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Topic: Polymer clay sticky with acrylic paint  (Read 4376 times)
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« on: August 18, 2009 05:57:53 AM »

Hi everbody,

I've been working with polymer clay for some time now and decided it was time to try out new things. So I wanted to paint the things that I make. I've done some research on the internet and found out acrylic paint is the best paint to use. But when I use acrylics on cured polymer clay it remains very sticky. It's so sticky my hands leave fingerprints on the piece, the paint gets smudged, it doesn't look nice.
I've tried out several brands, I've tried out cheap paint, I've tried out very expensive ones, but nothing seems to work. I use fimo, not sculpey or any other polymer clay brand. Could that be the problem? I can't find any information about this on the web. I see all these beautiful painted polymer clay sculptures from several artists, I wonder how they do it.
Please help me out! Smiley

Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"

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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009 10:32:46 AM »

I don't know why this would be happening as long as you're using regular acrylic paints (though the "artists" acrylics in tubes will give the best coverage), your clay is completely cured, you used alcohol or soap and water to remove any oils or dirt that may have gotten on the clay, you're not applying the paints too thickly, and you're waiting long enough for the paint to dry between coats or afterward (humid weather could retard drying time, plus a real "cure" of acrylics doesn't happen for up to a week even in normal humidity).

As for Fimo, I do have this at my site, though it was written for the old original Fimo formulation:
... If you are painting on Fimo, it is better to seal the surface first with matt or gloss varnish before degreasing and painting ... this stops the paint bleeding into the clay in time - only a problem with Fimo in my experience, though. Sue
So perhaps that continues to be an issue with the later versions of Fimo/Eberhard Faber clay.

You might want to try using gesso as a first coat on your baked piece, no matter which brand/line of polymer clay you're using just to see if that makes any difference; it will provide a nice surface for later paint anyway.

Some clayers also use heat-set paints though, and some may even use oils of various kinds (especially in thin applications) though they do take a long time to dry.   Some clayers use other colorants too like alcohol inks, chalks and other pigments or powders--alone or in clear liquid carriers, etc.

You can check out a lot more about the prep and painting on top of clay (with various paints) on at least this page of my site, if you're interested:


Diane B.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2009 10:35:03 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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