18. I tried watercolors a few weeks ago and had an interesting surprise. It came out well, looking like shell. I had metallic watercolors and painted my favorite sunset colors on raw translucent and then baked as always and it has a wonderful, shiny, pale and soft shimmer to it. Most folks writing about polymer clay say that water colors don’t work on the clay. Glad I follow the credo of experimentation.

    • @Trudy M: I loved how you said,”Glad I follow the credo of experimentation”, Trudy! That is so important to understand. Although following the rules, does help to lessen the number of mistakes, breaking them leads to new cool ideas! Without experimentation, everything stays the same and gets very stale. Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your experiments with us! Everyone benefits from that knowledge.

      So did you seal the watercolors with anything? My thoughts are that the reason people say not to use them on polymer clay, is that they do not have many binders in them and may not adhere to a non porous surface like the clay well over time. A sealer like Sculpey Glaze, UV Resin or PYMII might be a great choice to make them more durable.

      The metallic paints that you used may be somewhat different than regular water colors though. What brand are they? Are they an acrylic based water color? These would be cool things to know.

  19. Seems to me I have this dim memory of my Mom and Godmother feverously working on Christmas crafts at Dad’s workbench, and I remember she got this great crackle using latex paint and then applying layers of cheap hair spray. No lie! LOL.

  20. I learned the credo of experimentation from you, Ms. Cindy Lietz!! I was afraid to touch the clay for a while, and was amassing ridiculous amounts of clay and accessories until I really listened. I have the mat you recommended, the sanding pads, the fishing tackle box. You suggest it, I buy it. But I had to listen to your words of wisdom about creativity to really make things work.

    That being said, I have no idea what brand the metallic watercolors are……I think I threw away the wrapping and there’s no brand name on the box. I will stop by the stationary store to look for it. I haven’t sealed them yet, so I’ll take your advice. I do have sculpey glaze, so I will try that and let you know. I have to sand the sides which are untouched and the back, but I think a dunk in water might kill the colors, so do you think I should just dampen the sanding pad and sand the untouched clay parts?

    Thank you……I know I’ve been reading the blog more than writing, but I’m always around! Hugs.

  21. I have SO MUCH WHITE CLAY!!! I want to make little kawaii charms but I don’t have any colors. I live in a small town and my only “supply” store for miles is a walmart. I’m not overflowing with Money either and I want to make little charms so bad!!! What do I do to color my white clay?

  22. Hi Kitty H, if you have a Walmart near you, you are laughing. Just go to the kiddie section and buy a small box of kiddies wax crayons, really cheap. You have to shave off a few skinny slivers of any colour and squish, mix, twist, pound, blend until it is mixed in. Red crayon will give you lovely shades of pink, add some yellow slivers of wax and experiment. At one time I thought I would just buy white, but you only really get soft shades with this method. You can also use old dry powder eye-shadow, spices from the kitchen ie: turmeric…lovely yellow, paprika gives an incredible shade of pale orange.There are about 101 different things you can add to white clay to get amazing colours. But remember, tiny amounts of clay with even tinier amounts of additions, that way you can do test pieces….and make notes of ones you like.

    What are KAWAII charms? They sound very exotic. Did you know that if you scroll to top of page there is a search button. Just type in “How to add colour to white clay” and I am sure there will be loads of answeres from other clayers who also have heaps of white clay. I have learnt such a lot from other members of this site (thanks everybody) Good luck with your experimentation, thats the fun of PC it is so forgiving!! But mainly have fun:}

    • @Kitty H: Elaine has some excellent ideas for you Kitty! You can also use alcohol inks or tiny amounts of oil paint to tint your clay. Another option is to make your cute little charms all white and then paint them after baking, with acrylic paints. Have fun!

      @Elaine Faulks: Thanks for helping out Kitty like that! From what I have read, Kawaii means ‘cute’ in Japanese. It is a style of little sculpted charms that originated in Japan. They are usually regular house hold things with cute little faces painted on them. Things like a piece of toast with a face or a pencil with a face, etc. It is really popular with young people all over the world. My daughter’s penguin charm would almost qualify as Kawaii, but it isn’t quite animated enough. If you want to read a cute little story about the Green Penguin Charm Willow made years ago and how it got stolen, click the link by my name.

