Tips on Decorating and Painting Polymer Clays
Your best bet is to mix the colors in clay you want, but that is not always possible...
Painting a project before baking is highly recommended. Acrylic paints, when baked on the clay, adhere. There is a chemical reaction during the baking process which binds the two materials together.
Do not use spray-paint. You have to seal your fimo with two thin coats of sealer before you start your painting.
Always seal your clay no matter what the brand before painting. The paint chemicals interact with the clay and you get a sticky melting effect over time. This is doubley true for spray-paints because of their chemical compositions. Metallic paints are most prone the the melting sticky effect.
I second, NO spray-paint on sculpey/polymer clay remark. I recently made necklace pieces out of sculpey and tried sealing them with Sculpey's glaze, then spray painting. The paint looked good for about 5-6 days. After about 7 days it turned sticky and tacky - a total bust (threw away my sticky test pieces after they had been sitting around for a few weeks).
== Kay Dee
Finishes and Sealers
For sealers, I am lazy and cheap. Sculpey glaze is expensive. I use several different things, depending on what kind of finish I want. I either use Delta Dreamcoat's interior varnish (I generally use the matte finish) or I will use the Krylon Matte finish 1311 or the Krylon Gloss finish 1301. Both of these will not eat the clay. But I do have to give a word of caution if you use the Krylon sprays. Do Not get them too close or coat the piece too thickly. It will eat the clay if you do this. Thin light coals from the recommended distance will not affect the clay though and does not make the piece sticky nor does it deteriorate the piece.
For Jewelry, if you are going to use a lacquer finish, don't use a water based one. Your skin is moist and this may cause the finish to turn white after a while or rum off.
Warning, these are softer than most of the other colors.... and they hate spray paint.
Then you can use metallic paint or gold leaf on your fimo. The best metallic paint which wont chip off or chemically interact with your fimo is 'Ultra Gloss Metallics'.
Adding Non-clay Decorations
Lot of times you want add beads and glass to clay jewelry. You do not want to fire them with the clay because some may fall out as the clay changes shape during firing.
The trick is to mold your piece and put the beads in it to see what the final piece will look like... then remove the beads and gems. Fire the piece. Paint/seal it. Then glue in the gems afterwards with super glue
If you are going to be adding wires of beads... make your holes before you heat the clay. If you try to drill later, you could break your piece. Once the piece is complete cool, then you can add your wires though the holes.
This page was last updated 04/22/08