Tips & Tricks #4: Sealing/Glazing Polymer Clay

Hello! This week i will be talking about glazing/sealing cured polymer clay. I hope this blog post can help you in your clay journey, i made the mistakes so you don’t have to in the future!

Notes: 

  • Please remember I am not a professional clay artist, this is just a hobby. This post is from my own experiences and opinions.
  • I will be using  terms that mean the same thing. Glaze/Seal and Cured/Baked.
  • All images are linked with their source below when i talk about each sealer.

Now lets get on with the post!

When  to glaze/seal polymer clay:

  • You should always seal your baked clay when you use chalk pastels, mica powders and paint. Anything you added into your clay that may rub off or chip off after baking.
  • When you have small details and textures that may chip off/fall off. Sometimes when i make my clay creations they have very small details such as a tiny little mouth for a happy character.  I want to make sure that stays on forever.
  • To improve/ increase the look and color of your clay. For example, the transparency of the clay will be improved greatly. This works great for clay’s like Fimo’s Quartz colors. This will also work with other colors, glaze can make it much more colorful and intense.

Polymer clay is very strong and durable hard plastic after baking. This means you do not always have to seal your clay. Sealing/Glazing in my opinion should only be done when necessary. However, if you love shiny and glossy charms then feel free to glaze as much as you’d like.

Different types of glaze and brands:

09-asg33g-sc-glaze-gloss

Let me start with the brand Sculpey Gloss Glaze. This is my personal favorite glaze. From my experience, after learning how to properly bake my clay, the glaze has no longer become sticky or tacky. The glaze only became sticky/tacky when my clay was under baked. I recomend this for beginner  clay crafters or when you just want a simple glaze thats easy to find in a craftstore.  I like to brush on and dip my creations into this glaze.

Americana DuraClear Gloss Varnish(Polyurethane Varnish)

I’ve heard a lot of clay crafters have success with this glaze. Sadly, i have had a hit or miss with this glaze. When i first purchased this glaze, I followed the instructions where i am to brush on the glaze. However, all charms i have brushed the glaze on the glaze peeled right off  or was very tacky and sticky several days later. The creations that i used the dip method to glaze  it is still perfect and shiny several months later.Sadly, i do not recommend this glaze.

Triplethick Gloss Glaze, This is another Americana glaze.  I used both brush on and dip methods. At first the glaze was shiny and very nice. After a few days it became so sticky, tacky and ugly i threw away the creations i made. This is the worst glaze for polymer clay, TripleThick is meant Wood/Paper materials.

Mod Podge Sealers From my experience and other clay crafters, mod podge is another glaze you should not use on your polymer clay, much like triple thick its very sticky and tacky after a bit of time. Don’t like the shine fool you the first day.

Nail Polish, for any reason or circumstance do not use nail polish on your polymer clay. The nail polish will eat away at your clay over time, ruining your creation.  Again do not let the shine fool you the first time it is applied.

Waterbased Varathane Polyurathane Glaze(for wood ),  I personally have yet to try this type of glaze, however many professional clay artists love using this glaze because it last very long, does not become sticky or peel off. Even though this sealer is meant for wood surfaces, many poly clay artists have used it for over 20 years.

Epoxy Resin  I have yet to use resin as a sealer,however it is becoming very popular. I noticed a few youtubers are beginning to use it. Resin, cures into a hard and very durable plastic. However, it can become very tricky to use as a sealer due to the long cure time of resin. But resin as a sealer is very shiny and glossy. I would love to give this a try in the future!

 

How to glaze polymer clay:

  • Brush your glaze on in layers and in parts. Working in parts and at a slow pace assures a proper glaze on your creations. Let the glaze dry for an hour or overnight before applying a second coat. Hang to dry or lay  your piece flat, and cover with a plastic container to prevent dust/dirt/lint from sticking to the glaze.
  •  Dip method, this is a much tricker method, however i do love how the glaze is 1 perfect coat with no streaks. You will have to hang dry your creations and watch it constantly to check it for droplets of glaze at the bottom of your creation. Use this  method if you have time to watch it!
  • Glaze only parts of your creation. Use a small detail brush or a toothpick to put glaze on certain parts of a creation like painted on details to protect it. Rather than glaze an entire piece.

Overall, sealing your creations takes a lot of time and patience.

 

Thats all for my glaze blog post, i hope you learned a thing or two. If i missed anything, please let me know!

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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