  23. Hi Cindy,
    The all time best paint to antique polymer clay with is Jo Sonja’s wood stain gel. It covers great & doesn’t dry right away so you have time to get it in all the nooks and crannies & wiped off before it dries & leaves lines like the acrylic paint does. Maple is the best shade. I tried them all :O)
    Kristy

  24. Hi Cindy, brand new to this, so not sure where to ask a question, but —- My son who is a very good pencil artist and getting into acrylics wants to paint small scenes or portraits acrylics on polymer clay “canvases” for bezels for necklaces. My question is will the paint adhere well enough to do this after the baking and buffing. Seems I heard of someone doing this but can not find direct clear info on this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  25. Hi Pam, yes your son can paint onto already baked, sanded and buffed polymer clay blanks, no problem. Acrylic paints bond beautifully to polymer and he won’t even need to seal them, if he doesn’t want to. I would make up him some test swatches first to practice on, just to see how the paint sticks to the surface. Super cheap paints don’t have as many binders in them and would be less durable than artist acrylics would be. He can even test, heat setting the paints for extra durability if he wants. Make sure the paint is totally dry, then pop into the oven at 265 F for ten minutes or so. Tell him we would love to see pics when he is done. Sounds wonderful!

  26. Welcome Janice! First, sign up for the newsletters. Then take Cindy’s video beginner course. Then, come here as often as you can, and read, read, read. Use the search box for specific topics like “baking,” etc. And watch Cindy’s YouTube channel. In no time, you’ll be up to snuff and creating beautiful poly clay art. All best!

  27. Hi, Cindy, which one do you think is the best way to avoid plaquing? WheneverI I use translucent clay (I use Fimo Soft) , plaquing moons appear! I was told to not condición the clay a lot, but then, if I need a thin sheet, it tears, and if I put the tears con the bead and roll it, you still can ser the seams in between. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hi Ana, Premo is better than Fimo for placquing but they all can be a problem if air or water is introduced. Over working causes more air to get trapped, so you are right to avoid over working it. I haven’t done tests on which brand is the best/worst for placquing yet. Maybe I should try and add that to a test lab video?

  28. Hi Ana. Trying to help Cindy out as best I can so if you need an urgent response, please use the search on the site and type in “plaquing.”

    It’s the best resource in the world for polymer clay questions. You will find this topic thoroughly covered in many blogs, tutes, videos, and mostly in the comments of those responding who have had great results.

    Some clay brands are known for plaquing, and others, not so much.

    Hope that helps, and all best.

  29. It so is!!!!! Why folks ignore the privilege of using it to obtain a virtual encyclopedia of FREE knowledge when they are constantly reminded to use it just stuns me, frankly. ROFL!!!!

  30. Hi, Cindy and Clayers!
    I have tried to find the answer to this, but nothing I have found quite solves my questions. I am probably just missing something …

    I found a beautiful web page, which is in Russian according to Google Translate, where the polymer clay artist wrapped a glass vase with what looks like Ecru clay of some brand. She or he then patted oil paints all over the surface (I checked that by translating the comments), and then carved a pattern through the paint into the clay with a hand-crafted loop tool. The artist then baked the piece.

    I have Googled “Oil paint polymer clay” and found that the oil paints can take months to dry, and some of them never do. I am going to do some experimentation with my dad’s oil paints (I had to give up oils because I became allergic to the cleaners, but for results like this I would find a different cleaner!). However, being little old impatient me …

    I would like to try this with acrylics. I use good professional quality artists’ acrylics in my art painting, which I believe would stay a bit more “elastic” and less likely to rip and tear, so I am going to experiment with that also.

    However, I am totally at sea about baking the piece. What I have found here on your site, Cindy, would seem to indicate that you can heat set acrylic paints in the oven AT A LOWER TEMPERATURE. I don’t want to bake the piece first, because I think it would make it much harder to do the carving. But is it possible to bake the clay piece properly once it has paint on it? And if so, what are the baby steps to do so?

    I may also experiment with doing the carving, baking the piece, and then trying to find a way to “reverse antique” it – patting on the paint, then removing the paint in the carving with Q-Tips and water or rubbing alcohol. My mind says that this isn’t going to be nearly as easy as carving through the paint and probably very difficult to get as clean looking as carving through the paint into the raw clay.

    Can anyone give me some suggestions that might help me to find the right path for this? Thanks in advance.

