How to Color Paper Clay

Updated February 21, 2017

Paper clay offers you a way to create clay objects and sculptures without having to fire them in a kiln or oven. Paper clay air dries and hardens on its own. The usual light grey colour of this convenient clay can be changed while the clay is still wet or after the finished clay pieces have completely dried. The method you choose will depend on whether you want the clay to be coloured before you build your object or after it has dried.

Place the wet paper clay into a disposable cup.

Pour 1 tsp of acrylic craft paint per golf-ball-sized piece of clay into the cup with the clay.

Mix the clay and paint together with a disposable fork and slowly add more paint if you want a darker colour, until you are satisfied. Model your clay objects as usual.

Sand the dried pieces lightly with fine-grit sandpaper and dust away the sanded bits of clay with a paper towel.

Apply acrylic craft paint over the clay piece with a paintbrush to colour it.

Paint details onto the object with different colours of paint.

Allow the paint to dry for 1 hour or until it is no longer tacky to the touch.


If you make homemade paper clay, start if off as coloured by using coloured construction paper or crepe paper instead of white.

Things You'll Need

  • Disposable cup
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Disposable fork
  • Sandpaper
  • Paper towel
  • Paintbrush
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About the Author

Ashley Kurz, a full-time professional writer since 2009, publishes on various informational websites. An expert in the craft field specializing in craft-related topics, Kurz has taught arts and crafts for group therapy sessions.