How to Paint Sculpey Clay

Written by ryan lawrence
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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.

Skill level:

Things you 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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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

    Place the Sculpey Clay on a canvas dust sheet.

  4. 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.

  5. 5

    Wait three hours for the Sculpey glaze to cure.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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