    • I have seen this tutorial as well, and went and bought a bunch of carving tools to try the technique. So far I haven’t been very successful, I end up gauging the clay too much and give up. If you do have better luck, please do share some tips!

      As far as baking acrylic paint on polymer clay, I have heat set paint on baked clay and applied paint on raw clay and baked my pieces at the 275 needed for Premo without any problems. The only time I had trouble was when I wasn’t patient enough to let the paint dry on raw clay and I shoved it into the oven when the paint was still wet, and the paint bubbled. But otherwise I haven’t had any issues.

      Hope that helps!

      • Thank you, Krithika. You have encouraged me to try it and see. I had visions of smoke pouring out of my clay oven and horrible smells!

        I am going to give it a go. I got some cheap glass pieces at WalMart, so if I wreck one, all I have basically lost is time and clay.

    • Doreen,

      That is a beautiful technique, which is done on raw clay. If you follow the instructions, you see that the oil paint is dabbed with paper towels, which sops up excess paint and leaves just a thin coat. I believe that baking not only cures the clay, but drys the oil paint. Check out what Glass Attic has to say.

      Linda K.

  31. Cindy,
    I would have done this by email, because it doesn’t follow this thread, but decided that other readers might like to know the answer also.

    How do people get their photo to show on their comments? For example, Phadrakat’s picture of a cat and kitten?

  32. Hi Cindy and other Clayers!

    I do hope that I am in the right place now, and I do hope that you can help as I explained I stay in south Africa and am using a polymer clay brand called Filani however they have very limited colours and sometimes mixing them to achieve other colours I get the mud colours. and shipping any brand such as primo or sculpey is far to expensive to bring into my country as we do not have those brands here is SA. I have tried with Acrylic paints and it dose work to get a colour but I do worry about it going hard over time as sometimes I need to add quite a lot of paint to get the colours I want. and I prefer to mix and keep them before my next project and sometime that can be weeks before I have an idea what I wanna make. I need to find out if there is any way at all I could colour my clay to get such gorgeous colours like the primo and sculpy brands, eg: also the pearls and hot pink and other basic colours as green or lime green acid yellow etc as the yellow and blue filani have do not make nice greens.

    PLEASE HELP ………………..

    Aylisha.

    • Hi Aylisha, I hope others pop in here as well and send you their suggestions too. I have not worked with Filani clay so I am not familiar with its specific properties, so my suggestions are just guessing on my part.

      One thing you could try is mixing in small amounts of oil paint. Many artists add oil paints to their polymer clay with great results. (I have not yet tried it myself, but I plan to do some tests on it in the future.) Oil paints tend to be stronger in pigment and they take longer to dry than acrylics, so they may work better for you. You can also try adding powdered pigments such as pearl Ex, Perfect Pearls or any concentrated pigments that you can find in an art store. Powdered Eye Shadow, spices, crushed water color paints, inks, and dyes are other things you may try as well. You could always paint your pieces later as well, if it suits your designs.

      Keep trying and testing different mediums and see what works best for you. I will be trying many many products over time, so keep checking in to see if we post an idea that works. Let us know how it goes. Anyone else with ideas for Aylisha?

      • Hi Cindy

        Just wanna say thank you for your reply you such a great help.im gonna try the oil paint and i hope that it works out i have tried eyeshadow before but i really don’t tend to get a lot of pearl coming through but i will continue to do my own tests and experiment. and will keep and eye out for any future tests that you do as it may help me and others with the same problem.

        Aylisha

      • I thought it would be fun to try a new clay like Filani. I carefully picked about 8 colors, then went to check out. I could have bought the company for what I would have paid in shipping costs. WOW! Guess most of us will have to wait until some U.S. company wants to bring the clay over here and sell it. I wish they would because the reviews are awesome.

        Oh well, Dulany

        • Hi Dulany

          Filani is not a bad clay but to me seems like very limited colors and when mixing them i don’t get a nice range of colors

          As i said in my previous message i tend to get mud colors.

          South African Rands and very inexpensive for other countries but for myself to bring in from your county is Ridiculous especially the shipping, its triple the amount of the product itself witch is a pitty :( cause i love the colors of Premo .and there seems to be so much to do with them but in SA we dont get EX Pigments and a whole lots of other product\ But again the cost is to much,

          Id love to know what you think of the clay and maybe you could help with ideas for making nice colors

          Aylisha

  33. Dear Cindy

    Please help by telling me how long should i wait or let the polymer clay sit before i know if it is truly compatible with the different coloring mediums i have be trying?

