Polymer clay is one of the most versatile materials in the crafts world and can be paired with so many other materials. With this user-friendly and easy-to-deal material, there are endless possibilities of creating varied kinds of products ranging from a regular geometric shape to an intricate art piece. One of the plus points of this clay is that it doesn't dry too fast and if you're in habit of taking breaks during craft working, you can leave it on the workspace without worrying about it getting dry and getting wasted. It is preferred over many other materials because while being lightweight, it is durable and waterproof as well.
Best paint for polymer clay happens to be acrylic paints due to the high-quality finish they offer whilst being long-lasting as well. These can be applied to the product before or after baking and works fine both ways. But it is always better to read the paint manufacturer's instructions to understand how a specific paint works.
Comparison Table Of Top 5 Paint For Polymer Clay
Top 5 Best Paint for Polymer Clay Reviews
1.SEISSO Mica Powder Pigment
Mica powder is made from natural stone minerals and it gives a glittery effect to any material it is added to. It is available in different colors and is used to give a metallic effect to objects. This user-friendly mica is easy to use and can be used in powder form and mixed with water as well. It is versatile in its application and can be used for various projects and materials to add a metallic luster or glittery appearance to these. It can be used to dye polymer clay, lip gloss, nail paints, bath bombs, and even soaps. It is claimed to be vegan friendly and no living creatures were harmed to create this product.
- Made from natural stone minerals
- Vegan-friendly, non-toxic PIGMENT
- Gentle on skin
- Irritation free
- Provide a metallic appearance
- Offers versatility in its usage and can be added to clay, soap, cosmetics, and many other materials
2.WIZOPLAY Super Bundle Modeling Clay Kit
This modeling clay is super cool and easy to deal with. It can be transformed into any shape from a simple sphere to a complicated animal figure. It dries in the air and does not require any fuss of being baked in the oven. It has a foamy texture and once dried, it acquires a marshmallow or gummy bear-like texture that makes it flexible and non-breakable as well, even when dropped. It is non-sticky and would not adhere to your clean surfaces. It is lightweight and easily moldable being one of the reasons why it is quite kids friendly. It also does not have any pungent smell or color residues. The kit includes some accessories that make it even more fun to use and craft with.
- Includes unicorn accessory kit
- Clay has bright colors
- It is lightweight and easily moldable
- It is a self-hardening clay
- It does not contain phthalates and is BPA free
- It is safe for use by kids
- Once dried, it acquires flexible and non-brittle texture
- It is available in 100% money back or replacement
3.Polyform Sculpey Artist Set
This Sculpey artist set is ideal for use by clay artists, advanced users, and even beginners as it provides endless possibilities for a project. It includes an adhesive for oven-baked clay that bonds two pieces together. It can join the clays in any form, be it raw or baked and it can also join clay to permeable materials. With this adhesive, it is easy to join the clay. Only apply little pressure and it will join the pieces together without deforming their shape or affecting the details. The glazes included in the set add a durable finish to the baked clay. These work well with acrylic-based finishes.
- The pack includes an adhesive and 1 satin glaze and 1 gloss glaze
- It is suitable for use by beginners and artists
- The adhesive is ideal for joining raw and baked clay pieces alike
- The satin glaze adds a high-quality seal to the product
- Gloss glaze adds a durable finish to the project
4.Complete Acrylic Paint Set
This set is a great deal for beginners as it doesn't compromise quality with the price. It includes vibrant colors that retain their originality even after many washes. The paints dry fast and can be used for many surfaces including polymer clay, canvas, wood, ceramic, plaster, and more. It includes a sponge too which makes it even more interesting for the kids as they love sponge painting. It also includes a palette knife and paintbrushes of fine quality. So, there is so much in one package at an affordable price and good quality. It is suitable for use by people of different ages and skills.
- It offers high-quality products
- Available at an affordable rate
- The pigments are rich in color
- It is crafted with a quick-dry technology
- Non-toxic and safe for use by kids
- Available with an offer of return, replacement, or refund within 12 months
5.Acrylic Paint Set 12 Colors by Crafts 4
This paint set offers a range of vibrant colors. These eye-catching colors will surely pop up in every artwork in which they are added. These are suitable for professionals, students, and beginners alike. This versatile set can be used for painting on various surfaces like polymer clay, canvas, plaster, fabric, terracotta, chalkboard, and even glass. Being water-based these are easier to clean and don't require any toxic chemical for removal or cleaning. Unlike other acrylics which are tough to remove from fabrics, these wash off easily. The brush is of fine quality while the colors are long-lasting and blend well to give interesting hues to your artwork.
- The paints offer vivid colors
- These are easy to blend
- Ideal for adults and kids alike
- and don’t require chemical for removal
- These are non-toxic and safe for use
- It offers versatility in use and can be used for various surfaces like clay, fabric, board, ceramic, and more
Tips on How to Paint Polymer Clay and Avoid Paint Chipping
1. Choose the right paint
Selecting high-quality paint for your project is very important as it takes the finished product to a next level. For deciding which paint works best for your project, consider a few aspects like texture, opacity, and fade-resistance. It is always better to choose smooth textured paint as it goes well for most surfaces unless you’re interested in experimenting with some other texture. Look for the paints with strong opacity especially when you're to paint a dark clay with light-colored paint. Since paints fade over time, it is better to consider the fade-resistant and durability properties of the paint.
