Resin works great as a clear coat for polymer clay, but it does have its drawbacks. So what’s the next best thing?
There is a category of finishes called “dimensional glazes”. Common brand names are Triple Thick (by DecoArt), Dimensional Magic (by ModPodge), Diamond Glaze (by Judikins), and Glossy Accents (by Ranger).
These water-based, honey-textured, thick liquids are glopped onto a surface that you want to make shiny. Over time they self-level and eventually (over about 24 hours) become clear as they dry hard and glossy.
Dimensional glaze on polymer clay CAN be an adequate substitute for resin in some cases. Be aware, however, that they do have some limitations.
- They often dry with a dip in the middle.
- The surface is soft and will dent if stored against something.
- The surface can become slightly tacky in high humidity.
- Exposure to water will (reversibly) turn it white.
- Pieces stored while touching will often stick together.
For this reason, I don’t recommend dimensional glaze on polymer clay for creating a glossy coating on polymer clay jewelry, such as earrings.
I think it does, however, have its uses in other crafts or in specific uses within the polymer clay realm. For example, it makes a great glossy coating for eyes in figurines or perhaps a pool of water or dewdrops on roses. That sort of thing.
No clear coating is going to work perfectly for every project. It is also not necessary for MOST projects. You can learn more about other types of varnishes, sealers, and clear coatings and when to or not to use them here.
Sand better, not harder
Everyone loves a perfectly smooth, glassy finish, but it seems to be elusive. Does your polymer clay look scratched and rough after sanding? This course will change everything.