My goal with this test was to find a combination of raw clay and paint/ink that wouldn’t rub off off so I could form raw, silkscreened clay around objects. I was getting frustrated by creating a nice silkscreened image only to have it rub off.
If you leave your silkscreened clay basically flat and don’t touch its surface before you bake it, many more paints/inks will work. Please test them first.
I tested 20 paints/inks on four different raw clays by just dabbing them on and then waiting 24 hours and trying to rub them off with my finger. It seems to be important to let them dry for 24 hours.
Then I baked the clay and tried to rub off the paint/ink again. I was surprised that baking made no difference in whether some of them adhered.
All clay was well-conditioned. I leached Kato clay three times because it was really soft. The other clays were leached just once. All paints/inks were water-based, which is probably why Fimo didn’t fare as well. Fimo doesn’t like water.
I haven’t silkscreened with most of these yet. Some were thicker and more opaque than others. Some are runny and should probably be be mixed with a thickening medium.
Viva Ferro is very thick and grainy, so I question if it would pass through a silkscreen. It dries with a surface similar to sandpaper.
I tried Golden Matte Medium mixed with disperse dye, but it made a colored halo which seeped through to the back of the clay.
Viva Precious Metal Colours worked on all clays. It dried in minutes and wasn’t easy to rub off. The drawback is it only comes in a handful of metallic colors.
Following are the products I used and my test sheets. Hopefully you can see where the paint/ink rubbed off or smeared.
The paints/inks were applied in the following order:
- Artist’s Loft Acrylic Paint
- Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic Paint
- Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Paint
- Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint
- Pebeo Studio Acrylic Paint
- Martha Stewart Craft Acrylic Paint
- Lumière Acrylic Paint
- Golden Acrylic Paint
- Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
- Folk Art Acrylic Paint
- Viva Precious Metal Colours
- So Soft Fabric Paint
- Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
- Versatex Fabric Screen Printing Ink
- Jacquard Textile Paint
- Martha Stewart Glass paint
- Golden Matte Medium with lilac Disperse Dye
- Apple Barrel Multi-Surface Indoor-Outdoor Acrylic Paint
- Viva Ferro Acrylic Paint
- Swellegant Metallic Acrylic Paint
P.S. I bought all these products myself and received nothing from the manufacturers.
Another great test Phyllis…..I came upon it in a very timely manner ie….I am trying to use silk screened raw veneers to cover ‘3d’ shapes……argh!!! Can I just ask how long did you leach your Premo for to get those results?
Many thanks and keep up the fabulous and invaluable work!!!
Thanks! I generally leach for a few hours or overnight. You kind of have to judge for yourself. You want to get rid of some of the plasticizers, but not so that it’s too dry.
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Thanks Phyllis…..I’ve got stacks of Premo and have only just gotten round to giving silk screens a go and sure enough even after 24hrs my cheap and cheerful acrylic paint was smudgy wet!!!! Will get some W.N Galeria and give leaching a go. so grateful for your dilligent work!
Just thought I would report back…..Premo (white) leached for 2 hours then Windsor Newton Galeria (lamp black) screen printed through a Moiko silk screen……dry and smudge resistant in less than 10 minutes!! You are the gal!!!!!
Yay! I’m so glad to hear it worked. Thanks for reporting back.
I am surprised at the results for Lumiere paints. I have used these a lot for silk screening and even buffed them on a bench lathe. They stand up very well when baked onto raw clay. I mostly use Kato.
I’m not sure why we have the discrepancy, but Lumière rubbed off of baked Kato for me, as did all the other fabric paints.
phyllis I love all your testing and thoroughly appreciate all the time you have put into this. One thing though, I was under the impression that the Swellegant line is usually used on baked clay and also with a prep solution and a final sealer.
Yes, you’re right.
Phyllis- thanks so much for the information and following the conversation on BBT Insiders about paints, silk screen, and problem with cracking. This information will be added to my learning and is definitely helping with my PC learning curve.
Thanks, Paulette! My pleasure.