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Air Dried Clay - Eva's Insights on Air Dried Clay - 003 - Sealers 09-03-09

Polymer clay and spray sealers usually do not mix--I believe it's the propellants in the sprays that react with the polymer clay normally. From what I understand, Rustoleum is one of the few companies that make a spray sealer that can be used on polymer. But, I recently chatted with a woman (the one I mentioned before who's used spray sealers on her dolls) who uses a brand called Mr. Super Clear on her polymer figures and has never had problems with it. I've never tried it on polymer clay so I can't vouch for this. Mr. Super Clear is a very popular spray sealant for ball-jointed doll owners who want to protect their resin dolls from the sun and/or paint or do body blushing and face paint on their dolls. It's a Japanese brand and isn't easy to find but you can order it from Volks, USA ( near the bottom of the page) and, usually, from Junkyspot ( Junkyspot doesn't list items that aren't in stock but you can click on the link for "supplies" and check if it's there--when they have it in stock, that's where you'll find it.

When I first started using polymer clay, the only sealer that anyone recommended was Flecto varathane (now Rustoleum) and Fimo Glaze (I think that's what it was called). The Sculpey glaze wasn't even recommended because, at the time, people were having problems with it flaking off over time. I've never tried the Fimo or Sculpey sealers because I couldn't justify spending so much money for such a small jar when I could get Future floor finish so cheap. From what I understand now, you can pretty much use any water-based, brush-on sealer on your polymer clay these days. It never hurts to run a test to be sure and if you want to go with the tried and true stuff, then just stick with the Rustoleum.

Any of the acrylic sealers should work on air-dry clay. The only reason you might pick a spray over a brush-on is to avoid smearing the color or paint on your piece. Otherwise, it really shouldn't matter which you use.

As for getting a red color on your flower petals, I have two suggestions. The simplest is to paint over the petal after you've sculpted it, rather than trying to make red by mixing it in white. The second suggestion would be to get some pure pigment powder (I'd recommend getting a bright red and, possibly black or dark grey). I can't guarantee it would work, but straight pigments without any binder in them will give you a much more saturated color so might be able to get a deeper red using them. Adding in a pinch of black or grey will darken the color a bit and, hopefully offset the white some, although you might not need to do that, depending on how bright you can get your red on its own. Your biggest problem is that you're working with white which adds opacity and lightens your pigment. Not sure how deep you could get your red, but you'd probably get it darker than by using premixed acrylics or even pastel powders. I'm also not sure how the added pigments might change the consistency.

Places to find pigment powders: (my favorite pigment place--they tell you how old the color is/how long it's been used and where it comes from; good prices; my suggestions for reds for you--Cinnabar, Natural or Red 140) (Sennelier is extremely pricey) (good selections, back to being pricey)



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