2. Choose the right tools
Using the right tools will help in precise painting results. For large surface area, a large brush will be required and for smaller surface area and detailed working, small brushes are the best. Good-quality brushes won’t shed leaves, are durable and easy to clean as well.
3. Allow the clay to cool
Allow the clay to cool properly before applying paint since the paint might adhere differently or change its consistency when applied on hot clay. Therefore, wait for the clay to cool down so the paint can be applied properly and without getting your hands to be burned on warm baked clay.
4. Sand the surface
Some clays don’t adhere properly once you cure the clay. If you feel the surface of your project to be smooth then you can sand it lightly to roughen up the surface slightly so the paint can adhere better as a slightly rough surface will allow the paint to have a grip on it. If you decide to sand the surface, use high-grit sandpaper like 400 grit and sand the surface lightly so you don't distort any details. After sanding is done, clean the surface to prevent unnecessary texture.
5. Paint the clay
Since polymer clay doesn’t expand or contract as it cures, it can be painted before baking. Always read the paint manufacturer's instructions on how the paint performs and then decide accordingly if you're to paint the clay before or after baking it. In some cases, the paint might change color when heated and in others, it might adhere better and dry along with the clay. So it varies depending upon the type of paint used.
6. Add a finish
Adding a finish to your art piece will add more depth to it. Multiple finishes like are available in the market like metallic, ceramic, glass, watercolor finish, and more. All these are used to add a finished layer to enhance the beauty of your clay craftwork.
7. Seal the finished layer
Once your clay craft looks exactly like you wanted it to, allow it to dry completely and then seal this finished product. It can be done through glaze or spray varnish. Decide the sealing product according to the type of paint used on the clay.
4 surface effects for polymer clay
You can give metallic effects to your clay creation by adding powder pigments in metallic finishes or acrylic paints that come with a metallic finish. These can be added before or after baking the clay according to the type of product being used. Afterward, apply a finishing glaze to seal the product for increased durability and longevity.
Faux Glass Effect
You can create a faux glass effect that will give your artwork the appearance of sparkling glass. It can be done by using clear liquid polymer or alcohol ink that creates a tint that will provide a transparent look to your polymer clay. Remember when using alcohol ink for giving effects, use resins for sealing afterward because varnishes and glazing may cause the alcohol ink to run off.
If you’re interested in achieving the look of glazed ceramic but want to work with polymer clay then you can create a similar effect on it as well. It can be done through liquid clay, thin paints, and alcohol ink. When using liquid ink for giving effects, apply this to the project and lay it flat so the ink doesn't run off, and then allow it to be baked, generally at the temperature of about 275 Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or more according to the requirements. Remember to turn off the oven before any ripples are created in the liquid. Whereas when using think paint and alcohol ink, apply these to the project and let dry. Remember when using alcohol ink for giving effects, use resins for sealing afterward because varnishes and glazing may cause the alcohol ink to run off.
You can give the delicate appearance of watercolor paints to your clay craft. Generally, white clay forms the best base for the watercolor effect pigments to show their true colors. Once you’re done with baking your polymer clay, apply a thin layer of glaze so the water won’t affect the clay when it is mixed with paints to give effect. You can give these effects by using acrylic paint with water because their pigments are comparatively stronger than those of watercolors. You can paint your clay using a sponge to create a dramatic effect.
Frequently asked questions:(FAQs)
What is the best acrylic paint for polymer clay?
According to market stats, Liquitex acrylic inks work best for polymer clay because they provide good coverage and don’t scratch off easily.
How do you seal paint on polymer clay?
If polymer clay is painted with acrylic paints then use an acrylic sealer spray. Other options are varnish, glaze, or alcohol ink.
What kind of paint is best for Clay?
Acrylic paints are considered best for clay because of their durability and high-quality finish.
How should polymer clay feel after baking?
Polymer clay is soft when removed from the oven and it usually dries to become a little harder. A properly baked polymer clay should be flexible especially when under a thickness of 1cm.
What can I use to color polymer clay?
There are many options to try from including acrylic and water-based paints, powder pigments, and alcohol-based paints.
Can you use Sharpie on polymer clay?
- Yes, as long as the surface is smooth and clean.
- No, it will not work.
Can you paint polymer clay with watercolors?
- Yes, but it may require more layers.
Polymer clay is used by professionals, students, and kids alike for craftwork and creating masterpieces. Therefore, manufacturers have developed various solutions to paint the finished art pieces. The majority of people prefer acrylic paints for colorizing clay while there are other options too. Only you have to consider the type of finishing and effect you want in your completed project and you're good to go with painting it by selecting a suitable and good quality painting kit.