Vintaj Patina Ink on Raw Polymer Clay… Does it Work?

Vintage Patina Paint On Raw Clay - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #618: My tests with Patina Vintage inks on both baked and raw polymer clay… neither one worked out very well.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • Today we are testing Vintaj Patina Ink on Polymer Clay.
  • This time we are applying wet Vintaj ink on raw Premo Polymer clay.
  • Some time ago, I tested Vintaj Patina ink on baked polymer clay and found that it was not compatible and got sticky over time. To see that testing video, see link just below today’s video.
  • The same sample chip from that testing done a couple of years ago, seems fine when you first touch it but gets sticky very quickly with handling.
  • I promised back then that I would do a test with the same inks on raw polymer clay (basically heat setting it), to see if that made a difference. So here are my results.
  • The color used was Opalite Vintaj Patina on raw Premo Polymer Clay.
  • Vintaj Patina ink is a specialty ink used for putting on metal.
  • It comes in many beautiful colors, that have a chalky type opaque finish.
  • The patina ink will settle after sitting and needs to be shaken well before using. Shake until you hear the metal ball moving within the bottle.
  • The sample was coated in the ink and baked at 275F for 1 hour.
  • After coming out of the oven the ink was hard and shiny, though the color seemed to be somewhat hidden under a chalky layer.
  • I let the sample sit for a few months.
  • The sample seemed to be fine when first touched, but after handling for only a short while, it too became sticky.
  • I am not sure if it is the warmth… the moisture… or the oils on your hand… but once you start touching it, the surface becomes quite sticky.
  • The chalkiness seems to come to the surface during baking and the color seems to almost disappear.
  • When the chalky surface is scratched however, the chalk comes off and the color is revealed underneath.
  • Perhaps it is the chalky materials in the inks that cause that stickiness… not sure?
  • I know there are polymer clay instructors that use Vintaj Patina Inks on polymer clay in their tutorials, but so far with both of my tests… using it on baked polymer clay and on raw polymer clay… I am still not getting positive results.
  • So at this point, I will avoid using this ink on polymer clay and keep it for my metal, where it works beautifully. Might as well use it, where it works best!

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Hermine R, 15 January, 2015

    Thank you I apprecited that info. Won’t buy the stuff!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    You can still buy it for metal Hermine. It is an excellent product for that!

  3. Linda Stiles Smith, 16 January, 2015

    Hi Cindy, I have used vintaj inks on my polymer baked pieces for a year now with no problems. I don’t experience the sticky issues you describe. However I have to say that for my finished product I cover the piece with resin so that effectively seals the color and eliminates the sticky problem you are having. The colors and technique I use are nor achievable with any other material (that I’m a are of). But, any pieces that I have not sealed are still ok even after time. I have not tried raw clay as what I am doing works best on baked clay. So, as with anything, be cognizant of what has been done but try it yourself!

  4. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    Hi Linda, thanks for sharing your results! It sounds like you have found a way that works for you, though I wonder whether there is a chance that the ink could still cause you problems down the road? I am not saying it will… just that it is a possibility. Let’s say the ink is not fully cured under the resin and continues to react with the clay while trapped under the protective resin. I could see some separation happening between the layers over time, since the one layer would never truly be bonded to the other layer.

    This may not be the case should my problem with sticky ink be created by moisture in my environment coming from the outside and softening the ink after a few days. (Remember mine seemed fine when it came out of the oven.) If the ink was dry after coming out of the oven and then was covered with resin right away, this may never become an issue.

    All the more reason for doing long term tests…

  5. Lena S, 16 January, 2015

    I appreciate that everything you touch doesn’t automatically turn to magic. It gives the rest of us hope. (;

  6. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    You have no idea Lena how many things I do that don’t work out! :) It is all part of the learning process!

  7. Lena S, 17 January, 2015

    The magic of the internet and only sharing what you want. LOL.

  8. Patt W, 16 January, 2015

    You just saved me a lot of money! Seeing info on different products sure helps a lot. Although it eliminates some, the rest of the products “pass”. TY for you testing lab……..

  9. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    I still think it is an excellent product for metals and perhaps other materials as well, Patt. It is just the polymer that I haven’t had success with it yet.

