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From: mst011/29/18 7:46 PM 
To: All  (1 of 14) 

I am in the process of painting glaze over my Premo sculpture that I previously painted with acrylic paint. 

After I glazed it, I noticed a few small marks of paint that I did not want to be there. 

Since I applied Sculpey glaze on it, would it be safe to paint over those marks with the acrylic color it is suppose to be and then reapply the glaze over it? 

Or should I leave it alone and live with it? 

Thank you!!

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From: JNyago1/29/18 11:47 PM 
To: mst01  (2 of 14) 
 71422.2 in reply to 71422.1 

You seem to be speaking about using acrylic paint on top of the Sculpey glaze.  My first thoughts were "How 'small' is small?"  And "How large is the whole piece?"  But here are a few thoughts:

I suppose you wouldn't have much to lose by trying what you propose, although you should try it on the least noticeable and tiniest spot, or--better yet--make a few small tiles with the same materials to experiment on with fixes.  Then you will know what will work.  I once knew an old-style carpenter, who commented to me as he worked on our house (in another country) that one of the tests of a good builder is to be able to fix or cover up his mistakes, and in my adventures with polymer clay, I have found his words often come to mind!

You may find that when you put glaze over the place after fixing it, either the repainted spot may look somehow different from the rest of the acrylic paint, or that the new layer of Sculpey glaze that you have to apply over it does not blend in with the original one.  Then you have to decide whether to live with it, or to try something more radical.  With Varathane, I have often chosen the more radical path.

If the repainted spot itself does blend in, but the small new area of glaze looks "repainted," I would consider it worth re-glazing the whole sculpture right over both the fixed spots and the original glaze; that should solve the "repainted" look of the glaze.  But I speak as someone who always uses Varathane on my clay pieces, sometimes multiple layers of it, and I don't know anything about the behavior of Sculpey glaze.  Do people ever use two or three layers of that?  When I have a problem such as you mention, I generally rub away the Varathane over the undesirable spot with a little isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab (like the ones for babies), repaint, and then reapply varnish over the whole piece, but I don't make anything larger than, say, a rock purse or a covered tin.   If your sculpture is very large, it may not be feasible for you to re-glaze the whole thing.  

Anyway, start tiny and, if possible, unobtrusive, in case something doesn't go well.  Here's hoping you get good results and that you will post about your final decision and how it works out! 


From: mst011/30/18 11:51 AM 
To: JNyago  (3 of 14) 
 71422.3 in reply to 71422.2 

Yes you understood correctly.  It is a very small and you really have to look to find it, but it is there.  I am painting it as a piece someone ordered so I am being anal about it as well as very frustrated.  Somehow I got s scant amount of red paint on a gray piece.  I was experimenting with another piece I had previously made, right now it is drying so I am not sure how it will turn out.  After reading your answer and a good night sleep, I am thinking maybe it is best to leave it alone.  You brought up a good point of having to re glaze the whole piece.  I am not sure how it will look.  I had spent much time painting it and I do not want to risk messing it up.  It just frustrates me bc I am a perfectionist.  I have never used  several layers of Sculpey glaze, usually just one coat.  I have heard that sometimes it can be a bit "sticky".  I make Christmas tree ornaments that are not handled as frequently as jewelry.

Thank you so much for your thorough answer, it has helped me ;) 


From: JNyago2/20/18 6:02 PM 
To: mst01  (4 of 14) 
 71422.4 in reply to 71422.3 

Sorry, somehow I missed your reply and have just found it today, which makes my response very late. 

