How to Add a Patina to a Polymer Clay Item

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How to Give a Finished Polymer Clay Piece an Antique Finish on Kater's Acres Blog https://katersacres.com

How to Give a Finished Polymer Clay Piece an Antique Finish on Kater's Acres Blog https://katersacres.com

Sometimes your polymer clay pieces need an extra something, just a touch of something special to bring out the details that you have embedded into the clay.  When you have carved or engraved your clay, you will often want to accent those pieces after they have finished baking.  Many artists call this adding a patina to polymer clay.  Other artists call it antiquing an item.  For today’s mini-tutorial, we’re going to call it an “antique finish.”  There are many ways to do this, but this is the way that I find the easiest…

MATERIALS LIST:

How to Give a Finished Polymer Clay Piece an Antique Finish on Kater's Acres Blog https://katersacres.com

As with any project, the first thing that you will need to do it to gather your materials.  The most important piece being the one that you want to give the antique finish to.  Be sure that your pieces is well cooled before applying your antique finish.  If your piece is not completely cooled, the paint will dry too quickly and could ruin your piece.

GET STARTED:

Grab your materials and let’s get started.  First, you are going to pick your paint colors.  If your piece is dark, go for a lighter color, if your piece is light, go for a darker color.  When you pick your colors, put little dabs of them out on a piece of paper or in a paint tray.  Then it’s time to begin!

HOW TO APPLY THE PAINT:

How to Give a Finished Polymer Clay Piece an Antique Finish on Kater's Acres Blog https://katersacres.comJust coat your brush in a light coat of paint and jam the paint down into the nooks and crannies.  Push kind of hard to make sure it gets in the crevices.  Work in one small area at a time.  When you are done with an area, simply take your baby wipe and wipe off the excess paint.  (See the photo at right where my dragon’s eye is completely covered in paint).  Many people also suggest doing this with a damp/dry sponge.  I prefer to remove the paint with the baby wipe as it’s easier to maneuver and easier to clean up after.  You’re going to do this until your entire piece has been coated and wiped clean.

FINISH YOUR PIECE:

Water Dragon by Kater's AcresThat’s it! Your piece is now completed!  All you have to do now is varnish your item.  I recommend using Varathane Varnish to seal your pieces.  You can see the finished pieces, with antique finish at left.

 

Thanks for joining me today,

Happy Claying,

26 thoughts on “How to Add a Patina to a Polymer Clay Item

  1. It took me a long time to start working with polymer clay because it didn’t seem very environmentally friendly (plastic). I finally gave into the temptation because it is so much fun, but I still think it’s important to think about the environment. Whenever possible, I try to use reusable or recyclable materials, so I use as few baby wipes as possible, to give just one example. If you can use a sponge, wash, and reuse, why not? 😉

  2. […] Add as an antiquing medium [Free tutorial here] […]

  3. Nice idea with the baby wipes – I’ll have to try it – thanks!

    1. You’re welcome Megan.

  4. what can i use if i dont have a varnish. thank you

    1. You don’t HAVE to use anything. But as a general rule of thumb, whenever you add a surface treatment to clay to should seal it in some way.

    2. future floor finish works well….

      1. Yes, you can use future floor finish. I have never used it, but I know a lot of people who do use it.

  5. […] finished I baked them at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. When they were completely cooled I antiqued them with a dark brown paint. Once they were dry, I added a matte gloss varnish and strung them on […]

  6. […] the pendant has cooled use this tutorial to antique your […]

  7. […] you choose, use this tutorial to add a patina to your piece to bring out all those interesting parts you couldn’t see […]

  8. […] does NOT include: conditioning clay instructions, Steampunk decorations (like adding a buckle), or adding an antique effect. (Click on the links to go to those […]

  9. […] you choose, use this tutorial to add a patina to your piece to bring out all those interesting parts you couldn’t see […]

  10. […] Use this tutorial to add a patina to your mask to bring out all those interesting parts you couldn’t see earlier! […]

  11. […] for over an hour).  When he’s done, you can choose to leave your piece as it is, or add an antique look and a coat of […]

  12. […] this tutorial to add a patina to your flower to bring out all those interesting parts you couldn’t see […]

  13. […] When you are done decorating your Aborigine design, pop it in the oven and bake it at the clay manufacturer’s recommended time and temperature.  When your design is done, give him an antique finish.  Get a complete guide to adding an antique finish (or patina) here. […]

  14. […] addition to that whimsical and playful look that I love. I have not decided whether or not I will antique this little cutie (she’s about 3″ tall, so she’s hardly “little”). I […]

  15. nice little tuts you give during the refresher coures of christi’s books. Always nice to hear some stuff put in new ways and new hints too

  16. […] not done yet, now it’s time to pick your antiquing medium and get started on your patina finish.  Following the tutorial highlighted at the beginning of this paragraph, fully antique your item […]

  17. […] mica powders, and texturing to give it an earthy and lovable feel.  After it had baked I added an antique finish and gloss […]

  18. I use Oilpaint, it doesn’t dry so quickly and leaves a nice shine on your work.

  19. Thanks for the tutorial…I just finished my Wendyll–although he told me his name is Garger (go figure) so this will come in handy!

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