Ads

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Help with finishing

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Help with finishing

    Hi everyone.

    Have just started playing with polymer clay, mainly Fimo at the moment. Had a good look around the web for finishing tips. Unfortunately much of it was American based so the products recommended were not always obtainable!

    There didn't seem to be unanimous support for the new formula Fimo varnish so was looking for alternatives. Virtually everywhere tho', seemed to be of the opinion that ANY water based varnish would be ok to use.

    On that basis, I picked up a tin of Wilkinsons' finest acrylic gloss varnish. I baked the beads according to the instructions (& using oven thermometer) & applied varnish (after allowing the beads to cool) - but after a day the beads feel slightly sticky. Not majorly, but if you hold the bead for a few seconds it just sticks ever so slightly. So decided to try a slightly more upmarket brand - Ronseal Quick Drying Varnish! Same thing's happened, although only to about 40% of the beads, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern to which ones

    Any ideas on what I may (probably am) doing wrong? Sorry for the length of my first post. Would be grateful for any suggestions.

    So happy to find a UK based forum

    Bev
    Bev
    Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

    Also find me on Facebook & Folksy


  • #2
    Compatibility is a huge issue in polymer clay when it comes to varnishes.

    It is for this reason I only recommend varnishes made by the clay manufacturers that are known to be compatible with the polymer clay.

    Much of the info you read on the web will be out of date when it comes to varnishes etc. Because recently the EU banned the use of certain phthalates, so the polymer clays have all been reformulated to a new recipe anyway.

    I also suspect the same is true of many acrylic varnishes. Because it is notable how many have simply ceased production since the EU ban or changed formula significantly.

    Therefore, it can be very hard to work out what will and will not work with polymer clay if you are not a) a chemist or b) prepared to have a lot of trial and error results as you have done.

    So I doubt you have done anything wrong at all. I am sure it is simply the varnishes contain either some type of solvent, plasticiser, oil or other chemical that doesn't play nice with the ingredients of polymer clay.

    It is also worth pointing out that the Fimo waterbased varnish has changed formulation to match the clay. It is now a little thinner than it used to be, and IMO, a very good, useable product. So don't automatically discount it unless you have tried the recent formulation and just don't like it.

    Another alternative to varnishing is to sand and buff your beads.

    You can wet-sand the beads smooth using wet/dry sandpapers. Then use a buffing wheel, adapted dremel etc to buff to a soft shine.

    Or you can cheat. Take the sanded bead and wipe a teeny dab of renaissance wax all over the whole bead then quicky buff off by hand with a duster. Will give the same appearance as a softly machine buffed bead without all the hard work!

    It probably goes without saying that you cannot sand, buff or wax any beads that have surface decorations such as paints, metal leaf, glitters, powders etc. Those types of beads would need to be sealed with a varnish.

    Hope that helps!
    Emma
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
    www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
    www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Emma

      Thanks for the detailed reply. I have tried to filter out the most recent articles whilst researching this, but it's difficult. I think, in what may have turned out to be a false economy, I was partially avoiding the Fimo/Sculpey finishes because of the ml/£ factor The thinking was to try & find an ordinary varnish that would work & get 275ml for the same cost as 35ml.

      Have tried using wet 'n' dry (having been a painter in a past life I have a fair amount lying around!), but, having largish hands, I find it awkward on the smaller beads. I also find it incredibly easy to flat spot round beads.

      Likewise I have a Proxxon mini drill & polishing mops. Am loving the exercise I'm getting retrieving beads from the other side of the room - a barricade will have to be implemented

      Thanks for the link to the wax. I've just been trying Pledge Multi-Surface Wax which seems to be ok at the moment, multiple coats seem to allow the shine to build.

      Although the satin finish is great for some looks, with some beads you just want that high gloss finish So maybe I will bite the bullet & try the Fimo.

      Bev
      Bev
      Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

      Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

      Comment


      • #4
        Do check that the wax you are using isn't oil based. As that could also react with the polymer clay over time.

        I have to admit, I find life too short for machine-buffing beads - so by far prefer the wax or varnish method.

        if you can find it, the old Johnson's Klear floor finish is fine with polymer clay too. (Often referred to as Future in American websites).

        Although sadly I think this was one of the products that was discontinued recently. I have a feeling the product is available in a new form, but have no idea if that is still clay compatible.

        Emma
        Emma
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
        www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
        www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

        Comment


        • #5
          LOL

          Just realised the pledge wax you are talking about IS the new incarnation of Klear floor finish!

          So, by the sounds of it then - it is still compatible with polymer clay you are finding? If so, that is good news.



          Emma
          Emma
          www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
          www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
          www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

          Comment


          • #6
            Believe me - I did a LOT of research on finishes.

            As I said, a lot was found on American sites, where the only thing that seemed to get mentioned was Future Polish & Varathane Diamond Polyurethane Interior Varnish. So spent time looking for equivalents.