Perhaps you have made the safest choice.  As basically a fellow perfectionist, but a failed one (having become a "fixist" because I hate my time and clay to have been wasted if there might be some sort of solution--even if that solution is merely better than nothing), I understand how much it goes against the grain when we have to settle for "letting well enough along."  Recently I was rushing to make 9 clay-covered tins for my husband to take as presents for the friends he was going to see on a visit to Japan.  Most of them featured transferred images of 2 pictures he and I had drawn, and some of them also had a verse that my (Japanese) husband rendered in ancient Chinese characters, which I feel are way more beautiful and artistic than modern Chinese or Japanese (See image.).  All the images gave me so much trouble!  Either they weren't vivid enough, or little pieces would tear off after baking or have a blank spot.  I didn't count how many I had to print out or reverse in a mirror image and try again, and then even when the clay image was all right, there would be some other problem with the tin.  Most of the tins required at least 4 bakings, apart from the baking of the clay images, and some took 5 trips to the oven.  In the process, I discovered anew something I had forgotten: Black Premo tends to stick to itself more than some other colors (like when a long strip of it comes through the pasta machine and bends back on itself), and yet it also rips easily before being baked.  Fortunately, I used black on only one of the tins, because I ended up having to scrape it off, clean up with alcohol, and make a new strip. 

In the tin with the cranes, thin "ropes" of gold clay hide unfortunately imperfect joins where the picture was inset and the Chinese verse on very thin liquid polymer was glue-baked onto the tin and I needed something to seem to make the slight difference in its background color seem intended.  Incidentally, since your question involved glaze, I want to mention that for these tins, for the first time I bought some satin finish Varathane, rather than the glossy.  The subtle tone of the unvarnished gold clay made me think it might be a good idea to have less shine, though I did want some sort of protection for all the transferred pictures.  It was expensive, in a way, because I had to buy a quart can of Varathane, but the idea paid off, and I think I will be using a satin finish more often.  Brush strokes--which have often caused me a lot of irritation--hardly posed a problem at all. 

Have you found that Sculpey glaze works very well?  What do you like best about it?  I can say that Varathane, at least, has never gotten sticky for me.  I have tried a few other things over the years, including Golden Varnish, or Glaze--I forget the name of it, but always came back to V. 

I hope you can get over the frustration of knowing that little mark is still there.  Sometimes getting involved in the next project helps with things like that, don't you think?  But I can imagine that there is all the more pressure for you to be perfect when making something that someone ordered.  In my case, most requests are for pieces bearing pictures of people's deceased pets, for which I feel more pressure than usual because of the emotions involved.  Fortunately, this time, only 3 of the 9 tins I mentioned required me to deal with photos of pets.  The others were all variations featuring my husband's cranes and calligraphy or my kittens.

  • Edited February 20, 2018 6:07 pm  by  JNyago

From: mst012/21/18 7:20 PM 
To: JNyago  (5 of 14) 
 71422.5 in reply to 71422.4 

No problem. 

I am sure that I did, sometimes, fixing a small problem ends up creating a huge one.  That sounds like quite a number of steps to go through but the gifts sound very nice and thoughtful. 

I really should try Varathane but have not yet.  I am thinking that a store such as Home Depot would sell it?  I do have to say that for me, Scupley Glaze does works well.  But I am making Christmas tree ornaments that are not handled as much as jewelry is. 

For the most part, I have forgotten the "spot".   I have finished a project after that one and fortunately got through it with out unwanted spots!

Are those your tins pictured below your message?  They are nice.  How do you apply the clay to it?



From: JNyago2/23/18 1:37 AM 
To: mst01  (6 of 14) 
 71422.6 in reply to 71422.5 

Yes, those are two of the tins I made for presents, thanks.  I get my Varathane at the Home Depot and generally keep a small amount of it in use in a baby food jar or the like, so as not to risk "contaminating" the entire container in some way.  My last can of glossy disappointed me by developing "rust" around the edges of the opening (some of which dropped down into the liquid and had to be removed) after I had not used it for a long time, and I am hoping that will not happen with the satin finish (semi-gloss).  Once on, Varathane seems to be a very durable finish.  I have it on brooches and earrings that I have been wearing for several years, and they still look good.  A couple of the brooches got accidentally put through the washing machine and they emerged from the experience unchanged.  I had one small brooch with a dog picture on it that I always wore at the neck of a certain dress, but had a diagonal pin on the back so it was very hard to put on straight.  After seeing how well the Varathane held up, I took to washing that dress in a protective laundry bag with the brooch still on it, and now, after dozens of washings, the brooch still has its shine.

