How to Paint Sculpey Clay

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

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

Place the Sculpey Clay on a canvas dust sheet.

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.

Wait three hours for the Sculpey glaze to cure.

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.

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.


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.

Things You'll Need

  • Sculpey glaze
  • Natural-bristled craft brush
  • Canvas dust sheet
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Water-based acrylic paint
  • Polyester-bristled craft brush
  • Acrylic enamel
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About the Author

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.