    Regards Aylisha

  34. Hello, i applied acrylic varnish on a polymer clay figure that i made and it was sticky, so after it driesi decides to add a water thinned coat on top of it, it got a bbit better but was still sticky, so now it is covered in fuzz from cotton and i cant remove it, i tried to remove the varnish with alcohol but it doesn’t work because it just moves the fuzz from one area to another on the figure, what can i do?

      • Hi Mariam, it sounds like the varnish you used was not compatible with polymer clay. Do you know the name of it so we can pass that info along to everyone? You will need to remove the finish before adding anything on top of it. In general it is not a good idea to try and seal in something that is incompatible with the clay… it will just cause you problems down the line. Soak your piece in 99% isopropyl alcohol, and then scrub with a toothbrush. That should help you to get it off your clay. If that doesn’t work, use Acetone, but don’t soak it in it or it will eat away at the clay. Just use a paper towel and the acetone to gently wipe away the old finish. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

        • Hi, the varnish i used was this one (from Hobby line). The attendant from the craft shop told me that I should get that brand because it would stay, not like other acrylic varnishes.
          Thank you for the tips, could i use a nail polish remover that contains acetone or will that ruin the clay?
          I soaked it in alcohol but it didnt really work, i forgot to try to scrub with a toothbrush :S
          Thanks

          • Hi Mariam, thanks for passing that info along. You can try nail polish remover with acetone, but just wipe it on and don’t soak your piece in it. It eats at the clay so be gentle with it. Let us know if you end up saving your piece.

  35. I came across a mention on a facebook group page of using paint INSTEAD of clay in molds. The writer was deliberately vague because she has an ebook coming out. I am goofing around with it now. Do you have any experience with it?

    • Hmmm what an interesting concept Mary Sue! I have never heard of anyone doing that. I wonder how it works? Were they filling the whole mold with paint and then letting it dry? Or doing it in layers? Sounds like something fun to try!

  36. Dear Cindy thank you so much for all your help on previous questions.
    I have asked this question before regarding the use of acrylic paints to create my own colors as in South Africa we don’t get a large variety of colors in polymer clay. But when I try create a well pigmented colors with alot of paint it bubbles after baked. We also don’t get pigment powders here that I can use to make my own color clay. It’s so fustrating to see such gorgeous colors that you get and I’m so limited
    I have also read that using oil paint are not a great idea. Please please please help !!!! With any other ways to create my own color clay as well as pearl colors gold and sliver.

    AYLISHA

  37. Hello Alyisha, it’s Chrissie here in Western Australia. I have been following this thread to see what happened to Mariam’s varnished piece (January 2016) so your query on the same post page came up as well. This led me to read back on your previous comments about polymer clay supplies in SA.

    Living in a small country town I know all about postage charges when things are brought in from overseas so I sympathise with you. I cannot buy Sculpey Premo where I live so I understand what it is like buying online and the associated costs.

    After reading your earlier comments in July 2015 I checked the Filani Crafter’s Clay website. Have you checked it recently? They have 40 colours – quite vibrant and bright some of them are too and also pigment powders. Maybe things have changed since you last checked in with them? Might be worth your while to check into it again – it has to be easier than trying to make your own colours! Good luck :-)

    • Hello Chrissie I have seen there website but unfortunately for me the only lady who was able to supply me with with the polymer clay is no longer supplying and shipping chargers are still a bit due to the weight of the clay . And I have quite a bit clay left from when I was able to buy. I am trying to save to try get from there. But thank your for your reply.

      • Yes thank you Chrissie for trying to help Aylisha!

        Unfortunately there is not too much you can do in the way of tinting your white clay and making it a good solid color like you want. The only way to do it without altering your clay and ending up with all the issues you are talking about, is to add dry concentrated pigments. You can tint clay with some alcohol inks, but only slightly, and not as rich as you are wishing for. Alcohol inks work great if you want to give color to translucent but with white you are just going to get pastel colors.

        You could test the oil paints in the raw clay, it may work, but you may not be able to get the color as rich as you are wanting and you may need to try a few different kinds to get one that works well for you. (I need to do testing on this myself, before I can offer you any advice on that anyway.)

