Should you apply mica powder before or after baking polymer clay?

Mica powder is a shimmery, sparkly powder that’s used to create a metallic or pearlescent effect in art media, household products, and makeup. It’s also great fun to use on polymer clay. But should you apply mica powder to polymer clay before or after baking? Is it best used on raw or baked polymer clay?

You should always apply it to unbaked, raw polymer clay. Unbaked polymer clay is slightly sticky, and the mica powder sticks to the polymer clay naturally, without any glue. Because baked polymer clay is no longer sticky, the mica powder will no longer stick to it. You can see what I mean in this video.

If you’ve already baked your clay, can you add mica powder to your polymer clay creation? Is there any way to do it with glue or something? Well…kinda. You can use glue or a thin layer of liquid clay. But the application of the powder will not be as smooth as you see in the video. It will be gloppy and uneven.

You could also add mica powder to some clay safe varnish to make a paint. But it takes a lot of mica powder to create good coverage. You’ll have brush strokes. The mica will not have a smooth effect.

So bottom line, if you want to create a metallic or pearlescent surface on your polymer clay using mica powder, you’ll need to apply it to unbaked, raw polymer clay.

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Nature...enhanced. (And sparkly!)

Use leaves or flowers from your garden (or the park!)

Learn to form polymer clay into these crisp, bright, and fun pendants. Decorate them  with mica powders or eye shadow. What a fun project. You won’t stop with one.

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