You may have come across these (above) in a craft stores and wondered about which brand to invest in or if they are compatible with your particular craft. I wondered the same thing. Until I tried these finishes, Pearl-Ex mica powders were what I used to accent polymer clay pieces, but when trying to be specific about which parts of a piece to accent, mica powders proved too messy. Plus, mica powders call for the use of a dust mask- not always comfortable when you are making big batches (I'm talking about localized face-sweat people). That is why I was always on the lookout for an alternative and I was glad when I found some!
These are some of the items I have tried to use the above products with:
The first brand I tried was the Viva Decor Inka Metallic Rub. I bought the lava red one on clearance about 6-8 months ago and Michaels Canada no longer carries them. I initially tried it on some unbaked clay and found that it adhered to the clay pretty well and stayed on after being baked. That being said once it dried, it didn't stay the bright red colour that you see in the jar. It worked pretty well as an accent on some glitter red Premo, as seen below.
What I loved immediately:
• Dries super fast.
• Stays where you apply unlike powders that spill into crevices if you're not VERY careful.
• Works well with polymer clay and unstained wood, but definitely requires sealing.
What I didn't love:
• Changed colour pretty drastically when it dried and didn't look as metallic as it did in the jar.
• Went mouldy! Yup, that's right, there was mold when I just opened it today - I carefully removed and obviously discarded the portion with the mold, but am still quite surprised that happened).
More recently I found DecoArt Metallic Lustre :
And I fell in love with it (and now that I know I can purchase it online from DecoArt directly in 14 different colours, I'm going to have the hardest time not buying them all)!
• Dries very very fast
• It works wonders on polymer clay and wood.
• The colour stays the same as it dries and is very metallic.
• You can buff it to make it even shinier
• Don't have to seal it, it's pretty darn durable, but you should for jewelry or other items that will be handled more often.
• I don't know if it goes mouldy, time will tell.
• Can't find any other reasons.
This is how it looks on unpainted wood:
Well, if these are so great why would you bother with mica powders at all you might ask:
The pastes are not a replacement for mica powders in some cases.
• If you work with textured clay and you want to get in the nooks and crannies, you will still be better off using mica powders.
• Also, if you want translucent coverage so that you can see the clay underneath, mica powders will work and these will not (at least not without adding water).
I use both products on different projects now and have used them in combination too. Mica powders do not work on wood or metal, unless you mix them with other mediums, therefore the pastes are a bit more versatile if you have to pick between the two.
The DecoArt Metallic Lustre is my new obsession!
I would love to hear your thoughts and questions. Have you used these with polymer clay or any other projects? What did you think? Would you like me to try other colours to review?