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.

Paints/inks in order tested.
Test sheets.

The paints/inks were applied in the following order:

  1. Artist’s Loft Acrylic Paint
  2. Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic Paint
  3. Winsor & Newton Galeria Acrylic Paint
  4. Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint
  5. Pebeo Studio Acrylic Paint
  6. Martha Stewart Craft Acrylic Paint
  7. Lumière Acrylic Paint
  8. Golden Acrylic Paint
  9. Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
  10. Folk Art Acrylic Paint
  11. Viva Precious Metal Colours
  12. So Soft Fabric Paint
  13. Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
  14. Versatex Fabric Screen Printing Ink
  15. Jacquard Textile Paint
  16. Martha Stewart Glass paint
  17. Golden Matte Medium with lilac Disperse Dye
  18. Apple Barrel Multi-Surface Indoor-Outdoor Acrylic Paint
  19. Viva Ferro Acrylic Paint
  20. Swellegant Metallic Acrylic Paint

P.S. I bought all these products myself and received nothing from the manufacturers.