  10. Susan H, 16 January, 2015

    I wonder what would happen if you sanded off the chalky top. Would it still be sticky?

  11. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    It might work Susan, but then there wouldn’t be much use using it, since that is kind of one of features of the paint/ink. Just using alcohol ink or paint instead would be less of a hassle.

  12. Aims, 16 January, 2015

    You just posted this and at the same time on The Daily Polymer Arts blog they posted a great pic of testing Vintaj Patina Inks on Polymer Clay done by Amy Crawley.

    Perhaps people should have a look at that before giving up on the Vintaj Ink.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2015

    Hi Aims, That article that Amy did was a long time ago. It was only just mentioned again on the Polymer Arts. Amy doesn’t mention anything about it being on there for any length of time or whether or not it will get sticky if handled. The product definitely looks cool… but whether or not it works with polymer in the long run… I have not been able to prove yet. Looks like more testing needs to be done to be sure.

  14. Janice W. Armistead, 07 February, 2015

    Cindy wonder if a couple coats of Varathane would work.

  15. Cindy Lietz, 11 March, 2015

    A couple of coats of a varnish might work Janice for sealing in a paint like this, however, the bond between this paint/ink and the clay will never be that great, so the varnish could separate and peel or scratch off quite easily. I think it would be a good idea to just skip using it on polymer clay. There are many other products that would just as cool a look, that are more compatible than this ink is.

  16. Sean J, 24 January, 2016

    I know that Cindy has already mentioned this, and maybe it doesn’t mean much because I’m so new here, but those of you who are looking to save money by NOT buying Vintaj Patina inks, I hope you’ll reconsider. I’ve painted with the Vintaj inks on metal and absolutely love the results. The colors are stunning and vibrant. They combine well. The results have lasted well for me – in other words, nothing that I’ve painted with the Vintaj Patina inks has faded. And it has been possibly two years or more since I first began painting with them (since whenever they first came out actually).

    I also love the Vintaj metal “natural brass” blanks, and those are what I’ve painted on, but my understanding is that they may work on other metals too, provided of course that they don’t have cheapo, or fake, finishes that flake off or something.

    Anyway, just wanted to put my two cents in. They are too lovely to pass up! Enjoy!

    Oh, for what it’s worth, I’ve found them for ages at Hobby Lobby. And more recently at JoAnns.

  17. Sally Hill, 28 April, 2022

    Hi Cindy, I have been a long time subscriber on your Youtube channel. I have a question, can you use watercolor inks on raw polymer clay (not alcohol inks- I have those), let it dry, then bake it? This is for on a slab for earrings.
    Sally (in Melbourne, Australia!)

  18. Cindy Lietz, 28 April, 2022

    Hi Sally, in regard to using watercolor inks on polymer clay… that depends on if it is a “watercolor” ink or an “acrylic” ink. Watercolors typically don’t have binders in them, so that they can be easily removed or diluted with water during the painting process. Because the paper that they are used on, is absorbent, the paint stays where it is put (unless it is mixed with water again). Polymer clay is non-absorbent, so watercolors just sit on the surface and are very easily rubbed off. A sealer can help, but they also can cause the paint to run or smear, which makes it tricky to apply.

    I think it might be possible to use a watercolor ink, on polymer clay, if you used something called absorbent ground… which is basically a primer that has an absorbable material in it (maybe it’s paper or chalk or something), that the watercolor would soak into and hold on to. It would still need to be sealed though… at least this is a theory I have, but have not tested yet. :)

    Acrylic inks, however, do have binders in them and become waterproof once they dry, so they are a better fit for polymer clay.

    Hopefully that helps!

  19. Sally Hill, 28 April, 2022

    Thanks so much Cindy!!
    So acrylic paint and alcohol inks are best for polymer clay?
    I might try the absorbent ground idea too.
    Thanks so much!

  20. Cindy Lietz, 29 April, 2022

    Yes, in general, most acrylic inks and paints are compatible with polymer clay… but it’s really important that you do your own testing to be sure. There are so many formulations of polymer clay and acrylics that you may find every once in a while a combination won’t work that well… it might scratch off easily, never seem to dry or get really sticky. So… It’s always best to test!

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