            Found a modelmakers site where some guy did a complete listing & history of the Future/Johnsons line of products. He did a timeline of the various products introduction/withdrawal, names in various countries, equivalents etc. Mine of useful information. That was where I found out about the Pledge product & it seems to be fine at the moment

            So I will keep experimenting, but guess I'm also a little impatient & once the beads are made I want to get the finish applied & see how they look I also want the finish to be as good as I can get it & find what is happening at the moment incredibly annoying

            Bev
            Bev
            Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

            Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

            Comment


            • #7
              My brother does model planes and tanks and the like and he told me the other day that they also use Klear. Seems from what I have read that it is the same as before, just maybe not quite so crystal clear?

              Either way, I think that if it is even half as good as the old Klear was, it is certainly worth using so long as it doesn't have any long term problems with the clay.

              As you say though, the Americans have been using the new "Future with pledge" stuff for a while now, so hopefully we have the same recipe here in Europe.

              You are right though - all this sort of research IS incredibly frustrating - and it seems to me, with polymer clay work, it never ends!

              The varathane stuff that the american sites talk about is just a polyurathane varnish. I bought some years ago when I was over the pond and frankly I don't know what all the fuss was about.

              I didn't really like it at all. Like you mentioned in your first post, it seemed almost tacky even when fully dry and cured for several days. I way prefer the (old) Klear or the new fimo varnish to that stuff.

              I have tried so many other acrylic mediums and varnishes too over the years, because it is an area I would love to be able to offer my customers more choice in. I have just not yet found anything comparable to the Fimo's own one or the old Klear. If they work, they tend to be either cloudy or just won't apply nicely. And if the look like they will give the right finish, they seem to react to the clay

              Emma
              Emma
              www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
              www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
              www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

              Comment


              • #8
                The beads I have used the Klear on look fine (although only a few days old) & as I said, I think if a few coats were applied the shine would improve. Unfortunately I cannot help in comparing it to the older version, but it would be interesting if somebody else could - £3.05 in Sainsburys Bottle should last forever!

                Interesting to hear your thoughts on the Varathane as it was raved about so much. It was also partly the reason for trying the Ronseal acrylic polyurethane varnish that I did! It would appear I will be adding a bottle of Fimo varnish to a future order.

                So glad this forum exists. To be able to tap into the pool of knowledge from people who have "been there, done that & made the t-shirt" is great, as is the contributors willingness to share that knowledge & experience.

                Bev
                Bev
                Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

                Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh I certainly will be picking up a bottle of the new Klear to do some tests.

                  For some reason, I didn't think it was available here yet. I confess though, its because each time i looked in Sainsburies I could never find Klear - old or new - so just assumed it wasn't available yet and the old one had gone.

                  I will do some test beads in white and do a comparison of old Klear, new Klear and Fimo varnish just as soon as I get a spare moment.

                  The Klear doesn't suit everyone, because it is so thin and takes so many coats to build up a shine. But it is good if we still have it as an alternative to suggest.

                  Emma
                  Emma
                  www.ejrbeads.co.uk - unique art beads & more
                  www.ejrbeads.co.uk/shop - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
                  www.facebook.com/EJRBeads - Like me at Facebook!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Be interesting to see the results. The bottle is white - the label says (in various size fonts) "The improved formula Klear is now.... Pledge Multi-Surface Wax" (Really felt there should be a "Ta-da" going off then )

                    I think it was on the modelmakers site I mentioned, where it was emphasized that you needed to get the wax, not the multi-finish polish. Presume that holds true for polymer clay use.

                    Also found it in Wilkinsons, (very close to Sainsburys in Plymouth), but it was more expensive in there.

                    Bev
                    Bev
                    Tamar Leather Hand tooled leather gifts that last a lifetime

                    Also find me on Facebook & Folksy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use Klear which I managed to get in my local small hardware store. (Unfortunately just realised that it has leaked in the cupboard I hid it in over Christmas in an attempt to tidy up). I usually put around 3 or 4 layers on. Find it much easier than using the thicker spe******t varnish (although it may have been the "old" version that I used).

                      I have a setup with cocktail sticks in polystyrene and varnish 40 - 50 in one go.
                      LC's Beads
                      http://www.freewebs.com/lcsbeads
                      http://www.lcsbeads.folksy.com
                      http://www.lcsbeads.misi.co.uk
                      http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...?v=wall&ref=ts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi...have just used the renaissance wax I purchased from Emma and was really pleased with the results...I have a shoulder problem so a great help not to use so much elbow grease
                        "Jesus loves you...but I'm his favourite!"


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm very pleased to have found this site!

                          And this thread in particular.

                          I seem to have gone round the same loop as everyone else on the varnish front. I have more 'test' items on my work desk than is reasonable.

                          And shall shortly be adding test items for the renaissance wax!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've got to say I've tried almost every varnish/polish on my polymer beads and in my opinion the Fimo Gloss varnish is far and away the best product I have used. I guess it's like Emma said earlier in this thread it's formulated by the company that makes Fimo specifically for polymer clay.

                            Caroline
                            silver jewellery at The Silver Jewellery Workshop
                            bespoke handmade jewellery
                            Silver Jewellery blog
                            Handmade Jewellery Blog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I use colourless nail polish after to sand. Cheap and effective
                              Last edited by Nihal Erpeden; 03-03-2010, 11:09 PM.
                              I am inviting you for a cup of coffee, http://nihalerpeden.blogspot.com
                              My Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DONDURMA?ref=si_shop

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X