        Painting the outside after your piece is made, may be the simplest and cheapest option.

        I wish I could be of more help to you.

        • Thank you so much Cindy if ever you manage to find a way at all on how to color clay I’d really love to know. I will continue to do my own tests and hopefully find away.

          Thank you Aylisha

  38. Dear Cindy and the Clay Groupies :)
    I can’t find the post by the lady who lives in Africa? who can’t find nice clay colours. I wonder if dry tempera paint powders would work for her to colour white clay with bright colours? She would probably have to be careful how much she added, but it might be worth experimenting with.

    • Hi Doreen I have tried using dry tempera paint but the clay becomes brittle after baking. But I have awesome news as I found someone in SA close by who supplies premo / sculpy clay ????????????????I’m so excited I’m gonna go get every color I can get when I go see her just got a little saving to do. Then i can be in clay heaven weeeee …….. but thank you so much .

      AYLISHA

      • That is wonderful news Aylisha! Make sure you get a little extra of White, Black and Translucent if you can. That will help you not run out when you do color mixing. Hope you can make it to clay heaven very soon!

        • THANK YOU CINDY !!

          I’ll definitely get more of the white black and Translucent if you can you can recommend any other colors like Doreen has I’ll would rather get the them.

      • That is excellent, Aylisha! I echo Cindy’s comment about getting lots of White, Black and Translucent. I also love 18K Gold, Silver, Copper and Bronze, but then I love the metallics. Oh, you are going to have SOOOO much fun!!

        • Thank you Doreen I also love Metallics ,shiny is my thing and I’m will get gold and silver I think that those are important colors .

          Thanks too all that has given me advice and all the help received.

  39. Hi Cindy, thanks for sharing these tips! I’m having trouble with re-baking acrylic painted polymer clay that has been sealed with Varathane. I read somewhere that re-baking the sealed polymer clay ensures a stronger cure (As I’m also having issue with paint scratching off easily). However, after I baked the sealed and painted polymer clay, the paint seems to change colour and separate into a patchy look, does anyone know why this is happening? I use acrylic paint on baked fimo soft white clay, and always clean it with rubbing alcohol before painting.

    Would love to hear any help or suggestions! :)

  40. I bought 2 lbs of the original Sculpey and used acrylic paint to turn one of the lbs black. It made a very sticky clay and im afraid i cant fix it.

    • Hi Jasmine, did you tint the whole 2 lbs of Sculpey, with paint? I am not sure if you can fix it. Maybe the paint would separate out a bit if you washed it in water or placed it between sheets of paper?You could also perhaps try mixing in some cornstarch to absorb some of the paint. It wouldn’t hurt to try it on a small piece. Good luck! Let me know if anything works!

  41. After I bake my polymer clay and paint it with acrylic paint can I bake it again to set the paint? If so at what temp and for how long?

    • Hi Anna, Yes you can definitely heat set your acrylic painted polymer clay pieces, in fact I recommend it! Just bake your piece after the paint has dried for about 10 or 15 minutes at the temp you baked your polymer clay at. That will help strengthen the bond between the clay and the paint and make it much more durable. Hope that helps!

  42. Hi Cindy,

    When I baked the same small items together, at the same temperature, for 30 min at 275 degrees,
    and using the same brand of polymer clay, (Craft Smart) only the Royal Blue colored items melted
    in the oven. Everything else turned out great.
    Any ideas regarding why?
    Thanks
    Toby

    • Hi Toby, I suspect that the Royal Blue Craftsmart clay that melted might have been actually their version of plasticine and not actually their oven bake polymer clay. The packaging looks very similar. (Which is stupid imo!) Anyway, oven cure clay should never melt, no matter the color. I’d avoid the Craftsmart clay in general since it really is an inferior clay. Switch to Premo and/or Souffle or to Fimo instead. You’ll get much better results! :)

  43. I have made a piece for my husband with an embossed tree of life i want to color the embossed part I have tried to use Dew Drop memento that I just pat over the piece but it beads up and if i put it on baked clay it just comes right off and alcohol ink is to runny… what can I use to make my embossed pieces pop with color and does something like that come in a small pads like Memento? And I love your tutorials Cindy, you’re the best! Thank you so much.

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