Polymer clay glaze put to the test

What should I use to glaze my polymer clay? This is a popular question. Along with the question “Do I even need to seal my polymer clay?” In this article I will answer those two questions and I will show you three brands of polymer clay glaze. I’m going to do this by putting all three brands of polymer clay glaze to the test. We’ll find out which of the three can offer the best look and shine.

Let’s get started!

Do I need to seal my polymer clay?

Let’s start out by assuming you only have polymer clay. You actually do not need to seal polymer clay. Polymer clay is impermeable once it is baked. However, if you have used something to embellish your clay, you may want to put a sealant on. In Create a polymer clay pendant in 6 easy steps, I use Color Shift Mica Powder over the top of the piece. If I were to not seal that piece, the mica powder would be able to rub off. So I did seal that piece with UV resin.

What should I use to seal the clay?

That is a loaded question. There are many options for sealing polymer clay.  The answer will completely depend on who you are asking.  That’s like asking someone what car you should buy?  Everyone has their own opinion.  Even me, I prefer resin but soon you’ll understand why I’m trying out other polymer clay glaze options.

In this article I am going to test three of those many options. The ones I chose are Mod Podge Super Gloss-Brilliant, Sculpey gloss glaze, and the last one is a hack. The last one is Elmer’s glue white and Elmer’s glue clear.

My personal favorite, which is not on that list, is UV resin. I just have such an attraction to that glass like look only UV resin can offer. I just can’t get away from it. For that reason I have not used any of the above mentioned glazes to seal my pieces. But that’s exactly why I wanted to test them. I would like to find a product, aside from the resin, I can use on some of my pieces. I’m so addicted to the shine of the resin, it’s been hard for me to try out other options. Also why all three options are gloss finishes. I do intend to test matte varnish in another post so stay tuned.

Let’s start testing

The picture below is the before picture of all pieces. For comparison purposes, I put the fourth one at the bottom in the middle. This piece is simply sanded and buffed. If you haven’t seen my post on How to Sand and Buff Polymer Clay Pendants feel free to check it out.

For all three test pieces I used a small paint brush to apply the glaze. Each piece took approximately 15 minutes to dry. I did end up putting 2 coats of glaze on all of the pieces.

Let’s start with Mod Podge, a very familiar brand in the crafting world. I chose what I know to be the most glossy in the Mod Podge family. Or at least based on the selection before me at the time of purchase.

 The Mod Podge was easy to apply and went on smooth. It has a white film upon initial assessment which did fade away leaving the piece somewhat shiny but not to my liking. Hence the second coat. Once the second coat was applied and dried, it was much glossier and more to my liking.

Next up, Elmer’s glue. I used a combination of white glue and clear glue. A 1:4 mix with 1 part white and 4 parts clear.

The Elmer’s glue went on very smooth and very shiny. I was thinking if it would dry as shiny as it went on, it would surely be the winner. But the shine didn’t last. Once dried it was more of a matte finish. Although I will say this is the one that dried smoothest without brush marks. I could definitely appreciate that about it. But again, with only one coat it lacked a lot of shine so another coat went on. A second coat definitely brought out more shine.

The final contestant is the Sculpey gloss glaze.

This went on very similar to the Mod Podge application. White film and all. The Sculpey glaze also needed a second coat which did yield a more shiny look.

So which polymer clay glaze is the winner?

The results are in! All three of the glazes tested did turn out with some nice shine. I really think the Sculpey gloss glaze after two coats offered the best shine and is the winner. The second runner up, in my opinion, was the Mod Podge.  It didn’t quite come through with the best shine.  There was one thing both the Sculpey and the Mod Podge had in common.  They both had fine brush marks.  The glue dried more smoothly.   But it wasn’t as shiny.   And as mentioned earlier, I’m addicted to a glass like shine.  

Conclusion

In this article I put three different brands of polymer clay glaze to the test.  One of them came through more than the others.  I think the big question here is do I like it enough to replace my UV resin?  Did the winner win me over?  The answer to that question is No Way!  For me the UV resin still shines through.  

I couldn’t resist, I had to do one with resin!

What do you think?  Leave a comment below and tell me which result you liked the best.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  You can also follow me on Instagram to see how I used resin on my pieces.  Or take a look inside my Ebay store!

Thank you for visiting my acraftynurse.com!

6 thoughts on “Polymer clay glaze put to the test”

  1. Thank you! I’ve tried the first glazed, but never UV Resin!!! I will be trying that now. 🙂 I love reading your results as they help me to know what to do without all the experimental errors.

    Reply
  2. This is amazing! I have attempted two glazes involving Elmer’s glue, and, needless to say, it was a train wreck (mainly because I’m so inexperienced with the process. Haha). I have never actually tried UV resin, but now that you’ve mentioned how great it is and how it’s your “go to” for glazing polymer clay, I’m definitely going to try it out! I love learning new things, and this is definitely a work in progress. Great read! God bless you!

    Reply
    • Yes, you need to try the UV resin. I’m a fan of all resin but the immediate gratification
      that comes with the quick curing UV resin, well, you can’t beat that.
      Thank you for visiting again and for the kind words.
      You have a fantastic day!
      Teresa

      Reply
  3. That’s so interesting, my cousin worked with clay a while ago but I don’t think she ever sealed her work. I’m with you I really like the resin, so shiny!!! I like the thought of the elmers glue, but I wonder if it would peel, flake or chip off…..
    Look forward to reading more of your crafty ideas!

    Reply
    • Thank you for checking out my post! Yeah, it’s too bad the Elmer’s glue isn’t the best choice.
      That would be super cost effective!
      Take care,
      Teresa

      Reply

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