Sunday, June 7, 2009

Polymer Clay Conundrum...

Okey dokey.....yesterday I decided to make 3 little pots with faces since I missed out on Nikki's cute little ones last auction.

I'm a pretty fair "carver" so I thought I'd be able to come up with 3 suitable little pots for Melin's retreat. No problem...turned out cute, baked up fine. Of course, I intended to paint them the exact colors of my choice so I used just whatever color clay I had on hand (conditioned and ready to go). I baked them last night and painted them this morning with acrylic craft paint. It went on a little streaky but, no matter, I just gave each a light second coat. When I went to "antique" them this afternoon with a water-based stain, the paint just peeled off.....bleh!!! It's like it didn't adhere at all! What a pain in the butt. So now I have really weird colored pots.... Any suggestions? Or opinions why the paint peeled? I've never painted polymer clay before but I undersand it is possible. Just as a point of reference....the first 2 pots peeled as I daubed the stain off. The second one got a ding from my fingernail before I even started.

What a bummer.....

Tabitha

10 comments:

Mary said...

So sorry to hear that all your work slid off in a minute's time! I think the culprit is the stain. I have an inkling that any kind of clay should not be finished with either stain or varnish...several weeks ago I made a clay dragon egg, painted it, but once I put on varnish all the colors melted together :-( Maybe you can age it with watered down acrylics?

Snowfern said...

ahh that's terrible to hear....

you can't really paint polymer clay with anything other than pastels and acrylics, if you're using pastels, you should dust them on before baking they were adhere to the clay...

otherwise, as Mary suggested, water down some acrylics and with a light touch, 'smear' it onto the clay. it might bead up a little, but keep trying.

hope this helps.

The Ice Queen said...

well, I did use acrylic craft paint. But even before I started to antique with the water-based stain, the 3rd pot was peeling. It just peeled off like a skin. I've been applying several layers a "washes" of acrylic paint once I peeled off the original stuff but, of course, I just don't have the colors I want. I need opaque coverage but I'm not getting it anf Iguess I won't be... :o(
Tabby

MiniKat said...

I paint polymer clay teapots with water-based acrylic paints and use water-based varnishes on them. I've never had an issue with it before. But I coat them with a matte varnish first, then paint, then use gloss.

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Sometimes acrylics dont cling to the surface of polymer because of the oils that are used in its production. It may be a good idea to give your pots a good wash. I foget what you are meant to use to clean polymer with. I just wash mine in washing up liquid, then dry.
I then dab on neat pva glue, let this dry and then paint. The pva if dabbed on gives a textured surface prior to the painting.
If you want more texture add some pva to you acrylic paint and dab on rather than brush.
I find also that once all this is done to bake again. I don't know why but it seems to make the paint surface a lot better.
I always paint polymer with acrylics and find the baking makes the pain surface more resistant to scratches.
One all this is done you can give it a coat of sealant again using one that is suitable for polymer. Even though there is paint on the polymer you still need the sealant thats suitable for polymer.
Hope this was of some help.
Nikki x

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

I forgot to say you can give the pots an aged look by using raw umber acrylic paint a little thinned down but not too much, then while it is still wet using baby wipes to dab most of it off leaving just a little. You can do this over and over if you want to build up the colour.
Then all the paint will stay in the cracks and crevices and give a nice aged look.
You can then dry brush here and there if you want it to look a bit more old like its been used on a stove.
You can even rust it up using rusty coloured paints dabbed on and slightly dabbed off. Start with a dark rust working lighter as you go. You can mix different strength of orange and browns to achieve this if you dont have many colours. If some reds and burnt type of coloured paints. Then right at the end put the tiniest specks of just orange. That's how i rusted up the spade, trowel, fork and tap in my potting scene.
You can also buy copper colour paints and then age up with raw umber.

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

I also forgot to say. You could also use the alcohol inks to stain your pots. Its sticks to clay and refuses to budge.

The Ice Queen said...

Whew! Thank you all...especially Nikki :o). I will work on them again today, see what happens, and be back with an update. I never did think to wash them up before painting. And I now recall reading somewhere to bake after painting. Oh, so many things to remember...
Tabby

nikkinikkinikki72 said...

Oops. think i forgot to say dont put the sealant on until everything is totally baked. I once baked something with fimo goss varnish and it bubbled. Only varnish/seal/protect right at the end.
I've been cleaning and tidying and thinking oh i hope she isnt baking with the varnish on.

SparklyJem said...

it might be the brand of acrylic you're using... I've had varing success with different brands. Artist acrylics winsor and newton are best ;0