I don't know how much you want to know about covering tins, but I really enjoy doing it myself, so here goes:

Apply the raw clay in this order: Flat bottom, entire top part of tin, sides of bottom part of tin (all with one strip of clay) 

It would be almost impossible to apply clay all over a tin and just do one baking because while the clay is raw, you tend to leave fingerprints on one part as you apply the next.  So I apply gold clay to the bottom of the tin first, stamp it with my claying name, Jannyan, and inscribe or stamp a few other decorations on it, and cut off any surplus using a sharp craft knife or one of the long surgical blades I use for cutting blocks of clay, and then bake.  Those cut edges get covered in practically the last step, when I smooth a narrow strip of clay all around the bottom part of the tin. 

But before covering the side part of the tin bottom, I cover the entire top with one sheet of clay, laying the tin on it upside-down and cutting a rough shape for the top, large enough so that when I smooth out the clay by degrees, using my hands, encouraging it to come down over the corners (which of course thins the clay there, so it has to be thick enough to begin with) and covers the sides of the top as well as the actual top.  Then I cut off the excess, either letting the clay cover the rolled rim on the edge of the cover, or trimming it just short of the rim so the rim shows.  In general, I prefer not to let the rim show.  If I am going to inset an already-baked picture that I have transferred to a sheet of light-colored clay (usually white or pearl), I lay it on the raw clay top, cut around it, remove the raw clay underneath it, insert the picture and try to smooth the clay of the top around it so as to fill in any tiny spaces.  This can be tricky, and I don't know how many times I have left fingerprints in the process and had to smooth them out!  Then bake.  A few small cuts may be needed around the hinges if the clay impedes the cover from opening fully. 

If I need to apply any more clay to an already baked part, such as thin strips to cover boo-boo spaces around an inset picture after it has been baked into the clay cover, I dab a bit of Kato liquid clay on the baked surface so the new raw clay parts adhere better.  I also dab the liquid clay around the cut edges of the baked bottom clay before applying the strip of clay around the sides.  

The clay tends to stick to the tin without any special treatment other than baking.  Once in a while, a "top" will come off under the stress of my working on some other part, but it is easily replaced.  If I am working with a flat card case or something that has no clay brought down over the sides, I stick the errant clay back on with some instant glue.  With this batch, as it happens, in my haste, I made the whole top of one tin with the picture upside down, and was very happy when I was able to pry the entire top clay cover off and replace it in the right orientation. 

There may be things in these directions that could be improved upon.  I learned by hit-or-miss when covering tins for a swap at City-o-Clay.


From: mst012/24/18 7:41 PM 
To: JNyago  (7 of 14) 
 71422.7 in reply to 71422.6 

Thank you for your detailed instructions.  I have not considered applying clay to tins but you have got me curious enough to try it.  I am sure that I will have more questions, therefore, I will post them when I get to that point. 


From: JNyago2/24/18 8:49 PM 
To: mst01  (8 of 14) 
 71422.8 in reply to 71422.7 

I'm sure if you do, you will find it fun.  I have several I made for myself around the house, holding paper clips, sim cards, safety pins, and so on.  Trader Joe's also has a tall narrow tin of dark chocolate pieces that is a perfect size for carrying around 2 flash drives, and  I have covered 2 of them.  Be happy to answer any questions if you ever get around to playing with tins.


From: Ladyartist053/7/18 6:17 PM 
To: JNyago  (9 of 14) 
 71422.9 in reply to 71422.4 

These are magnificent.  I hope your husbands friends value them as gifts.


From: JNyago3/8/18 1:48 PM 
To: Ladyartist05  (10 of 14) 
 71422.10 in reply to 71422.9 

Thank you sooo much!  Only another clayer can understand how very much time it can take to cover a tin or make certain other objects, so I realize that I can't expect non-clayers or even non-crafting people to fully appreciate the gifts I make.  Some of these required as many as 5 or 6 bakings, which the recipients had no way of knowing, yet I was still a bit disappointed when a few of them hardly said anything when they were given the gifts.  But showing love is its own reward, so I will probably produce more tins in the future.  Besides, they are fun to do! 

Anyway, your words of appreciation were especially welcome, coming from a fellow clayer.


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