How to Paint Sculpey Clay

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Things You'll Need

  • Sculpey glaze

  • Natural-bristled craft brush

  • Canvas drop cloth

  • 150-grit sandpaper

  • Tack cloth

  • Water-based acrylic paint

  • Polyester-bristled craft brush

  • Acrylic enamel

Tip

You don't need to apply two coats of paint unless coverage proves inadequate.

For a very glossy, more durable finish, paint the Sculpey Clay with an acrylic enamel.

You do not need to apply Sculpey glaze to your oven-baked clay prior to painting; however, the finish will last much longer and appear smoother and more attractive.

Sculpey Clay is a brand of oven-baked clay used to make decorations and figurines. The clay remains soft and malleable until it is cured at high temperatures, at which point it hardens into a slick material with a texture similar to ceramics. You can paint Sculpey Clay as long as you've taken the time to condition the material for adequate adhesion. Prevent eventual flaking by abrading the oven-baked clay. Ensure an attractive, long-lasting finish by applying the proper paint, using the appropriate method.

Step 1

Mold the Sculpey clay into the desired shape and bake it according the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 2

Let the Sculpey Clay cool for at least four hours after baking. Do not paint warm Sculpey Clay.

Step 3

Place the Sculpey Clay on a canvas drop cloth.

Step 4

Apply two coats of Sculpey glaze to the oven-baked clay, using a natural-bristled craft brush. Apply very thin coats to prevent ugly brush marks from showing on the clay's finish. Let the oven-baked clay dry for an hour between coats.

Step 5

Wait three hours for the Sculpey glaze to cure.

Step 6

Lightly sand the Sculpey glaze with a fine, 150-grit sandpaper until it feels slightly rough. Don't over-do-it, or you'll accidentally remove all of the glaze. Stop sanding immediately once the oven-baked clay feels rough.

Step 7

Paint the Sculpey Clay with a water-based acrylic paint. Apply very thin coats to prevent ugly brush marks from showing on the clay's finish. Wait two hours before adding a second coat. Don't handle the finished oven-baked clay for at least two hours.


Ryan Lawrence

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.