Wrong type of clay used? Check. (Sculpey...the no number kind. So mushy and unwieldy.)
Burned a bit in oven? Check.
Well, as one who's always trumpeting about it being best not to use the 3 main Polyform Sculpey clays* for many things, I won't comment further, but the easy-burning part is also probably not your problem and resulted from the clay you used. Even if you had an oven thermometer and were using it correctly to know that the temp was actually what you thought it was, original Sculpey will darken (actually turns purplish too) at lower temps than any other brand/line of polymer clay, and especially at it's "recommended" temp (unless that temp has changed since the latest reformulation). The manufacturers don't give ways to avoid that but there are at least a few.** SuperSculpey-flesh and the pkgs of Sculpey III are somewhat better but still easier to darken during baking than others (if you want virtually no darkening at all,
go for Kato Polyclay).
* Sculpey, SuperSculpey-flesh, Sculpey III are all very soft so hard to get good details with and to avoid distortion & fingerprints, and will also be brittle after baking in any clay areas which are thin or projecting.
In order of firmness of the precolored brands, (important especially if you have hot hands too) would be Fimo Classic and Kato Polyclay, followed by Premo and Cernit, followed by FimoSoft. The order of strength for thin areas would be about the same except the first 4 would be pretty similar to each other, followed by FimoSoft.
(...click on the category Darkening, Scorching, Burning
Only had white available so I had to paint each piece even though they are crazy small? Check.
Any polymer clay can be colored not only by coloring the surface after baking, but also before baking and shaping by mixing pre-colored clays into white clay (or any color), or by using various colorants on the surface (paints, alcohol inks, powders and pigments of various kinds, metallic leaf, etc.).
Some of those colorants would be artists' oil paints or shavings from oil pastels, alcohol inks, artists' pigments, fabric dyes, ground spices, and even dry tempera and crayon shavings (tho can be other problems with those), as well as various more particulate colorants usually called "inclusions" like glitters, metallic powders, herbs, sand, dirt, etc.
It may take a lot of those to create a really saturated color though, and often they're added to translucent or tinted-translucent colored clays so more of the colorant will show up, etc. You can sometimes get away with using acrylic paints but since they're water-based and will end up trapped inside an oil-based clay, they can swell when heated and cause problems (using only a little, or leaving clay colored that way out a few hrs or overnight before baking can often help).http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/color.htmhttp://www.glassattic.com/polymer/inclusions.htmhttp://www.glassattic.com/polymer/paints.htmhttp://www.glassattic.com/polymer/letters_inks.htm
(Inks for Tinting)
Glossy polymer clay glaze not bonding well to acrylic paint? Check.
I don't know about this one unless you were using a thick single
layer of the old Sculpey Glaze (the one that's clear in the jar), or you're in a humid area and haven't waited long enough for the paint or the finish to dry. Generally, clear glazes of all kinds should do fine over acrylic paint.
You can try what's called "re-baking" though to see if that thoroughly dries and "hardens" even more your clear finish... that's often done by clayers anyway to make the finish even stronger and harder, and it will also tend to make it smoother since it very slightly softens the finish filling in any uneveness. Try the rebaking at only 200-250 F for 5-15 min.http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/finishes.htm
HTH, and show us what you make next! (with a better and a pre-colored polymer clay
) What you made already is totally fine though if you don't have future problems with it!